"My concern is with extracting essence rather than with experiment and exploration'
The great Hans Coper (1920 - 1981) is this weeks Artist Focus alongside the launch of our latest exhbition Hans Coper, Lucie Rie and Pupils.
Hans Coper was a key figure of the British Studio Pottery movement known for his distinctly dramatic and sculptural forms. He was an innovative experimentor and champion of the medium in his teaching. He exhibited internationally and has work in many leading public collections in the UK and around the world.
The exhibition highlights Hans Coper as a leader in the development of ceramics in the twentieth century as well as teacher to the next generation of studio potters. Coper taught at Camberwell and then at Royal College of Art alongside his own teacher and mentor Lucie Rie (1902 - 1995).
There is very little published commentary from Coper about his work but this single paragraph from the Victoria and Albert Museum exhbition from 1969 provides something of his dictum: 'The wheel imposes its economy, dictates limits, provides momentum and continuity. Concentrating on continuous variations of simple themes I become part of the process; I am learning to operate a sensitive instrument which may be resonant to my experience of existence now - in this fantastic century. Practising a craft with ambiguous references to purpose and function one has occasion to face absurdity. More than anything, like a demented piano-tuner, one is trying to approximate a phantom pitch. One is apt to take refuge in pseudo-principles which crumble. Still, the routine of works remains. One deals with facts'