terra cotta with luster glaze
4in. x 4 3/4in. x 4in.
Beatrice Wood was a master ceramicist whose works, so seemingly simple, belie a rigor that few modern artists had achieved prior. She was internationally recognized for the beauty of her forms and the startling quality of her lusters. Luster, the glazed surface, is produced through the careful combination of chemicals, which are brushed onto the clay surfaces, and the firing process during which oxygen is reduced for prescribed periods of time. Wood began making ceramics at the age of 40 upon enrolling in an adult education class. She developed recipes for a myriad of lusters which look similar to ancient antique vessels. This similarity in appearance is understandable given the artists life-long interest in folk crafts and her exploration of universal shapes and forms. Historians attribute Woods daring developments in ceramics to her involvement with the Dada movement in the early 1900s, which cultivated an ironic and playful sensibility that encouraged a disavowal of prescribed ideas about art. Indeed this flamboyant artist was often referred to as the Mama of Dada and counted artists such as Marcel Duchamp as good friends. And like Duchamps porcelain urinal, Fountain, Woods works claimed an irrepressible sense of freedom that looked towards the progressive in art
United States, 1893-1997
Gift of Gary H. Brown
WOOD, Beatrice and United States, 1893-1997, “WOOD, Beatrice,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed August 10, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/7584.