“Things of Beauty Growing” Exhibition

The Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) will be featuring an exhibition on British studio pottery from the 1920s through present. Highlighting the development of the vessel form, the YCBA describes the exhibition as “Jar, bowl, charger, monumental urn: this family of forms ties ceramics to its functional origins. A vessel exists to hold or contain—a purpose it may fulfill literally, metaphorically, or both. The antiquity of the vessel, the familiarity of its shapes and forms, provides a ready-made language, which ceramic artists have for decades invoked and emulated but also distanced, transformed, and renewed. The exhibition will trace the major typologies that have defined studio ceramics since the early twentieth century, such as the mysterious form of the moon jar, originally developed in Korea during the Joseon dynasty and reinterpreted in twentieth-century Britain as an emblem of transcendence. A series of archetypal forms will be presented that mark out a loose chronology, as well as a trajectory of thinking: from the tea bowls that Bernard Leach brought from Japan and shaped into the foundations of British pottery to recent monumental works by Julian Stair, Felicity Aylieff, and Edmund de Waal, which have pushed the medium beyond limits previously imagined.