The Cowan’s Spring Auction of Modern Ceramics (and some glass) curated by Mark Del Vecchio is the tenth sale since the auction began. The auction takes place on Thursday May 28, 2015 at Noon Eastern Time.
Above image: Henry Halem, Peter Voulkos Portrait Plate, ca. 1967, stoneware and acrylic 11 x 14.5 x 5 inches. Estimate: $1,500 – $2,500.
The state venue remains Ohio but now it moves from one renowned ceramic city (Cincinnati was the birthplace of the art pottery movement in the late 19th century) to another, Cleveland.
Cleveland was the most important center in America for ceramic sculpture between 1920 and 1940. It was the center of a major ceramics program for the WPA that was directed by Edris Eckhardt and home of an ambitious unique venture, a pottery by R. Guy Cowan (not related to the auction house).
Cowans Pottery was founded in 1912 and prospered for some time but it was killed by the depression in 1931. It offered editions of figurative ceramic sculpture by Cleveland-area artists including Viktor Schreckengost, Waylande Gregory, and others.
The current sale is showing strength in the quality of work this auction is drawing, all of which be can viewed online. The work at the top of this post is a valuable curiosity for Voulkos aficionados by Henry Halem and taken from a life casting of Voulkos’s face, made in 1967.
The star work in the exhibition is a set of 11 sculptures by Michele Oka Doner, soon to have a major retrospective at the Perez Art Museum Miami and she currently has a solo exhibition at Marlborough Gallery, New York. This is the most major work by this artist to reach the auction floor.
The skull tea set by Richard Notkin is an extremely rare find, few of the full sets were made and the modeling in this work is exceptional
The auction also features a trio of superb Ruth Duckworth’s, an owl by Picasso, extravagantly glazed sculptures by Michael Lucero, an elegant and powerful Lucie Rie, and a china painted cup by Betty Woodman from the Serves Museum that glows with color against peerless white porcelain.
Look for the collection of pots by New Jersey master Albert Green, a limited edition teapot by Arman, pots by Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach. Finally the Rick Dillingham, it’s a stunning example of his art.
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