Ceramic Form No. 25

Leza McVey American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Leza McVey was one of the leaders in moving the traditional ceramic vessel form toward asymmetrical and freeform forms. Cleveland-born, McVey studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and married a fellow student, William McVey. An important turning point for her career was through her studies with Maija Grotell at Cranbrook. She continued to make vessels, but rather than throwing them on the wheel, she began to build them by hand, and so doing eschewed the traditional emphasis on symmetry. This work, while having the pretense of a vessel with a stopper, is one of a series she created, titled “Ceramic Forms.” Zoomorphic in shape, they make reference to different animals, but are essentially abstractions. McVey’s work is also indebted to the sculptures of Henry Moore, an exhibition of whose work she saw in 1949 during a trip to New York.

Ceramic Form No. 25, Leza McVey (American, Cleveland, Ohio, 1907–1984, Cleveland, Ohio), Stoneware, American

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