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On a Personal Note by Garth Clark

In 1974, recently arrived in Britain from South Africa, I was a student at the "Royal College of Art" working on a masters degree by thesis. My subject was modern ceramic history, a topic that the conservative art history department facetiously dismissed as my "over-specialization". I was was then focused more on the post-Modernists in England (mainly from the Royal College itself) such as Elizabeth Fritsch, Jacqueline Poncelet and Alison Britton.

 The later Organic Abstractionists from the >Central School of Art in London< ( Ruth Duckworth, Gordon Baldwin ) came close but was not as far-reaching. In Europe, aside from the work of visitors like Picasso and Miró, there was only one body of 1950's work that had the same dynamism; the sexually charged "Concetto Spaziale" ceramics of sculptor, painter and ceramist, Lucio Fontana. Unlike Picasso and Miró, Fontana's ceramics were not an occasional adjunct but the medium with which he began his career (his first exhibition in Milan in 1928 was of ceramic sculpture) and he continued to work actively in ceramics until his death in 1968. Not surprisingly his work, particularly the way he drew and composed with holes, was an inspiration to Voulkos in the 1960's.

Artists from Britain: Richard Slee, Angus Suttie, Tony Bennett , Ewen Henderson




Scripps College in the nearby town of Claremont