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Artist Studio: Edmund de Waal



Wednesday 14th February


at 2:30 pm

in West Norwood.

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Wednesday 14th February 2018

at 2:30 pm



West Norwood

London SE27 0DQ


It will be an immense privilege to meet Edmund de Waal in his studio and to admire the works of this very talented artist.

De Waal is best known for his large scale installations of porcelain vessels, which have been exhibited in many museums around the world, such as Tate Britain and Victoria & Albert Museum. Much of his recent work has been concerned with ideas of collecting and collections, and how objects are kept together, lost, stolen and dispersed. His work comes out of a dialogue between minimalism, architecture and sound, and is informed by his passion for literature.

Come and meet Edmund de Waal: potter, writer, alchemist.


Edmund de Waal’s art and literature speak to his enduring fascination with the nature of objects, and the narratives of their collection and display. A potter since childhood and an acclaimed writer, his obsession with porcelain or “white gold” has led to encounters with many people and places that help deepen his understanding of the nature of the material. De Waal is best known for his large scale installations of porcelain vessels, which have been exhibited in many museums around the world. Much of his recent work has been concerned with ideas of collecting and collections, and how objects are kept together, lost, stolen and dispersed. His work comes out of a dialogue between minimalism, architecture and sound, and is informed by his passion for literature.

Edmund de Waal was born in 1964 in Nottingham, England. He received his B.A. Honors in English Literature in 1983 from the University of Cambridge, England, and his postgraduate diploma in Japanese Language in 1992 from the University of Sheffield, England. De Waal completed his Senior Research Fellow in Ceramics in 2002 from the University of Westminster, London. Recent solo museum exhibitions include “Ceramic Rooms,” Geffrye Museum, London (2001); New Art Centre, Roche Court, England (2004); “Arcanum,” National Museum Cardiff, Wales (2005); “Vessel, perhaps,” Millgate Museum, England (2006); Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, England (2007); “Signs & Wonders,” Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2009); “Night Work,” Gallery at Roche Court, New Art Centre, England (2010); Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, England (2012); “On White: Porcelain Stories from the Fitzwilliam,” Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, England (2013); “Another Hour,” Southwark Cathedral, London (2014); “Atmosphere,” Turner Contemporary, England (2014); “Lichtzwang,” Theseus Temple, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (2014); “The lost and the found: work from Orkney,” New Art Centre, England (2015); and “white: a project by Edmund de Waal,” Royal Academy of Arts, London. De Waal’s most recent solo gallery exhibitions include “Edmund de Waal: ten thousand things,” Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills (2016); and “Irrkunst,” Max Hetzler Gallery, Berlin (2016). His work has been shown and collected by museums throughout the world, including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt; National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh; and Victoria & Albert Museum, London. In 2016, De Waal curated “During the Night” at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

His acclaimed memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes was the winner of the Costa Biography Award and the RSL Ondaatje prize. In 2015, de Waal was awarded a prestigious Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction by Yale University. His latest book The White Road: Journey into an Obsession was published in November of 2015.


Born in 1964, Nottingham, England.

Lives and works in London, England.


2002 – 
Senior Research Fellow in Ceramics, University of Westminster, London, England.
1992 – 
Post-graduate Diploma, Japanese Language, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England
1983 – 
BA Honors, English Literature, Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
1981-83 – 
Apprenticeship with Geoffrey Whiting.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:


  • Edmund de Waal: Lettres de Londres. Espace Muraille, Geneva, Switzerland.


  • During the Night (Curated by Edmund de Waal). Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
  • Edmund de Waal: ten thousand things. Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA.
  • Irrkunst. Max Hetzler gallery, Berlin, Germany.


  • The lost and the found: work from Orkney. New Art Centre, Salisbury, England.
  • wavespeech (with David Ward). Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Scotland.


  • Atmosphere. Turner Contemporary, Margate, England.
  • Lichtzwang. Theseus Temple, organized by Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
  • Edmund de Waal: Atmosphere. Turner Contemporary, Margate, England.
  • Another Hour. Southwark Cathedral, London, England.


  • On White: Porcelain Stories from the Fitzwilliam. University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England.
  • Edmund de Waal: Atemwende. Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Ave. New York, NY.




Selected Books and Catalogues:


  • Budak, Adam, Michaela Pejčochová, Eva Bendová, Oldřich Bytřický, Generosity – The Art of Giving: White Rabbit: The Companion. Prague: National Gallery in
  • Simon, Joan. Edmund de Waal: Ten Thousand Things. New York: Gagosian Gallery.


  • Francis, Mark, ed. Edmund de Waal: atmosphere. Margate: Turner Contemporary
  • de Waal, Edmund, Emma Crichton-Miller, Colm Toíbín, Peter Carey and A.S. Byatt. Edmund de Waal. London: Phaidon.


  • Francis, Mark, ed. Edmund de Waal: Atemwende. New York: Gagosian Gallery.


  • de Waal, Edmund. Edmund de Waal at Waddesdon. London: Rothschild Foundation. Tóibín, Colm. Edmund De Waal: a thousand hours. London: Alan Cristea Gallery.


  • de Waal, Edmund and A.S. Byatt. From Zero. London: Alan Cristea Gallery.


