Modern Ceramics

Cowan's has partnered with Garth Clark and Mark DelVecchio, internationally renowned dealers, authors, and scholars, to present semi-annual Modern Ceramics Auctions. These are the first regular auctions in the United States focused solely on modern and contemporary ceramics.

Department Director

Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio, Directors
Specialist

Contact Information
We are always accepting exceptional consignments.
Contact Maureen Buri at ceramics@cowans.com

Garth Clark
Garth Clark is the author of over 50 books and 250 essays on 20th century and contemporary ceramics. He has received numerous honors for his work including being made a Fellow the Royal College of Art, London and honorary doctorates from Staffordshire University in Britain and the Kansas City Art Institute among others. In 2005 he was the recipient of the College Art Association's Mather Award for distinguished art journalism. In 1981, together with Mark Del Vecchio he founded the Garth Clark Gallery in Los Angeles and then New York, and Kansas City. In 2007 the gallery was closed and a new entity Clark+DelVecchio, private dealers, was formed in Santa Fe, NM.

Mark DelVecchio
Mark DelVecchio is the author of the highly-acclaimed "Post Modern Ceramics". He has received the Visionaries award from the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, a lifetime achievement award from the Friends of Contemporary Ceramics and an honorary doctorate from the Kansas City Art Institute. He has directed the Garth Clark Gallery since 1981 overseeing the presentation of more than six hundred exhibitions during the life of the gallery.  Together with Dawn Bennett and Garth Clark he organized the massive Ceramic Millennium Conference in Amsterdam in 1999 that attracted 56 national delegations and 3,500 attendees. He is now director of Clark+DelVecchio in Santa Fe, NM.

 


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Harry Callahan (1912-1999)
Lot # 126 - Harry Callahan (1912-1999)
Detroit (Grasses)
1941
gelatin silver print
signed in pencil l.r. (beneath mat) 
housed in a Kulicke frame
8.5 x 11.75 in. (sight)
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Japanese Temple Landscape Woodblock Print by Ishiwata Koitsu
Lot # 244 - Japanese Temple Landscape Woodblock Print by Ishiwata Koitsu
Ishiwata Koitsu (Japanese, 1897-1987).  20th century Japanese woodblock print depicting a rain landscape with stairs leading to a temple. Artist seal l.l. Jizuri seal in the left margin; 14.75 x 10.25 in. (sight).
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Miner Library: [TILES] 20th Century Tiles 
Lot # 571 - Miner Library: [TILES] 20th Century Tiles 
Lot of thirteen miscellaneous books on 20th Century tiles, including:

Barcelona Tile Designs Pepin van Roojen
Ceramic Roofware Hans van Lemmen
20th Century Tiles Hans van Lemmen and Chris Blanchett
Industrial Tiles Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society
William De Morgan Tiles Jon Catleugh
Batchelder Robert Winter
Catalina Tile Lee Rosenthal
Art Nouveau Tiles Hans van Lemmen and Bart Verbrugge
Dutch Tiles C.H. de Jonge
Tile Panels of Spain 1500-1650 Alice Wilson Frothingham
Portuguese Tiles from the National Museum of Azulejo, Lisbon Joao Castel-Branco Pereira
Dutch Tiles Dingeman Korf
Dutch Tiles Philadelphia Museum of Art
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Michael Imes (USA; 1950)
Lot # 17 - Michael Imes (USA; 1950)
Pitcher with Elongated Spout
ca 1980
Salt Glazed Stoneware; ht. 9.75, wd. 9.5, dp. 7 in.

Michael Imes ran Big Lick Pottery in New Haven, CT from 1980-87 and now lives in Pewaukee, WI where he continues to work. This handsome example is pinch and coil formed with a rich wood ash glaze.
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Midcentury Floor Lamp
Lot # 153 - Midcentury Floor Lamp
American, 20th century. A matt black floor lamp with adjustable neck; ht. 58 in.
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Virginia Marsh (1945, USA)
Lot # 197 - Virginia Marsh (1945, USA)
Untitled Vessel
Stoneware; ht. 9.5 in, lg. 13.5 in.
Artist stamp at foot.

