A Ceramic Avante-Garde?

Garth Clark
Is the Ceramic Avante-Garde a Contradiction in Terms?


“It is no secret that the relationship between ceramics and Modernism has, outside of industrial design, been an unhappy one. Modernism rejected the crafts movement as bourgeois and decadent and no ceramists have made it into the inner circle of the fine arts. Ceramists were often sentimental and historical in their approach to art-making, an attitude that was antithetical to Modernism orthodoxy. The emphasis on material and process over concept has further alienated us.
We in ceramics are more or less in the position of an adult child who has had a difficult and unresolved relationship with our tough, rejecting father who is now ailing and before he passes on we want him to acknowledge our existence and validity. In art, just as in life, resolving such an issue is a profound moment–touching, painful, exorcizing–and key to a healthy self-image in the future.”

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