James Turrell’s Lapsed Quaker Ware Series
At FOG Design + Art in January 2019, Pace Gallery is honored to present ceramic and cabinetry works by renowned artist James Turrell. While Turrell is best known for his monumental and ambitious works engaging the properties of light and space, Pace’s presentation at FOG will reveal another facet of his practice. The core of Pace’s FOG exhibition is the artist’s Lapsed Quaker Ware series—rarely exhibited works that Turrell made in collaboration with Irish ceramicist Nicholas Mosse and with furniture maker Bill Burke. The Lapsed Quaker Ware presentation will also be accompanied by several of the artist’s prints related to his ongoing Roden Crater project, as well as a light installation piece from 2017.
Raised as a Quaker, Turrell returned to the faith later in life as an “un-lapsed” Quaker, and this series pays homage to his religious upbringing. A collaboration between Turrell and Mosse, who was also raised in the Quaker tradition, the idea for the series came during a trip to Yorkshire where they discovered an 18th-century basalt pottery known as “Funeral or Quaker Ware” and were inspired to reconstruct it for the contemporary period. Turrell studied the influence of early Quaker potters and Mosse, who earlier had begun to investigate engine turning techniques, set to work recreating the original technology used to produce the ware. The series includes serving bowls, tea pots, cups and saucers, plates, and a jug, and since its first creation in 1998, it has been shown and used in Japan and Mexico. Complementing ceramic ware presentation are the handmade wood table and cupboard, made through a collaboration between Turrell and Burke. Capturing the distinct spirit of FOG Design + Art, Pace’s exhibition celebrates the confluence of art and design through the collaborative work of one of the gallery’s leading artists.