The exuberant and spontaneous ceramic artwork of Betty Woodman takes many different forms, from towering vases to wall murals, from triptychs of thrown and glazed ceramics to delicate small porcelains. In a major one-person exhibit presented throughout the Frank Lloyd Gallery, Woodman will show six of her colorful and painterly ceramic sculptures. Works will range in scale and complexity, from recent large-scale installations to groupings of two or three sculptural vessels.
Woodman has exhibited her work since the late 1960s and has had over eighty one-person shows. Her work is in over forty public collections. Woodman has long been recognized as one of the major figures in ceramic sculpture. Betty Woodman's work will be the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from June 5, 2006 through October 1, 2006. The artist resides and works in New York City and Antella, Italy.
The professor of philosophy and writer Arthur Danto has commented,
"Woodman's art so magnificently transcends the boundary between art and craft, drawing its power from both, that quite apart from the immense pleasure her work gives me, I admire her example since I too have struggled with such a boundary, the one that separates two modes of writing - philosophy and literature."
Woodman's well-known work often uses imagery derived from the garden, depicting floral patterning in combination with textile design. However, her presentation is anything but simple, in that dimensionality and functionality are called into question. Woodman's treatment of the surface decoration takes into consideration the examples of painters such as Bonnard and Matisse. However, by exploding and de-constructing the supporting elements of her work, she creates wall-relief assemblage and murals.