Edmund de Waal (b. 1964)
Property from the Collection of Melva Bucksbaum
Edmund de Waal (b. 1964)


Edmund de Waal (b. 1964)
stamped with the artist's signature, inscribed and dated 'Edmund de Waal something else-somewhere other 2012' (on a plastic label affixed to the underside of most elements)
27 thrown porcelain vessels in black glazes and gilding contained in three glass vitrines with black aluminum frames on black polished perspex plinths
smallest element: 5/8 x 1 ¼ x 1 ½ in. (1.6 x 3.2 x 3.8 cm.)
largest element: 2 ½ x 3 x 3 in. (6.4 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm.)
each vitrine: 9 ½ x 11 7/8 x 8 ¾ in. (24.1 x 30.2 x 22.2 cm.)
Executed in 2012. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
NewArtCentre, Salisbury
Acquired from the above by the present owner
C. Brown, J. Stair and and C. Twomey, eds., Contemporary Clay and Museum Culture, Abingdon, 2016, p. 189.
Waddesdon Manor, Edmund de Waal at Waddesdon, April-October 2012, p. 72 (illustrated).
Sale room notice
Please note the correct inscription is: 'Edmund de Waal something else-somewhere other 2012'

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Alex Berggruen
Alex Berggruen

Lot Essay

Despite the Modernist asperity of its title, K498 is an intricate assemblage. It includes twenty-seven variously-sized thrown porcelain pots, each glazed in celadon and gilded in gold leaf, which are held within three aluminum-framed glass vitrines, which are themselves placed upon Perspex plinths. Each of these sections is colored black: a distinct rarity for an artist, who is more usually associated with using white. Although Edmund de Waal is primarily known for his vessels, every component is integral to the overall work. “In my vitrines,” de Waal has written, “objects move between profile and dimensionality, blur into a haze and come suddenly into focus. Which is how memory works” (E. De Waal, "Lists,” in De Waal et al, Edmund de Waal, London, 2014, p. 210). 

De Waal became devoted to ceramics after encountering a Chinese pot at the age of 5. Although trained in stoneware, he has spent his mature career working in porcelain, which he considers “an inscrutable material, in the sense that it comes from earth but seems to aspire to something else. It seems closer to glass–closer to air–than the earth” (E. de Waal, quoted in Alastair Sooke, “Edmund de Waal: potter, writer, alchemist,” Daily Telegraph, 09.22.2015). His exquisite craftsmanship is supplemented with an extraordinary breadth of knowledge, stretching from Song Dynasty pottery to Bauhaus design, through Conceptual art and contemporary poetry–an intellectualism demonstrated at full flourish in his award-winning memoir The Hare with the Amber Eyes (2010) and history of porcelain The White Road (2015). 

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