The use of clay as a medium in contemporary sculpture (1980- 2003)
This dissertation investigates the use of clay as a medium in contemporary sculpture made between 1980 and 2003. This research focuses specifically on discussing the artists' (both sculptors and ceramists) different approaches and attitudes to working with clay, from construction, manipulation, firing and glazing techniques through to their personal aesthetics and ideas. This dissertation examines how and why the contemporary sculptor trained in Fine Art is increasingly using clay as a medium in which to work. In addition, the candidate discusses the work of ceramic artists that have moved away from the constraints of earlier, more traditional, functional ceramics and have sought to push the boundaries of clay usage in terms of size, scale, mass and concept. Chapter One presents a broad historical overview of the use of clay in sculpture. This overview illustrates the depth and breadth of the use of clay in the making of sculpture, spanning the Nineteenth Century to the Twentieth Century, in order to highlight the significant shift in the use of clay in contemporary sculpture. Chapter Two introduces and discusses a number of contemporary sculptors who work in clay in different ways. Section One examines artists using clay and other materials in the creation of installations. These include Antony Gormley and Andy Goldsworthy. Section Two discusses those artists working with clay in large-scale, including Jun Kaneko and Wilma Cruise. The architectural and environmental use of clay materials is discussed in Section Three; this includes artists John Roloff, who works with the kiln as sculpture and Joyce Kohl, who works with adobe assemblages and steel.