  • Beighton, James, Edmund de Waal, Elizabeth Fisher, Jorunn Veiteberg and Helen Waters. Edmund de Waal at Kettle’s Yard, MIMA and Elsewhere. Cambridge: Kettle’s Yard.


  • de Waal, Edmund. Arcanum: Mapping 18th-Century European Porcelain. Cardiff: National Museum & Gallery.
  • de Waal, Edmund and Graham Murrell. Edmund de Waal: A Line Around a Shadow. Bowness-on-Windermere: Lakeland Arts Trust.


  • de Waal, Edmund. Modern Home: An Intervention. Totnes: Dartington Hall.

Selected Articles and Reviews:


  • “Edmund de Waal’s homage to John Cage in LA.” Phaidon. Jan. 6.
  • Mascia London, Monica. “Edmund de Waal in Mostra alla Gagosian Gallery di Los Angeles.” Elle Decor Italia, Feb. 10.
  • Miranda, Carolina A. “Datebook: Ceramic Installations, Korean and American Minimalism, Punk-inspired Pieces.” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 15.
  • Silverblatt, Michael. “Edmund de Waal: The White Road.” KCRW’s Bookworm, Jan. 28.
  • Slenske, Michael. “Back to Black: Edmund de Waal Plays with Dark Glazes in New Body of Work.” Wallpaper, Jan. 14.


    • Hallet, Florence. “Edmund de Waal: I Placed a Jar, Brighton Festival.” The Arts Desk, May 19.
    • Patterson, Christina. “The Great Waal of China.” The Times, Sept. 12.
    • Eshun, Ekow. “The White Road: A Pilgrimage of Sorts by Edmund de Waal, Book Review.” The Independent, Sept. 17.
    • Cooke, Rachel. “The White Road: A pilgrimage of Sorts Review – Edmund de Waal’s Fascinating But Frustrating History.” The Guardian, Oct. 4.
    • La Force, Thessaly. “The European Obsession with Porcelain.” The New Yorker, Nov
    • Downing, Ben. “The Shape of Obsession.” The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 25. Anderson, Sam. “Thinking With His Hands.” The New York Times Magazine, Nov. 25


    • “Ten Questions for Edmund de Waal OBE.” Phaidon, Apr. 25.
    • Brent, Frances. “Keepers of Memory.” Modern Magazine, Spring.
    • 2009 Adamson, Glenn, Edmund De Waal, and Alun Graves. Signs & wonders: Edmund de Waal and the V&A Ceramics Galleries. London: V&A Publishing.
    • Buck, Louisa. “Louisa Buck – Newfoundlound down in South London.” The Art Newspaper, Oct. 10.
    • Byatt, AS. “Porcelain Ghosts.” The Guardian, May 3.
    • Edginton, Jude. “One man and his pots.” The Sunday Times Magazine, May 3.
    • McTwigan, Michael. “Edmund de Waal – Atemwende.” Ceramic Review, Mar/Apr.
    • Wullschlager, Jackie. “Lunch with the FT: Edmund de Waal.” Financial Times, Mar 28.


  • Calabrese, Nickolas. “Edmund de Waal: Atemwende.” Aesthetica, Oct–Nov.
  • Millar, Iain. “The Writer and the Potter: Edmund de Waal on his New York Debut.” The Daily Beast, Sep 12.
  • Murg, Stephanie. “Edmund de Waal’s ceramic installations go no show in New York.” Wallpaper*, Sep 16.
  • Vogel, Carol. “Poetry Written in Porcelain.” The New York Times, August 29.
  • Zwick, Tracy. “Porcelain Poetry: Edmund de Waal Debuts at Gagosian.” Art in America, Sep 12.


  • “Full of Gilt.” The Economist, May 8.
  • Calkin, Jessamy. “Edmund de Waal on his new exhibition, A Thousand Hours.” The Telegraph. September 28.
  • Crichton-Miller, Emma. “Regional Preview: Edmund de Waal at Waddesdon.” Royal Academy of Arts Magazine 115, Summer.
  • Rocco, Fiammetta. “Edmund de Waal’s Unfinished Business.” Intelligent Life, January/February.


  • Barnett, Laura. “Edmund de Waal: A Passion For Pots.” The Guardian, December 19.
  • Laity, Paul. “Edmund de Waal: A Life in Arts.” The Guardian, February 11.


  • Sexton, David. “The artist whose secret family history became the surprise book of the year.” London Evening Standard, December 10.

Books and Articles by the Artist:


  • de Waal, Edmund. The White Road: a pilgrimage of sorts. London: Chatto & Windus. 2012 de Waal, Edmund. “Lucie Rie: Modernist Potter by Emmanuel Cooper.” The Guardian, May 25.


  • de Waal, Edmund. “With These Hands.” Financial Times, March 11.
    de Waal, Edmund and Claudia Clare. The Pot Book. New York, NY: Phaidon.


  • de Waal, Edmund. The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family’s Century of Art and Loss.
    New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
    de Waal, Edmund. “My Hero Cy Twombly.” The Guardian, December 10.


  • de Waal, Edmund. 20th Century Ceramics. New York, NY: Thames & Hudson.


  • de Waal, Edmund. Bernard Leach. London, UK: Tate Gallery Publishing.