Edmund de Waal
"De Waal's pots - and the way he groups the pots to display them - are unlike anything else I have seen. They are solid and at the same time vanishing and ghostly, Platonic ideas of the essence of forms and the essence of glazed porcelain."
A.S. Byatt, Song of Porcelain, The Guardian, 10 October 2009
In March 2010 Alan Cristea Gallery opens its first exhibition of ceramic installations by Edmund de Waal. This will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with introduction by Booker Prize-winning author A.S. Byatt.
From Zero takes as its starting point a line from Kasimir Malevich's manifesto The Non-Objective World: ''It is from zero, in zero, that the true movement of being begins". The works on display will consist of groups of porcelain pots which use wood, plaster, lead, charred oak, glass and steel to 'frame' them. This includes a sequence of white boxes, some lead-lined, others plaster-lined, which contain groups of vessels in varying white and celadon glazes. De Waal will also be exhibiting his first vitrine piece, using glass and black steel to encase over 100 pots of different sizes. A red lacquer shelf of white pots will be installed high on a gallery wall; a shelving unit with doors will hide and reveal collections of vessels in 15 different white glazes.
De Waal is a potter of international reputation, whose work has most recently been on display at Tate Britain as part of Kettle's Yard's 50th Anniversary celebrations and at the V&A where his commission Signs and Wonders has just been launched as part of the new Ceramic Galleries. De Waal's work is held in over 30 public collections worldwide including the British Council; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Western Australia, Perth; the World Ceramic Exposition Museum, Ichon, Korea and the Museum für angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt.
As well as exhibiting at the Alan Cristea Gallery in 2010 (the artist's first commercial gallery show in London for more than eight years), de Waal's solo exhibition water-shed opens at Leamington Spa Museum in January and he is part of a group exhibition The Artists' House at the New Art Centre, Salisbury from February to May, alongside Richard Hamilton and Chien Wei Chang.
De Waal is also a writer, whose publications include Twentieth Century Ceramics (Thames & Hudson, 2003) and Bernard Leach (Tate Publishing, 1998). His forthcoming book The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance is being published by Chatto and Windus in June 2010.