Elizabeth Fritsch added a new vocabulary, both of form and surface abstraction, to studio ceramics, her hand-built vessels moving both in and out of symmetry. Her work has been characterised both by sculptural austerity and vivid painted pieces with complex geometric rhythms, adding a great sense of inner movement. Fritsch’s palette, ranging from simple whites to varied prisms of colouration on matt surfaces is reminiscent of Italian Renaissance fresco painting, of the naturally decorative qualities of artists from Masaccio to Piero della Francesca.
Her jugs, cups, bottles and vases, built up and altered, forms flattened or cut into leans and ellipses, shows the gentle power of ceramics to alter our perception of volume and space, the relationship of surface and silhouette, the drawing of edges. Born in Wales in 1940, Fritsch studied music at the Royal Academy of Music before going to the RCA in 1968 to study ceramics. She lives and works in London.