‘Incredible’ exhibition of radical art features work never seen in public before

She was known as the most radical ceramicist of the twentieth century.

And now more than 40 works by Gillian Lowndes (1936-2010) are gathered together for a new exhibition at York Art Gallery.

Gillian Lowndes: At the Edge runs from 23 November 2019 to May 2020 and will be held in the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA).

More than 40 of Gillian Lowndes’ ground-breaking ceramic sculptures will be showcased, drawn from CoCA’s own collection, alongside loans from collector Anthony Shaw, many of which have never been on public display.

The exhibition also includes a collection of delicate Christmas cards that Lowndes created for collector and friend Anthony Shaw, as well as unfired pieces left unfinished in her studio at the time of her death.

Dr Helen Walsh, Curator or Ceramics at York Art Gallery, said:

  • Her experimental, expressionist work with clay challenged pre-conceived ideas of ceramic art and encouraged a new generation of potters to become more abstract in their approach to sculpture.

Pushing the boundaries


Lowndes’ technique involved gathering both discarded man-made objects such as crockery, scissors and bricks, and natural materials including shells, loofahs, horse hair, granite chips and dried plant roots and creating work that pushed the boundaries of traditonal pottery forms.

She was a very private person and left little in the way of explanation about her creations, saying: “It is up to the eye of the beholder to interpret, find meanings and resonances”.

Her artwork will be displayed against a backdrop of objects that collectively reflect Lowndes’ workspace, including work by her husband and fellow artist Ian Auld.

Accompanying the exhibition will be further displays featuring new acquisitions by artists including Kate Malone, Emmanuel Cooper, Pamela Mei Lee Leung and David Seeger.

Dr Walsh said:

  • To have so much of her work on display, especially some pieces that have never been seen before, is incredible.

    We are thrilled to be able to showcase this significant artist’s work, alongside that of her much-admired peers, in the Centre of Ceramic Art.

For more information please visit the York Art Gallery website.

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