Virginia Marsh taught at the University of Louisville, KY from 1975-1995.  She is currently a Resident Artist at the University of Dallas and has been teaching part-time since 2010.  Marsh and husband, Tom Marsh (1934-1991), often signed their work with the same stamp so her work is often misidentified. 
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Edna Arnow (1921-2013, USA)
Lot # 6 - Edna Arnow (1921-2013, USA)
Black Vase 
ht. 9, dia. 5.5 inches
Artist signature on base

An exceptionally rare and handsome vase by this Bay Area artist.   
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Richard Batterham (1936; Britain)
Lot # 40 - Richard Batterham (1936; Britain)
Pair of Faceted Vases 
ca 2001-06
Glazed stoneware
Small ht. 3.5, dia 3.5 in.
Large ht. 7.25, dia. 4.5 in.
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Abuja Pottery Oil Jars and Pitcher, by Tanko Mohammud (Nigeria)
Lot # 24 - Abuja Pottery Oil Jars and Pitcher, by Tanko Mohammud (Nigeria)
Two Oil Jars and Pitcher
ca 1960s
Glazed stoneware
Oil jars, largest ht. 4.5, dia. 4 in.
Pitcher, ht. 5.5, dia. 4.75 in. 
Each with Artist ATM stamp and Pottery stamp at foot. 
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<i>Moon and Half Dome</i> by Ansel Adams
Lot # 159 - Moon and Half Dome by Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984).  Moon and Half Dome, printed by Alan Ross from the 1960 negative.  Silver gelatin print, with full stamp on verso and Ross graphite signed initials, "Special Edition".  Image size 9.25 x 7.25 in.
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Campbell's Shopping Bag by Andy Warhol
Lot # 374 - Campbell's Shopping Bag by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), 1966.  A shopping bag with lithograph in colors, printed for Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston exhibit. Printed by Guild Paper Products Co., Bronx NY. Signed by artist at bottom.; bag measures 19 5/8 x 17 in.
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Potters' Market: John Maltby Two Matching Bowls 
Lot # 269 - Potters' Market: John Maltby Two Matching Bowls 
(Born 1936, England)

ca 1988

Stoneware; largest, dia. 14.25 in. Both signed.

From the Collection of Dorothy Miner.
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Three Large Panels, by Vin Giuliani
Lot # 342 - Three Large Panels, by Vin Giuliani
Vin Giuliani (American, 1930-1976).  A group of three modernist architectural panels, depicting architectural scenes.  Each acrylic on masonite, signed l.r.  One titled Blue Piazza and dated 1956.  Another titled Courtyard and dated 1951; largest 47 1/2 x 74 in. (sight).
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Ken Price (1935, USA)
Lot # 55 - Ken Price (1935, USA)
Geometric Cup (Untitled)
ca 1973
Glazed ceramic; ht. 5.25, wd. 5, dp. 4.5 in.

The cup has been a fascination for Price since he began making functional pottery in Los Angles in the early 1950s, eventually joining Voulkos at the Otis Art Institute in 1957. One of his three shows at the Ferus Gallery, Irving Blum’s legendary breakthrough space in Los Angeles, was devoted to the cup and in that decade he made many iconic works from the Turtle Cup to the Snail Cup. Today the work he shows at Matthew Marks Gallery and Xavier Hufkens in Brussels involves a different non-specific biomorphic form. But the series Geometric Cups to which this work belongs, made in Taos, New Mexico between 1972 and 1973, are considered to be on the top rung of this artist's oeuvre. Critic Peter Schjeldahl wrote of this work: “An incredible colorist, Price projects a crazy sense that each shape and size in his work is decided by a color’s will to make itself comfortable. The glazed planes of his geometric cup forms——broadcast self-fulfilling glee of color... be present in exactly the right amount, snug within a clever polygon. These objects would fit in your hand, and yet when you are looking at them with open senses they loom, crowding out the rest of the universe.” Their slyness, an almost schizophrenic quality in that with any change in vantage point they seem to be an entirely different work gives them a power, complexity, richness and sophistication that belie their modest scale. These are now extremely rare and none have come onto the auction market in several years.

