Sculptures in Porcelain by Rachel Kneebone – on view at the Brooklyn Museum

RACHEL KNEEBONE ‘Shield IV’, 2010. Porcelain. Photo: Stephen White

A few weeks ago, a good friend came to Brooklyn for a visit. It was a beautiful day out so we walked the loop in Prospect Park and then stopped by the Brooklyn Museum. It really is a wonderful museum, I can’t say enough about it, and I think my friend was quite impressed, too. Among the many stunning exhibits, one in particular stood out to both of us, the art of Rachel Kneebone. A British artist, who works from London, she is particularly known for her finely sculpted porcelain pieces that often contain tangles of body parts.

Until August 12, 2012, the Brooklyn Museum has some of her pieces on display in an exhibit called Rachel Kneebone: Regarding Rodin. Certainly worth checking out as the photos below do her work no justice. The amount of detail, especially in the piece ‘The Descent’, really needs to be witnessed in person in order to gain a full appreciation.

I suppose what really captured my attention is the way in which Kneebone uses a very traditional and elegant material, such as porcelain, in a very unexpected way. For me, when I see her work, I think of Italian porcelain sculpture from the 18th century. However, the subject matter is quite different from that which Kneebone is depicting. In this way, for me, her work is also connected to that of Inge Jacobson, in that it is also a traditional art form used in a modern context.

– Stephanie,

‘The Paradise of Dispair’ and ‘The Descent’, both on display at the Brooklyn Museum.

For comparison: Centerpiece, ca. 1775–80, Italian; Cozzi factory, Hard-paste porcelain. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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