Form Over Function: The Abstract Vessel | 22-25 June 2020

Press Release | June 2020

Form Over Function: The Abstract Vessel

Online Bidding 22 - 25 June 2020 | Bidding Closes: From 10am, 25 June

Maak are delighted to offer two curated auctions for Summer 2020 starting with Form Over Function: The Abstract Vessel in late June. Bringing together an offering of 100 pieces by studio potters and ceramic artists working from the post war era to today, the auction explores the concept of the ‘Abstract Vessel’ and the ways in which artists sought to move beyond pure functionality through the deconstruction or elevation of the elementary vessel form.

Primarily from the 1970s onwards, there emerged a shared interest amongst numerous artists to use the basic components from historical ceramic traditions but to leave behind the preoccupation with domestic use and function. By effectively removing dialogue about literal utilitarian function from their works, these artists enabled their vessels to engage on a more abstract, sculptural level. The results offered for sale in Form Over Function: The Abstract Vessel, include pieces that show mastery of the ceramic tradition in the use of materials and glaze but also an energy through form.

Highlight works in the sale include Gabriele Koch’s globular vessel (above) and Emmanuel Cooper’s porcelain jug (below)

I suspect that pots do not have to function for cooking, eating and tea-making either, but that they can be allegorical objects in which the only essential function Is the minimal one of containing

  • Elizabeth Fritsch, Pots about Music/Recollections of the Artist 1978

Click here to view all lots online or here for a PDF copy of the catalogue