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British Ceramics at Frank Lloyd Gallery

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Installation_View_Installation_view_of_the_IHOC_Part_Two_exhibition_3383_377copyOur latest exhibition at the gallery features the work of two British ceramists – Elizabeth Fritsch and Jennifer Lee. The last one hundred years have been fruitful ones for British pottery. Tracing an art historical line from the Arts and Craft Movement led by William Morris, to the handmade wares of the Leach Pottery, and later, the sculptural forms of Hans Coper draws only a broad outline of the modern ceramic practices of Great Britain.

Elizabeth Fritsch and Jennifer Lee are part of the second Elizabeth_Fritsch_Optical_Cup_and_Saucer_2002_3324_377generation of contemporary British studio potters. Fritsch is considered by many to be the first of the “new ceramics” group that emerged from the Royal College of Art during the 1970s, and her distinctive work plays sophisticated games with volume and perspective. Oliver Watson writes in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s 1990 catalog Studio Pottery that Elizabeth Fritsch’s pots “are almost to be treated as still lifes, viewed from a single standpoint.”[1] Geometric motifs, carefully rendered in colored slips on the surface of her vessels, relate both to the forms of her pots and the music that inspires her.

Jennifer_Lee_Dark_haloed_traces_blue_rim_2011_3186_377Jennifer Lee also concentrates on the vessel form, and like that of Elizabeth Fritsch, her work is hand-built. She begins with an off-white stoneware clay base, mixing in metallic oxides to achieve the subtle depth of color she is known for. Instead of applying pigment to the surface of her work, Lee incorporates earthy speckles, haloes and bands of colored clay into the body of each pot. Her work achieves a marked sense of balance, as quiet asymmetries subtly animate her serene bowls and vessels.


[1] Watson, Oliver, Studio Pottery (London: Phaidon Press Limited in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1990), 184.

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Written by Frank Lloyd

January 9, 2013 at 1:52 am

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