Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels by Elizabeth Fritsch
Featuring a range of her most significant early works through to recently made pieces, Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels by Elizabeth Fritsch marks the 70th birthday of a major Welsh-born ceramic artist.
Spanning the whole career of one of Britain's leading ceramicists since the 1970s, this exhibition includes objects rarely or never displayed before and can be seen from 2 October 2010 to 2 January 2011 at National Museum Cardiff.
Selected and arranged thematically by the artist herself, they reflect themes that have influenced her most: music, mathematics (topology), geology, mythology and the history of art.
A major contemporary artist, Fritch’s work is as rewarding visually as it is appealing to the mind, encouraging you to explore the depth and range of meanings that her extraordinary work contains.
The first of a number of outstanding ceramicists to graduate from the Royal College of Art in the early 1970s, Fritsch developed a distinctive style based on her own particular hand-building technique and a unique approach to colour and painting in three dimensions, marking a move away from the dominant wheel-thrown approach to ceramics.
Her flattened ‘2½-dimensional’ forms, creating visual illusions and playing with different optics, established her reputation as a unique and important artist.
Born into a musical Welsh family on the Shropshire-Wales border, she was taught to play the piano and harp and developed her talent to a high level.
Her passion for music has always been apparent in the complex rhythm figures painted on her pots.
Based on curving grids that follow the form of each individual piece with mathematical precision, these rhythm figures – as the artist says – “correspond to tempo and rhythm in music” and are used to draw out and emphasise the dynamic structure of a given form.
This is a rare opportunity to see a large selection of Fritsch’s work illustrating all periods of her career and the full range of her influences.
Her work is represented in major museum collections worldwide, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The exhibition, which will include items from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’s collection alongside important works from major British public and private collections, is being produced with the assistance of Clare Beck at Adrian Sassoon, the leading London-based dealer specialising in contemporary works of art.