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British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in California.

Born 1940, in Cleator Moor (West Cumbria).

Painter, ceramicist, print artist, film maker, photographer. Textiles.

Conrad Atkinson graduated from Carlisle College of Art (1961), Liverpool College of Art (1962) and the Royal Academy Schools in London (...


American, 20th century, female.

Born 1934, in Los Angeles.

Sculptor, ceramicist, draughtswoman, print artist, photographer, film maker. Figures, scenes with figures. Murals.

Camille Billops has a BA from California State College and an MFA from City College in New York. She settled in New York, where in ...


Blanca Serrano Ortiz de Solórzano

(b Roman, Moldavia, 1908; d Havana, 1991).

Cuban painter, sculptor, filmmaker, set designer, and ceramicist of Romanian birth. A pioneering figure in the development of concrete abstraction in Cuba, he was a member of the Havana-based artist group Diez Pintores Concretos, and he collaborated with the Argentine art movement Arte Madí.

In 1926 Darié moved to Paris where he studied Law, worked as a cartoonist for French and Romanian print media, and befriended avant-garde artists. In 1941 he fled Vichy France for Cuba, obtaining citizenship four years later. After a period of lyrical abstraction inspired by the local landscape, Darié turned to non-objective art. His first solo exhibition, Composiciones, was held at the Lyceum in Havana in 1949, and later traveled to the Carlebach Gallery in New York where the Museum of Modern Art acquired Composición en Rojo (Composition in Red, 1946).

In New York, Darié met the painter Jean Xceron (1890–1967), who introduced him to the sculptor Gyula Kosice, who was one of the founders of ...


French, 20th century, male.

Born 1943.

Sculptor, photographer, video artist.

Marcel Dinahet creates small sculptures out of cement mixed with shells or compressed clay and places them in water, at the bottom of the sea or a lake. He records the evolution of the work, which has been exposed to the ebb and flow of the tides and may be covered in seaweed, on videos or photographs. To view the video, spectators must shut themselves in a watertight caisson made of galvanised iron....


American, 20th century, female.

Born 1940, in San Francisco.

Painter, video artist.

Mary Heilmann studied literature at the University of Santa Barbara and ceramics and sculpture at Berkeley in the 1960s. She settled in New York. Starting out as a ceramicist and sculptor, in 1968...


Judi Freeman

(b Argentan, Orne, Feb 4, 1881; d Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise, Aug 17, 1955).

French painter, draughtsman, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, and ceramicist. Among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings. His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s. Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.

Born in rural Normandy, Léger often said that he was of ‘peasant stock’. Although his father was a cattle merchant, Léger was sent by his family to Caen in 1897 to be an apprentice in an architect’s office, where he remained until 1899. In 1900 he went to Paris and again worked in an architect’s office as a draughtsman. After compulsory military service in ...


Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Born 1942.

Painter, ceramicist. Designs for tapestries.

Adolfo Nigro studied at the school of fine arts in Buenos Aires where he met Joaquín Torres García who had a decisive influence on him. He went to Montevideo where he met members of Torres García's studio and became friends with José Gurvich....


Uruguayan, 20th century, male.

Born 1923, in Montevideo; died 24 February 2014.

Painter, potter. Murals.

Paez Vilaro is a self-taught artist. He has produced an important body of ceramic work, building up a humorous, imagistic language that lies somewhere between populism and the archaic. He has also produced decorative murals, including the ...


John-Paul Stonard

(b Chelmsford, Essex, March 24, 1960).

English ceramicist, embroiderer and film maker. He studied at the Braintree College of Further Education (1978–9), and at Portsmouth Polytechnic (1979–82). He was included in the New Contemporaries exhibition at the ICA, London, in 1981 and 1982, and later exhibited regularly both in Britain and abroad; his first solo exhibitions took place in 1984. Perry’s ceramic work mixes obscene and genteel imagery in a naive, awkward style; his pots sport ‘rude confessions’ that glorify what Perry describes as ‘the ugly, the twee and the suburban’ (see Jar with Rude Words). His choice of ceramic as a ‘feminine’ medium was strongly influenced by his identification with feminity and transvestism—he often appears at his openings as Claire Perry—suggesting a concern with self-image and the status of pottery within the contemporary art world. Many of his pots have a critical edge focused on the vanities of the art world, as in ...


British, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 24 March 1960, in Chelmsford.

Ceramicist, film maker, curator.

Grayson Perry studied at Braintree College of Further Education from 1978 to 1979 and Portsmouth Polytechnic from 1979 to 1982. He moved to London in 1983 and joined a film and performance group called the Neo-Naturists. Perry took a series of evening classes in pottery and soon began to find fame as a ceramicist. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003.

Finding influence in the work of American artist Henry Darger (1892–1972), the colourful and highly decorative appearance of Perry’s ceramics often disguises the distressing tone of those motifs portrayed. While the form of such pieces as Barbaric Splendour (2003), Poverty Chinoiserie (2003), and Precious Boys (2004) echoes the shape of a classical urn or vase, the images which the artist depicts on the surface of each of them make reference to themes which are disturbing in nature. While some images have a clear autobiographical significance – works such as ...