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Some important early ceramics by Emmanuel Cooper form part of the exhibition British Studio Ceramics: From Bernard Leach to Magdalene Odundo at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester from the 27th April - 28th July 2024.

The exhibition will follow the evolution of British studio pottery, showing the tactile and expressive qualities of clay. It will present a range of makers who represent the rich cultural tradition of the medium and practice. It includes work by Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie and Hans Coper along with more recent work by Alison Britton, Edmund de Waal and Takeshi Yasuda. 

The work by Emmanuel Cooper includes two stoneware ‘chargers’ or large dishes made in the early 1970s after completing the research for his now classic book The History of Pottery. He became particularly interested in the ceramics of South America which often featured geometrical decoration which, like the greek key pattern, had an equal relationship between the negative and positive space, so it is never quite clear whether the decoration is black on white or white on black. At much the same time same time Emmanuel Cooper was intrigued by the work of Brigit Riley and the Op Art movement and it was the combination of Op Art and the ceramics of central/south American which led him to produce the large dishes now featured in the Pallant House exhibition.  Although very different to the pots for which is now best know, these large dishes are both distinctive and beautiful.  

Another of these stoneware dishes forms part of the V&A permanent display of ceramics and a more detailed account of these intriguing pots is included in the memoir, Making Emmanuel Cooper, available here on Amazon.


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