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  • Catalogue Essay

    The title was shared by a number of boxes of different shapes, with different decoration and made in porcelain as well as pottery, all of them posing questions of identity: this version is in slabbed stoneware. The title is ironic, because, although hollow, the only access to the ‘box’ is through two small openings into which the lugs of the lid fit – it is a container, but a useless one.  The decoration echoes the kind of semantic conundrum favoured by Magritte and others. The side is neatly stamped STONE, HORIZON and BOX, and these are truths.  The applied motif was cast from a stone, but is that its true meaning? – is it an embryo, or a cloud suspended as in Magritte, above a horizon? Does the blue represent the sea, or the sky? We ask in vain.

30

‘Box For Hans Arp’

1974
Stoneware, white slip, diffuser applied blue and green glaze over impressed text.
28 cm. (11 in.) high
Painted with ‘GB 74’.

Estimate
£1,200 - 1,800 

Design

28 April 2010
London