Wednesday 21 March 2012

York Art Gallery

We loved York Art Gallery. It is beautifully set out, with real care for the comfort of visitors and the staff were extremely  helpful. On our first day in York when the sun shone we were able to sit outside to have our lunch and soak up the sun as well as the atmosphere of the place.

Gallery of Pots - Excitations.

In this collection Gordon Baldwin chose pots by makers who had an impact on him when he was studying painting and brought about the moment he hung up his palette in favour of working with clay.

Hans Coper, Round Pot, 1967


Hans Coper, Pot with Bulge, 1965

Hans Coper, Pot on Foot, 1964

Lucie Rie, Oval Bowl, 1957

viewed from a different angle

Lucie Rie, Bowl, 1966

Gordon Baldwin, Kaspar's Goblet, 2011

"There is a sculpture by Marx Ernst. It is called Kaspar. It gives me the creeps!! All pieces that stand away from me like strangers are called Kaspar's Vessels. They are always what I call STRANGER Vesells.  My life is littered by Stranger vessels. They tend to stay in the studio. This goblet has got out into the world".

Gordon Baldwin, Totem, 1960

Tominoto Kenkichi, Dish with Orchids, 1930

Song Jar, 960-1279

Burton Gallery

Here works of art from the gallery's collection are displayed, with paintings dating from the 16th century to works of art by contemporary artists.

Henri Hayden, Saint Lunaire, 1914. 

Saint Lunaire is a small French coastal town. Hayden was born in Warsaw but settled in Paris in 1907. The simplified, geometric forms of the landscape and buildings reveal the influence of Cezanne and Cubism.

Alexander Mackenzie, Three Blacks, 1960.

Mackenzie grew up in Liverpool and Yorkshire but moved to Cornwall at the age of 27.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Orange Form, 1956.

Throughout her career Barns-Graham was influenced by the natural landscape creating a visual tension between the landscape in her imagination and the places she visited. In Orange Form she has arranged irregular lines and shapes to create a rythmic sequence.

Paul Nash, Winter Sea, 1914-26

Sombre in colour, the waves are reduced to geometric shapes, suggestive of steel which emphasizes the cruel, forbidding nature of the sea. The repeated forms lull the viewer much as the repetitive forms of real waves can do. Its bleakness is informed by Nash's experience of WWI as a soldier and war artist. Nash was influenced by Cezanne and Cubism.

Ben Arnup, Teapot, 2002

Arnup's ceramic optical illusions challenge the viewer's eye. This piece is the first in a series of work in which he transforms the teapot into something more mysterious by altering the position of the spout and the handle and flattening the body. Though the spout on this teapot is not hollow, making it impossible to pour from, later versions could be used as functioning teapots.

Lawrence Stephen Lowry, Clifford's Tower, York, 1952-53

Gwen John, Young Woman in a Red Shawl, 1917-23

Merete Rasmussen, Yellow Open Form, 2010

Rasmussen's work has been featured in this blog before, on 31 October, 2011, titled Ceramics Biennial - continued

This form is the biggest Rasmussen has produced so far, in fact it fit into her kiln with millimetres to spare. The coloured glaze took her a long time to achieve, yellow being a notoriously difficult colour to achieve.

Merete Rasmussen, Grey Form, 2011

The flowing forms appear to defy gravity. The positive shapes draw attention to the negative spaces.  The tactile nature of the decoration and glaze implies velvety soft surfaces.

"I work with abstract sculptural form. I am interested in the idea of one continuous surface, with one connected edge or line running through the whole form. Clear, clean shapes; soft, smooth curves in contrast to sharp edges; concave and convex surfaces; the discovery and strength of an inner/negative space - these are all form expressions that appeal to me and result in my continuous exploration and expression in many different variations... My work is hand built in coiling technique".


  1. Those pots by Ben Arnup look really interesting. And I like the paintings you've photographed and included in your post. We didn't go into the gallery during our day trip last Saturday so it looks like it's somewhere to add to our list of places to visit next time we're in York

  2. The purpose of our trip to York was to visit the Art Gallery to see the Gordon Baldwin ceramics. I have not done a post on that exhibition yet - I thought I would leave the best for last. The exhibition will be on for another few months, and if you are interested in ceramics it is well worth going to see. As for the teapot by Ben Arnup, I thought it looked great too. It was the first time I saw any of his work.