Bernard Leach: Life and Work

ISBN: 9780300099294
Artist(s): Bernard Leach
Author(s): Emmanuel Cooper
Format: hardback
Edition: First
Year published: 2003
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 488 pages
Illustrations: 68 b/w and 27 colour illustrations

Author(s) Biographies:


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A biography of one of the most influential potters of the 20th century, an artist who lived in turmoil while creating pots of serenity and beauty. Widely recognized as the father of studio pottery, Bernard Leach (1887-1979) played a pioneering role in creating an identity for artist potters in Britain and around the world. Born in the East (Hong Kong) and educated in the West (England), throughout his life Leach perceived himself as a courier between the disparate cultures. His exquisite pots reflect the inspiration he drew from East and West as well as his response to the basic tenets of modernism – truth to materials, the importance of function to form, and simplicity of decoration. This biography provides a detailed account of Leach’s life and its relation to his art. Emmanuel Cooper, himself a potter, draws on a wealth of documents and the recollections of the artist’s family, friends and students to tell Leach’s story. Cooper explores Leach’s working methods, the themes of his pottery, his writings and philosophy, his recognition in Japan and Britain, and his continuing legacy, bringing into focus a complex man who captured in his work as a potter the “still centre” that always eluded him in his tumultuous personal life.


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