Coreen Abbott: Slide Show and Talk – “Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture: Becoming a Medium of Integrity”


From an American art historical point of view, Coreen will discuss the people and events that helped transition ceramics from a study material and decorative medium to its current position as a respected, cutting edge art medium. She will describe what laid the foundation for pre-1940’s western ceramic sculpture and then detail the variables (such as post WWII exposure to Asian aesthetics and the rise of Abstract Expressionism) that were at play when Peter Voulkos emerged as the leading light in freeing clay from its utilitarian roots. She will discuss the new interest in clay that radiated outward from the California-centered Voulkos group and ultimately progressed to a global embrace of clay as a medium of integrity.

Coreen Abbott has an MFA in Ceramic Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute and BFA from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has been adjunct lecturer at UC Berkeley, CA; Nanjing University of the Arts, China; Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute, China; as well as teaching and living in Faenza, Italy. She has given numerous workshops in the US, India, Malta, Italy and China. She has been a practicing artist since 1976 and has recently turned her focus to writing about clay. Currently, she is working on a book entitled “Shaw’s Posters” detailing his life and relationships. Her article about Chinese Fast Firing will appear in the April 2019 issue of Ceramics Monthly.

Event will be held at the Potter’s Studio

1221 Eighth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

March 24, 2019 3–5pm