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York Colletion ref: YORAG_SHAW_471

Catherine Yarrow (1904-1990) was a distinguished practitioner across several media. Potter, watercolorist and printmaker, she was a free and intuitive artist, producing work that was trawled from the imagination, and did not adhere to any particular school or style, though she was loosely associated with Surrealism at one stage in her career. After studying acting for a period at RADA in London, she eventually moved to Paris in her mid 20s, where she met and befriended Giacometti. Developing an interest in art and particularly ceramics, she later worked as an apprentice to the Spanish potter Artigas. She spent Second World War in the USA before returning to Britain and developing her name as a painter and potter in London and exhibiting with fine art galleries.

Alongside wheel-thrown bowls she made sculptural pieces that were often totemic and obliquely ritualistic in nature. There was a freedom of shaping and marking in her ceramics and of colour and line in her two-dimensional work that made Catherine Yarrow a truly original spirit, refreshingly outside the mainstream, of which she had a deep distrust.

David Whiting

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