Betty Woodman

USA (1930). Lives and works in New York and Antella, Italy

BettyWoodman_The Vase with Pink Flowers and The Yellow Vase_2010

The Vase with Pink Flowers and the Yellow Vase, 2010
Enameled ceramic, canvas, wood and acrylic paint. 215,9 x 459,7 x 30,4 cm

For more than fifty years Betty Woodman’s work has centered on the vessel. Her ceramic forms frequently combine with brightly colored drawings or diluted images. She is meticulous in her method—a heritage of modern painting but also related to multiple other influences, a container for traditions and personalized experiences. Traditionally trained, her first works were conventional and functional works of artisanship. She soon began to experiment with clays and color, although she did not abandon the functional component of her vessels until the seventies. She also gradually increased the scale of her pieces which began taking on stranger forms, displaying features
of other cultures and swaying from the figurative to the abstract.

Her extensive travels have broadened her influences; from the sculpture of the Etruscan and Minoan to that of the Aztecs and the Japanese. She incorporates traditional
Western uses of ceramic as well as the formal, chromatic experiences of contemporary art. At the same time, in her ceramic sculptures paint is just as important as form, lending a completely new sense to traditional media. The mural piece selected for #1 Cartagena, The Vase with Pink Flowers and the Yellow Vase, includes a variety of elements in the form of vessels, a good example of the heterodox and hybrid character of her work.