Beatrice Wood
1893-1998

Theme/Style – Dadaism, Sophisticated Primitivism, figurative art

Media – Ceramics, pottery, watercolors, drawings

Artistic Focus – Her spirited enjoyment of life was the inspiration for Henri-Pierre Roche's famed novel, Jules et Jim. Her mastery of ceramics and pottery prompted Anais Nin to declare that “water poured from one of her jars will taste like wine.” Wood’s work is renowned for its provocative, humorous and often pointed depictions of complex subjects and human relationships. Her pottery features glazes that range from deeply pitted surfaces to lustrous metallic and iridescent finishes, and an almost haphazard application of color that results in surprising effects. Wood’s creative spirit infused her work well beyond her 100th birthday.

Career Highlights –

• Born in 1893 in San Francisco to proper Victorian parents, Wood rebelled against convention from the start.
• In 1910, she was sent to Paris by her mother, where she began her studies at the Academie Julian and observed Monet at work in Giverny.
• Returning to America upon the outbreak of World War I, she settled into the artist’s life in New York, pursuing work in the theater and dance as well as the fine arts. She met Roche and Marcel Duchamp, both of whom played a major role in her life, personally as well as professionally.
• By the 1930s, Wood had moved to Los Angeles, where she began studying ceramics simply to fashion a teapot to complement a set of plates she had purchased. Her legendary career as ceramic artist and potter began.
• Wood continued working daily, well into her 100s, in the Ojai, California studio she established in the late 1940s.
• In 1998, she died at the age of 105.

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