That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio 1920 – Today

Tate St Ives

31 March – 3 September 2017

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This comprehensive exhibition charts the evolution of the pottery studio from the early 20th century to the present day.

Jessica Warboys, Hill of Dreams, 2016

Part of The Studio and the Sea season, this ceramics showcase runs in conjunction with an exhibition by contemporary British artist Jessica Warboys.

An in-depth look at the changing nature of ceramics creation, the display begins by examining the introduction of Japanese techniques to the western world by the British potter Bernard Leach. Together with his Tokyo-born contemporary Shōji Hamada, Leach established a pottery in St Ives in 1920 where he mimicked traditional Japanese methods using a custom-built noborigama kiln.

Moving towards the mid 20th century, the focus shifts to California and the pioneering work of abstract sculptor Peter Voulkos – who is quoted in the exhibition title – and his apprentices Ken Price and Ron Nagle. To reflect on this revolutionary period, contemporary ceramicist Jesse Wine presents a selection of newly commission pieces.

Examining the experimental, hand-building techniques championed by Gillian Lowndes and Richard Slee in London from the 1970s onwards, the final section of the exhibition has been staged in collaboration with Aaron Angell – one of today’s most radical ceramicists. The show closes with the artist’s pick of pieces developed by various students at his Hoxton workshop Troy Town Art Pottery, where he pushes for ‘psychedelic’ results.

Venue information

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)