Exhibition sponsored by
Mary Lou and Andrew Abruzzese
The Pineville Tavern
‘I want to make cold hard porcelain warm-blooded,’ says ceramic sculptor Marian Pritchard, who has spent several decades breathing form and life into lifeless clay. One of the Philadelphia region’s most accomplished ceramic artists, Pritchard has focused mainly on her medium’s earliest archetype, the vessel. Though she honors the functional side of this ancient form, she has also made it her own, having mastered the subtle art of imbuing and inhabiting a familiar object with her thought and spirit. Some of her vessels are gently contoured and graceful, with a perfect balance between stillness and movement. Others evoke a rougher and more turbulent persona, with oddly threatening spikes and darker colors. In recent years Pritchard has explored the intersection of natural and man-made forms, creating Zen-like meditations that unite competing and contradictory forces, using hand-crafted ceramic stones artfully balanced on geometrical bases. Far from being mere visual exercises, these works hint at a nuanced, deeply-rooted emotional life grounded in solitude and contemplation.
Marian Pritchard learned her craft at several institutions including the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and has taught ceramics at the Community College of Philadelphia and Swarthmore College, as well as craft history at the Moore College of Art and Design. Her work has been included in dozens of exhibits in Philadelphia and beyond, and is in the collections of the CIGNA Corporation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.