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Artist Spotlight

Edmund de Waal

October 27–November 2, 2021

In his visual art and literary works, Edmund de Waal uses objects as vehicles for human narrative, emotion, and history. His installations of handmade porcelain vessels, often contained in minimalist structures, investigate themes of diaspora, memory, and materiality. Much of his practice is concerned with collecting and collections—how objects are brought together and dispersed—and with the application of craft and placement to the physical and conceptual transformation of interior space. Manifest across his work is a distinct aesthetic philosophy that puts the hand, touch, and thus the human above all else.

Launched in 2020, Artist Spotlight is presented once a month as a regular part of the gallery’s programming. Each Artist Spotlight highlights a work by an individual artist—made available exclusively online for forty-eight hours—together with new editorial features and selected archival content.

Artist Spotlight: Edmund de Waal features a new sculpture by the artist. For more information, please contact the gallery at collecting@gagosian.com.

Photo: Tom Jamieson

Photo: Tom Jamieson

Edmund de Waal, stone for two hands and water, 2021, Hornton stone, bamboo, and water, 27 ⅜ × 56 ¾ × 23 ⅝ inches (69.5 × 144 × 60 cm), installation view, Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Perry Green, England

The Thinking Hand

Edmund de Waal speaks with Richard Calvocoressi about touch in relation to art and our understanding of the world, and discusses the new stone sculptures he created for the exhibition This Living Hand: Edmund de Waal Presents Henry Moore, at the Henry Moore Studios & Gardens. Their conversation took place at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, in the context of the exhibition The Human Touch.

Edmund de Waal and Theaster Gates

Artist to Artist: Edmund de Waal and Theaster Gates

Join the artists for an extended conversation about their most recent exhibitions, their forebears in the world of ceramics, and the key role that history plays in their practices.

Installation view, Edmund de Waal: some winter pots, Gagosian, Davies Street

Edmund de Waal: some winter pots

Join the artist in his ceramics studio as he describes the impetus behind his exhibition in London and the importance of touch in the creation of these new works.

Edmund de Waal working in his studio.

Edmund de Waal: cold mountain clay

At his studio in London, Edmund de Waal speaks about his new body of work, created in the silence and solitude of lockdown. Composed of layers of porcelain slip inscribed with lines of verse by the poet Hanshan, these works are presented in cold mountain clay, de Waal’s first exhibition in Hong Kong.

Edmund de Waal, London, 2019

Edmund de Waal: psalm

Edmund de Waal speaks with Alison McDonald about the components of psalm, his two-part project in Venice. He details the influences behind the exhibition and reveals some of his hopes for the project.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1928. Photo: Lou Andreas-Salomé

Rainer Maria Rilke: Duino Elegies

Bobbie Sheng explores the symbiotic relationship between the poet and visual artists of his time and tracks the enduring influence of his poetry on artists working today.

Related News

Edmund de Waal. Photo: Tom Jamieson

Reading and Book Signing

Edmund de Waal

Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 7pm
Burlington Arcade, London

Join Gagosian for an evening with Edmund de Waal in celebration of de Waal +, his takeover of the Gagosian Shop in Burlington Arcade. The artist will give a short reading and then sign copies of his books, which will be available to purchase at the event. Composer Simon Fisher Turner, de Waal’s friend and collaborator, will be signing a limited number of copies of A Quiet Corner in Time, the 2020 album that marked the first time de Waal worked closely with a musician.

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Edmund de Waal. Photo: Tom Jamieson

Edmund de Waal, clogged only with music like the wheels of birds, I, 2022 © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Alzbeta Jaresova

Shop Takeover

Edmund de Waal

November 8–December 23, 2022
Gagosian Shop, London

Edmund de Waal is taking over the Gagosian Shop in London’s historic Burlington Arcade with de Waal +, which brings together recent artworks, treasured objects, and a selection of books curated by the artist.

“I’ve always wanted to take over a bookshop,” de Waal remarks. “I’ve filled it with books, of course. And music and photography, pamphlets recording projects created over the last decade, writing on artists I adore and poetry that sustains me, collaborations with dancers and composers, editions I have made for the British Art Medal Society and for the Victoria & Albert Museum. And I’ve added some pots that I have just made.”

