Garth Clark’s friendship with Beatrice Wood began in 1978, when he interviewed her for his book A Century of Ceramics in the United States: 1878 – 1978. It was a turning point for both. Wood, a ceramic artist and famously free spirit of the Dada era, was 85 years old. Although she was still producing pottery, her sales were slow and she despaired over her financial future. Clark, a much admired art historian and author, became her patron and close friend. Three years later, when the Garth Clark Gallery opened in Los Angeles, its premiere exhibition was Beatrice Wood: A Very Private View. The show- a financial and commercial success – was the first of dozens of Beatrice Wood exhibitions hosted by Clark over the next seventeen years, until her passing in 1998 at 105 years of age.
Now three years after her death, Clark has produced a lavishly illustrated memoir of his cherished friend. Gilded Vessel presents Wood’s incomparable ceramic forms in photographs of exceptional beauty and clarity; it is the first book to feature this work extensively in large-format color reproductions. Biographical photographs document her friendships with fellow artists ranging from Marcel Duchamp to Anais Nin to Lily Tomlin. These images are perfectly complemented by Clark’s wry and affectionate narrative.
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