8 October – 30 November 2002
Bernard Leach is generally acknowledged as the father of studio pottery. This exhibition takes a broad look at the diverse range of Bernard Leach's artistic activities, and includes work from Japan and Britain. It emphasises the importance of Leach's intimate understanding of Japan and how he immersed himself in Japanese culture. Born in the east and educated in the west, Leach saw himself as a conduit between the two cultures and constantly searched for wider acceptance of civilisations that seemed so different.
The exhibition includes pieces not previously shown in public and draws on major collections from England and Wales. Examples of works by Japanese potters associated with Bernard Leach such as Hamada Shoji and Kawai Kanjiro will be included. With over 180 exhibits of pots, drawings, etchings and jewellery, Bernard Leach - Concept & Form presents a fresh assessment of Leach's artistic output that places him among the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. In identifying the pivotal role he played in the development and appreciation of 20th century decorative art, the show affirms his role as one of the most important artists and theorists of modern times.
The exhibition is curated by the potter and art critic Emmanuel Cooper, and presented by Asia House in conjunction with Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance. A 36 page colour catalogue is available including a 2000 word article by the curator and illustrations of over 20 of the works on display. The exhibition is sponsored by Bonhams.