Ceramist Betty Woodman, SACI Artists Council member exhibits at ICA in London through April 10, 2016

Detail of Wallpaper #9, Betty Woodman, 2015. Courtesy the artist.

Detail of Wallpaper #9, Betty Woodman, 2015. Courtesy the artist.

Betty Woodman: Theatre of the Domestic

Through April 10, 2016

Institute of Contemporary Arts – London

Ceramic artist and SACI Artists Council Member, Betty Woodman, exhibits at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, February 3 – April 10, 2016. Betty Woodman: Theatre of the Domestic is the first UK solo presentation of works by Woodman (born 1930), one of the most important contemporary artists working with ceramics today. The exhibition focuses on work Woodman has created in the last ten years, including a number of major new mixed media pieces.

Betty Woodman began making work in 1950 with clay as her chosen medium, and throughout her practice has constantly explored new directions and introduced new techniques and media. Woodman’s conceptual boldness and her ambitious experimentation in which she combines such unlikely materials as lacquer paint on earthenware and terra sigillata, a slip glaze often used on ancient ceramics, on paper have generated a unique series of innovations. Significantly, the ways in which she combines ceramics and painting in her three-dimensional works resonates with younger generations of artists.


Betty Woodman, “From Nina’s Room,” 2016, Archival pigment print on Japanese Mulberry paper, Edition of 45, signed and numbered, 91 x 73 cm

All her work relates to her ceramics, their decorative design, imagery and unusual use of various media, and can be seen as a way of exploring her painterly sensibility. For many years she has focused on the vase, which over time has become her most salient subject. For Woodman, the vase can be a vessel, a human body, and animal figure, a metaphor, or an art-historical reference. Painting, particularly in recent years, plays a key role in the work of Betty Woodman. Her later works are large, colourful drawings and paintings on handmade paper or canvas that combine graphite, ink and lacquer with terra sigillata and wax. Her work alludes to and blends numerous sources, including Minoan and Egyptian art, Greek and Etruscan sculpture, Tang Dynasty works, majolica and Sèvres porcelain, Italian Baroque architecture, and the paintings of Bonnard, Picasso and Matisse.

Video: The Making of Wallpaper 9 – Betty Woodman

The ICA exhibition follows her first solo museum show in Italy, at the Museo Marino Marini in Florence which is the artist’s second home and where she has been living and working for six months of every year for over 50 years. Although each exhibition will have a bespoke selection of works, they will both focus on her recent production, especially works made after 2006, the year of her major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, while taking stock of her continued relevance to contemporary art and her importance among post-World War II artists.

Curated by Vincenzo de Bellis with the ICA. Supported by the Betty Woodman Exhibition Supporters Circle including Shane Akeroyd, David Kordansky Gallery, Salon 94 and the Zabludowicz Collection.


Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall – London SW1Y 5AH

Exhibitions are open 11am – 6pm, except Thursday, 11am – 9pm. Closed on Mondays.


About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: