2 October 2018
Bernard Leach (1887-1979)
Two tile panels
most figural tiles painted 'BL' and with St Ives mark, (on the tiles) one panel dated '1930'
glazed stoneware, painted wood frame
39 3/8 x 39 3/8in. including frame (99.8 x 100cm.)
38 ½ x 34 5/8in. including frame (98 x 88cm.)
Executed circa 1930
Private collection, United Kingdom, and thence by descent to the present owner.
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C. Hogben, The Art of Bernard Leach, London, 1978, p. 32, no. 34 (similar example illustrated);
E. de Waal, Bernard Leach, 2003, p. 55, no. 36 (similar example illustrated).
Bernard Leach is acclaimed as the father of studio ceramics. His career began when it was not fashionable to work as a potter. It was a time when a potter was paid to throw pots for others to decorate and not as an artist per se. As a vocal evangelist, he championed the importance of fired ceramics. He believed working with ceramics was an art form and that manipulating and forming of earthenware, stoneware or porcelain was as important as the surface decoration. Leach wrestled with the tension of having to produce utilitarian wares out of commercial necessity with the intention of focusing on creating artistic works.
In his work are combined influences from his time in Japan studying under Ogata Kenzan VI, together with his knowledge of Korean and Chinese ceramics, his appreciation of English ceramics traditions and his fascination with Medieval history.
The tiles he decorated demonstrate the union of these different passions and his great skill as a draughtsman. He began his career studying painting and etching at the Slade and unlike many other studio potters of the 20th Century employed figurative decoration to great effect.
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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