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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)




An Offering: Vessels and Votives in Contemporary Ceramics

Shaping humble clay into transcendent forms fit for the divine is a tradition as old as ceramics themselves. Drawing inspiration from the ancient vernacular of forms and techniques, contemporary artists work with clay to create sculpture that, to our eyes, is both instinctively familiar and unexpectedly fresh.

Hidden within the form of an amphora, a silhouette of a woman’s head materializes in Magdalene Odundo’s Vessel. Using shapes and hues reflecting Egyptian and Greek precedents, Odundo eschews the wheel in favor of hand-building her vessels.

Polished and carbonized terracotta
21 x 12 x 12.5 in. (53.3 x 30.5 x 31.8 cm)
General Acquisition Fund
Provenance: The artist; [Anthony Slater-Ralph Fine Art, Santa Barbara, California]
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Art from Africa: Long Steps Never Broke a Back, Feb. 7, 2002 - April 30, 2006

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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