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Exhibition

Richard Deacon: Like You Know, Ceramic Works

27 Nov 2021–30 Jan 2022

Overview

The New Art Centre is delighted to announce an exhibition of Richard Deacon’s ceramic sculptures.

The very large, complex, inventive works that are at the heart of our exhibition [along with smaller more playful essays in porcelain] were created at Niels Dietrich’s internationally reputed ceramic workshop in Cologne, where Deacon has been working regularly since the turn of the millennium. Coiled, unknowable forms are juxtaposed with angular trapezoids, all dripping with layers of glaze – with typical Deacon contrast of open structures that ‘show their workings’ alongside mysterious sealed forms that hint at a hidden world within.

As with the best of Deacon’s sculpture, these ceramic works urge the viewer to absorb all they see, challenge the work from every angle, and interpret each purposeful yet unpredictable mark, outline and pattern.

Widely regarded as one of Britain’s leading sculptors, Richard Deacon’s career has spanned over four decades and his works can be found in public collections all over the world. He is currently exhibiting in Galerija Kula, a public space in Split, Croatia, showing a selection of works made from a variety of media, a testament to his incessant creativity.

Deacon’s work is characterized by his exploration of material capacities. Working with wood, metal, paper, plastics, cloth, leather, vinyl and ceramic, he has developed a visual language that explores the relationship between depth, mass and volume. This exhibition provides a targeted insight into a specific facet of Deacon’s artistic output – that of his experimental approach to making sculpture in ceramic – yet it also encapsulates many of his general concerns as an artist. 

For Deacon, an artist who often relies on inexactness and experiment as part of his artistic process, the elemental uncertainty of working with ceramics, especially the unknown and uncontrolled reactions that take place in the kiln, is inspiring – and this, in part, explains why his ceramics have become such a vital part of his output in the last couple of decades. 

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