The Ceramic Presence in Modern Art: Selections from the Linda Leonard Schlenger Collection and the Yale University Art Gallery


Sequoia Miller

With an essay by John Stuart Gordon

This lushly illustrated volume is the first to thoroughly examine postwar ceramic sculpture alongside other fine art of the period. The catalogue features over 80 objects by leading 20th-century ceramicists, including John Mason, Jim Melchert, Ken Price, Lucie Rie, and Peter Voulkos. Essays consider the art in connection with renowned paintings, sculptures in other media, and works on paper by artists such as Willem de Kooning, Isamu Noguchi, Mark Rothko, and Ed Ruscha. Juxtaposing ceramics with non-ceramic works, both visually and conceptually, and examining the visual, historical, and theoretical affinities among the objects, the authors demonstrate that the finest ceramics share the formal sophistication of the most celebrated artworks of the postwar period. As ceramics are increasingly recognized as integral to the wider field of contemporary art, this book offers new opportunities for understanding this important medium.


2016 Bronze Medal, Fine Art Books, Independent Publisher Book Awards

2016 Honorable Mention, Books, New England Museum Association Publication Awards Competition

[A] hefty catalog … support[s] the curators’ contention that ceramic sculptures should be fully integrated into the canon of modern and contemporary fine art. —Susan Hodara, New York Times

The essay [on George Ohr] by John Stuart Gordon … makes a persuasive case that Ohr can be understood as an abstract expressionist before his time. —Sarah Archer, Hyperallergic