Revered as one of the most significant contemporary artists of our time, Price will be the subject of a major and eagerly awaited retrospective, organized by the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, opening in 2012 and traveling in 2013 to the Nasher Sculpture Museum, Dallas and the Metropolitan Museum of art.

References: Carter Ratcliff, “Notes on Small Sculpture,” Artforum, April, 1974.

Lebow, Edward. Ken Price. Houston: The Menil Collection and Houston Fine Arts Press, 1992.

Scheldahl, Peter. “The Most Beautiful Show in Town,” Village Voice, May 17 1994.

Knight, Christopher. “Small is Beautiful”, Art Reviews, Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2002.

Price, Ken. “A Talk With Slides,” Chinati Foundation Newsletter, Volume 10, 2005.

Celmins, Vija and Higgs, Matthew. Ken Price. Gottingen: Germany: Steidl Publishers, 2006.

Clark, Garth. “Taos Man,” Trend, Fall, 2011.
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Miner Library: [JAPAN] General Japanese Ceramics 
Lot # 501 - Miner Library: [JAPAN] General Japanese Ceramics 
Japan, includes fourteen books:

Tadanari Mitsuoka Ceramic Art of Japan
Maria Penkala A Survey of Japanese Ceramics
Soetsu Yanagi The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty
Herbert H. Sanders The World of Japanese Ceramics
John Ayers, Oliver Impey, J.V.G. Mallet Porcelain for Palaces: The Fashion for Japan in Europe, 1650-1750
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, ed. Japanese Painted Porcelain: Modern Masterpieces in Overglaze Enamel
Adalbert Klein A Connoisseur's Guide to Japanese Ceramics
Asia House Tea Taste in Japanese Art
P.L.W. Arts Japanese Porcelain
Tsugio Mikami The Art of Japanese Ceramics
Hugo Munstenberg The Ceramic Art of Japan: A Handbook for Collectors
Martin Lerner Blue and White: Early Japanese Export Ware
Friedrich Reichel Early Japanese Porcelain
Pat Barr The Coming of the Barbarians: The Opening of Japan to the West
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<i>Rookwood</i> Peacock Decorated Vase by Sara Sax
Lot # 201 - Rookwood Peacock Decorated Vase by Sara Sax
American (Cincinnati), 1925. An Iris glaze vase decorated with peacock feathers, by Sara Sax. With impressed Rookwood mark, 1925 date, shape 2721, and incised artist's initials; ht. 6 1/4 in.
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Ralph Bacerra (1938-2008, USA)
Lot # 167 - Ralph Bacerra (1938-2008, USA)
Untitled Square Charger with Birds 
2005
Whiteware; 15.75 in. square
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Miner Library: [AMERICAN] Arts & Crafts Pottery 
Lot # 589 - Miner Library: [AMERICAN] Arts & Crafts Pottery 
American, includes five books and exhibition catalogues on Arts & Crafts period ceramics:

two copies of Fulper Art Pottery: An Aesthetic Appreciation, 1909-1929
Jessie Poesch, Newcomb Pottery: An Enterprise for Southern Women, 1895-1940
Jacob Julius Scharvogel
Nancy E. Green and Jessie Poesch, Arthur Wesley Dow and American Arts & Crafts.
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Potters' Market: Various Unknown Artists: Group of Ten Bowls and Cups 
Lot # 307 - Potters' Market: Various Unknown Artists: Group of Ten Bowls and Cups 
A group of ten studio ceramic bowls and tumblers by various unknown artists; largest: ht. 5, wd. 4 in.
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Midcentury Danish Armchairs
Lot # 148 - Midcentury Danish Armchairs
Danish, 20th century. Two armchairs with blue cushions; oah 29 in.
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