From October 26 to January 8, 2023, the Hayward Gallery will present Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art, the first large-scale group exhibition in the UK to explore how contemporary artists have used the medium of clay in inventive ways.
Given the recent surge of interest in ceramics by artists around the world, as well as countless people who enjoy sculpting clay as a pastime, Strange Clay offers a timely reflection on this vital and popular medium.
Featuring 23 international and multi-generational artists, from ceramic legends Betty Woodman, Beate Kuhn, Ron Nagle and Ken Price, to a new generation of artists pushing the boundaries of ceramics today, the exhibition will explore the expansive potential of clay through a variety of
playful as well as socially-engaged artworks.
In a new commission for the exhibition, called Till Death Do Us Part (2022), Lindsey Mendick reflects on the ambivalence of domestic settings and relationships, the home is represented as a battleground where vermin infiltrate every corner of the house.
David Zink Yi’s giant ceramic squid, Untitled (Architeuthis) (2010) sprawls across the floor of the gallery, spanning more than 4.8 metres and lying in what appears to be a pool of its own ink.
Curated by Dr Cliff Lauson, Strange Clay will feature eccentric abstract sculptures, large immersive installations, fantastical otherworldly figures and uncanny evocations of everyday objects.
The artworks vary in scale, finish and technique, and address topics that range from architecture to social justice, the body, the domestic, the political and the organic.
Dr Lauson said: “Strange Clay brings together some of the most exciting artists working in ceramics in recent years.
“Using innovative methods and techniques, they push the medium to its physical and conceptual limits, producing imaginative artworks
that surprise and provoke in equal measure.”
Pictured: David Zink Yi – Untitled (Architeuthis) Picture: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich