James Tower (1919 - 1988) is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive figures in post-war British ceramics. This is the first single publication to be devoted to his work and will reveal to a new audience the extraordinary range and quality of his achievement. Tower's career was unusual in inhabiting the worlds of fine art and ceramics, and his output encompassed sculptural pieces in plaster and bronze as well as glazed ceramic forms. This book provides a comprehensive visual document of Tower's work, incorporating a complete illustrated catalogue, and is set to be the standard source of reference on the artist.
*Monograph on the influential ceramicist James Tower*This centenary volume represents Tower's complete artistic output*Accompanies an exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK, 21 September - 24 November 2019James Tower (1919-1988) is best known for his elegant forms in glazed earthenware. During a career spanning four decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s, he worked unceasingly in a wide variety of media to achieve an elusive harmony of shape and surface, form and decoration, inert material and active design. His personal understanding of the purpose and meaning of abstraction embodies a perpetual dialogue between the visible world and the unseen dynamics which shape it. This centenary volume of essays considers Tower's entire output from a wide variety of perspectives, embracing paintings and drawings, as well as sculpture in bronze, terracotta and fiberglass. The contributions of leading critics and historians approach his work, situated at the junction of art, craft and design, in a broad historical and cultural context, illuminating key episodes in postwar British art, and Tower's unique place within it.This book accompanies an exhibition at Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK, 21 September - 24 November 2019
In his major new history, Paul Greenhalgh tells the story of ceramics as a story of human civilisation, from the Ancient Greeks to the present day. As a core craft technology, pottery has underpinned domesticity, business, religion, recreation, architecture, and art for millennia. Indeed, the history of ceramics parallels the development of human society. This fascinating and very human history traces the story of ceramic art and industry from the Ancient Greeks to the Romans and the medieval world; Islamic ceramic cultures and their influence on the Italian Renaissance; Chinese and European porcelain production; modernity and Art Nouveau; the rise of the studio potter, Art Deco, International Style and Mid-Century Modern, and finally, the contemporary explosion of ceramic making and the postmodern potter. Interwoven in this journey through time and place is the story of the pots themselves, the culture of the ceramics, and their character and meaning. Ceramics have had a presence in virtually every country and historical period, and have worked as a commodity servicing every social class. They are omnipresent: a ubiquitous art. Ceramic culture is a clear, unique, definable thing, and has an internal logic that holds it together through millennia. Hence ceramics is the most peculiar and extraordinary of all the arts. At once cheap, expensive, elite, plebeian, high-tech, low-tech, exotic, eccentric, comic, tragic, spiritual, and secular, it has revealed itself to be as fluid as the mud it is made from. Ceramics are the very stuff of how civilized life was, and is, led. This then is the story of human society's most surprising core causes and effects.
This detailed and comprehensive survey charts the entire history of British studio ceramics from the emergence of modern ceramics from the Victorian factories around 1900 to the wide variety of extraordinary work being produced today. All the best-known potters such as Leach, Hamada, Cardew, Rie, and Coper are examined in depth in terms of their different areas of interest and influence. An extensive appendix gives information on 200 leading makers with their identifying marks and cross-references with a list of museums where their work can be seen. Lavishly illustrated throughout with some 250 color photographs, this is a book for the collector needing in-depth information or for those who just want an introduction to this important and beautiful work.
This is the first major publication devoted to the work of the outstanding group of studio potters in the second half of the 20th century. The collection recorded is the preeminent, representative collection of the work of Lucie Rie (1902-95) and Hans Coper (1920-81), while also including important examples of the works of some 20 other potters - including Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach, Janet Leach, Maria Martinez, Ewen Henderson, Ian Godfrey, and James Tower - as well as a group of younger artists whose inclusion is testimony to Lisa Sainsbury's untiring search for promising young talent in this field.