Artisans and artists who use ceramics as their medium have been making steady contributions to the world of art for many centuries. Its influence dates back to prehistory, and it continues the Arts and Crafts movement and ceramic traditions from England and America. Artists long fascination with this art form continue to infiltrate modern art practice to this day. Its popularity peaked in the world of contemporary art in 2014.
In 2014, Sterling Ruby and Shio Kusaka’s ceramics were prominently featured at the Whitney Biennial, as well as the exhibition curated by the de Purys at Venus Over Manhattan for emerging artists of the ceramic medium. Other major fairs that year included Art Basel and Frieze, galleries which showcased pots by Takuro Kuwata and Dan McCarthy, and sculpted figures by Klara Kristalova and Rachel Kneebone.
A newfound enthusiasm for the craft has taken hold and continues to thrive among many artists loyal to the medium, and their work continues to be curated in the most prestigious galleries and venues around the world. The great thing about the medium of ceramics is that it becomes easier for amateurs to use as each year passes, and is very versatile and accessible.
According to Aaron Angell, a well known English ceramic artist who owns a London pottery studio where he teaches artists the craft of ceramics: fired clay “deserves better” than the tradition of indelible shades and the implication that these pieces are pretty as opposed to functional. Angell isn’t the only one who feels this way. Many modern day artists are changing the way we look at ceramic art, paving the way for both functional pieces and elaborate sculptures to be appreciated not only for their intrinsic value, but in recognition of the wonderful contribution of ceramics to the contemporary art world.