8.5 x 7.5 x 3 in.
Andrea Gill’s Face Cup is an anomaly, as all of her works in exhibitions and collections are large, handbuilt sculptures that start from traditional vessel forms and become camouflaged with slabs or wings. This rare majolica cup was thrown on the wheel with low-fire terra-cotta clay. It demonstrates Gill’s talents in painting, the medium she began with. The sketched face seems quickly drawn on an opaque tin-white glaze, but in her simple mark-making she achieves the spontaneity, freshness, and naiveté of a folk artist. Gill is considered one of the pioneers in the resurgence of decorative earthenware and maiolica glaze techniques. Since 1980, when she began to work in clay full time, Gill’s vessels are primarily vehicles for painted decoration.
Gill was born in New Jersey, but spent her early years in Bethesda, Maryland, where she first studied ceramics in high school. She entered a piece in a competition for high school students and won a scholarship to the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. She studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 1971 with a BFA. Gill continued her ceramics studies at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) with Ken Ferguson (see his 1960s Bottle), and then went to Alfred University, New York, for her MFA in 1978. She met her husband, John Gill (also a well-known ceramist), at KCAI. They held several positions across the country and both became professors of ceramic art at Alfred University, teaching there for more than thirty years (1984–2017).
Billie Sessions, PhD.
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