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The Ceramic Narrative
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The Ceramic Narrative

Matthias Ostermann

224 pages | 7 x 10 | 240 color illus.
Cloth 2006 | ISBN 9780812239706 | $49.95a | Outside the Americas £40.00
Not for sale in the British Commonwealth, except Canada, or in the European Union

"This beautifully illustrated book is an exploration of past and present ceramic iconography concerned with the depiction of narratives and images meant to be thought provoking, beyond the merely decorative."—Ceramics Monthly
The Ceramic Narrative is an exploration of past and present ceramic iconography concerned with the depiction of narratives, or with images meant to be thought-provoking, beyond the merely decorative. The book is beautifully illustrated with an extensive variety of work from history and the present day, showing how many contemporary artists continue this tradition with modern interpretations.

Examining ancient Greece, the ceramic imagery of the Maya culture, the ceramics of China, Persia, and Japan, European tin-glaze traditions, and the narrative imagery appearing on later European porcelains, Matthias Ostermann attempts wherever possible not only to present ceramic narratives in their cultural and historical contexts but also to refer to some of the older myths and sources that may have served as inspiration.

Applied arts writer David Whiting contributes an essay on the development of ceramic narratives in the twentieth century, while illustrations present the work of more than 75 contemporary international ceramic artists who explore narrative in distinctive and different ways. These include the exploration of mythologies and existing stories; personal visions, private stories and memory; the human figure, relationships and identity; political and social commentary; and finally, the ceramic object itself, seen as message and metaphor.

This book will serve as a beginning for further study of this fascinating and little-explored subject and as a celebration of the work of all ceramic artists whose passion is the ceramic narrative.

A practicing ceramicist since 1974, Matthias Ostermann lives and works in Montreal. He is the author of The New Maiolica: Contemporary Approaches to Colour and Technique and The Ceramic Surface, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

David Whiting, of the United Kingdom, is a critic and a writer on studio ceramics and the applied arts. He has curated exhibitions and contributes regularly to such magazines as Crafts and Ceramics: Art and Perception.

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