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8 Women Artists Using Ceramics to Subvert Art Traditions


Sally Saul, Sultry Day, 2022. Courtesy of Venus Over Manhattan.

Sally Saul, Sultry Day, 2022. Courtesy of Venus Over Manhattan.

Artist Sally Saul had been working in ceramics for over 30 years without critical recognition before recently experiencing a reappraisal from the contemporary art market. “Sally Saul: Knit of Identity”at Rachel Uffner Gallery in 2017, the artist’s first solo show in New York, received wide acclaim. In 2022, she was added to the roster of Venus Over Manhattan. Originally turning toward clay via San Francisco’s Funk movement, Saul refrains from showy ostentation in her work, with presidents, saints, and the natural world all depicted with the same equitable honesty.

Regarding the pieces featured in “Knit of Identity,” Saul wrote: “Memory, or an editing of memory, informs several of my pieces…fragments that evoke a time and place, refuge, physicality, and act as a talisman.” In Bewildered and Sultry Day (both 2022), Saul creates Botero-esque silhouettes, employing a faux-naïf figuration to depict the human form. Saul’s most recent ceramic figurines are melancholic, reflective of the environmental destruction described in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962). Often open-mouthed and animated, the works are active guides through Saul’s constructed world. 


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