26 February – 18 April 2020
Blue Mountain School
9 Chance St, Shoreditch, London E2 7JB
This exhibition brings together a group of outstanding artworks and artefacts that explore the versatility of this humble and expressive medium, from its uses in ancient civilisations to modernist and contemporary sculpture. Functional vessels and pottery made by unknown artisans dating back almost 5,000 years are placed in dialogue with works by pre-eminent artists from the Renaissance to the present day, including works by Domenico Antonia Vaccaro, Leondardo di Domenico del Tasso, Girolamo della Robbia, Pablo Picasso, Frank Dobson, Frederick Edward McWilliam, and Richard Long, as well as recent works by Katinka Bock and Urara Tsuchiya.
Since ancient times, the process of sourcing clay from the natural environment and of shaping it by hand or with simple tools has remained largely unchanged, allowing artists and artisans to work fast and spontaneously and to achieve a wide range of results. Across the exhibition, archaeological and utilitarian objects, abstract low reliefs, exquisite statuettes and brightly coloured glazes and painted works offer a glimpse of the broad definition of terracotta as a sculptural medium. Bearing a direct link to the hand of the artist, the works on show suggest varied propositions and connect us with the traces of activity from our ancient past.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with a text written by Ben Hunter.