In his interlinked sculptural, writing, and research practices, de Waal studies and utilizes objects as vehicles for human emotion and history. His installations of handmade porcelain vessels, often contained in minimalist structures, investigate themes of diaspora, memory, and materiality

In addition to working across mediums, de Waal has also collaborated with museums, poets, performers, musicians, and other artists. Offering viewers a glimpse of his varied interests and inspirations, de Waal says, I hope you come and find a corner to sit and read.”

Edmund de Waal, clogged only with music like the wheels of birds, I, 2022 © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Alzbeta Jaresova

Installation view, The Hare with Amber Eyes, Jewish Museum, New York, November 19, 2021–May 15, 2022. Photo: Iwan Baan

In Conversation

Edmund de Waal
Sandee Brawarsky

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 6:30pm EDT

In conjunction with the exhibition The Hare with Amber Eyes, on view at the Jewish Museum, New York, through May 15, 2022, Edmund de Waal will be in conversation with journalist and author Sandee Brawarsky as part of the James L. Weinberg Distinguished Lecture series. The pair will discuss de Waal’s recently published writings and their intricate mappings of objects and stories, as well as the exhibition and his ceramic installations that investigate themes of history, memory, identity, exile, and displacement. To join the online event, register at thejewishmuseum.org.

Installation view, The Hare with Amber Eyes, Jewish Museum, New York, November 19, 2021–May 15, 2022. Photo: Iwan Baan

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Museum Exhibitions

Edmund de Waal, atmosphere, 2014, installation view, Turner Contemporary, Margate, England © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Mike Bruce

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Edmund de Waal in
Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art

October 26, 2022–January 8, 2023
Hayward Gallery, London
www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Strange Clay is the first large-scale group exhibition in the United Kingdom to explore how contemporary artists have used clay in unexpected ways. The artworks, by twenty-three artists working across recent decades, range from small abstract works to large-scale installations, vary in finish and technique, and address topics including architecture, social justice, the body, the domestic, and the organic. Work by Edmund de Waal is included.

Edmund de Waal, atmosphere, 2014, installation view, Turner Contemporary, Margate, England © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Mike Bruce

Edmund de Waal, the night office, 2022, installation view, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, England © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Chris Lacey

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Edmund de Waal
we live here, forever taking leave

June 15–October 23, 2022
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, England
waddesdon.org.uk

This exhibition showcases new and celebrated works in porcelain by Edmund de Waal. Powerfully thoughtful, the installations explore the interconnected relations between faith, history, displacement, learning, and archives—themes that feel more relevant than ever and that are woven into Waddesdon Manor’s own fabric and existence.

Edmund de Waal, the night office, 2022, installation view, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, England © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Chris Lacey

Edmund de Waal, muet I, II, and III, all 2021, installation view, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Christophe Dellière © MAD, Paris

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Edmund de Waal
Lettres à Camondo

October 7, 2021–May 15, 2022
Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris
madparis.fr

This exhibition, titled in French after Edmund de Waal’s recently published book Letters to Camondo, is designed as an intimate dialogue between de Waal’s works and the historic furnishings held in the Musée Nissim de Camondo, former residence of Count Moïse de Camondo, whose family’s tragic history is recounted in de Waal’s epistolary novel. De Waal presents new installations made especially for the museum’s rooms and collections, which have remained unaltered since 1936.

Edmund de Waal, muet I, II, and III, all 2021, installation view, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Christophe Dellière © MAD, Paris

Installation view, The Hare with Amber Eyes, Jewish Museum, New York, November 19, 2021–May 15, 2022. Photo: Iwan Baan

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The Hare with Amber Eyes

November 19, 2021–May 15, 2022
Jewish Museum, New York
thejewishmuseum.org

The Hare with Amber Eyes tells the story of the Ephrussi family, celebrated in the best-selling memoir of the same name by Edmund de Waal, and showcases the breadth and depth of their illustrious collection. The exhibition explores the family’s rise to prominence and splendor in the first half of the nineteenth century, the life of the prolific collector and historian of art Charles Ephrussi (1849–1905), the interwar years, and finally World War II, when the family lost its fortune and collection to Nazi looting.

Installation view, The Hare with Amber Eyes, Jewish Museum, New York, November 19, 2021–May 15, 2022. Photo: Iwan Baan

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