A new auction record, thousands of terracotta figures and more––this is your go-to round-up of newsy shards and happenings from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics––this is December’s NewsFile.
Featured image: Hans Coper, Squeezed Vessel, 1960
Hans Coper Auction Price Record
Maak Ceramics states its autumn sale demonstrated an increasing interest in collecting studio pottery. Taking place at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, between November 11 – 14, the highlight of the sale was Hans Coper’s Large Gobular Pot. It fetched $110,900 far exceeding the estimate of $19,700 – $26,200 and making it the highest price reached for a Hans Coper this year!
The highest prices fetched for Lucie Rie on the Auction was $34,100 for lot 101 with an estimate of $19,700 – $26,200 and lot 102 for $28,900 with an estimate of $15,700 to $23,600.
The sale celebrated two key Living Collections – one collector from Miami and the other South London. Both collectors shared a passion and true love for ceramics and now this passion can be passed on to the new collectors of these pieces. More highlights of the sale included piece by Lucie Rie, John Ward, Joanna Constantinidis and Ursula Morley-Price.
Antony Gormley’s 40,000 Terracotta Figures
British sculptor Antony Gormley‘s installation of 40,000 terrracotta figures in Field for the British Isles went on show (November 15, 2019 – March 8 2020) at First Site art complex in Colchester.The Guardian writes.
Antony Gormley regards the 40,000 tiny, otherworldly terracotta figures staring helplessly out at the viewer as a call to our conscience. “They are asking: ‘What kind of world are you making?’” he says.
The figures are all mouthless and mute and the idea is that the viewer is God.
“I think of this as a reservoir for unspoken feeling,” Gormley said. “It is a turning of the tables – here the viewer is made the subject of the art’s gaze. The eyes are asking what kind of world are you making?”
Read more here.
Whitney Biennial Protests Spark Debate
Protests and artist withdrawals from this year’s Whitney Biennial followed by the resignation of Vice Chairman Warren Kanders brings to questions the roles and responsibilities of artists and institutions alike, Robin Pogrebin for Art Basel writes.
Many argue that such public debate has prompted a healthy dialogue about difficult issues concerning who runs and funds arts institutions. ‘Social media has ensured that museums are no longer insulated from institutional critique, as more artists today are prepared to share their misgivings,’ says Maxwell L. Anderson, who previously served as a director of the Whitney as well as the Dallas Museum of Art. ‘These misgivings are compelling museum leaders to confront uncomfortable truths about what constitutes good governance.’ But the internecine tensions also roiled an artists’ community typically considered cohesive. Some criticized the Whitney for what they saw as ‘caving’ to the artists who almost withdrew from the biennial. Given the threat of an expanding walkout, the Whitney worried about the potential snowball effect – that other artists would defect from upcoming Whitney exhibitions.
Read more here.
Stay tuned throughout the month as we continue to update our aggregation of ceramic news and happenings.