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Art

Ceramic Figurines by Claire Partington Put a Contemporary Twist on Historical Symbols

January 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Claire Partington, shared with permission

Citing traditional portraiture and figurative ceramics, London-based artist Claire Partington (previously) sculpts grand characters with a dose of contemporary wit: Lavishly outfitted women lose their heads to anthropomorphized octopuses, a flip flop-wearing fairy dozes alongside empty beer bottles, and sneakers and a cellphone lie next to “Sleeping Beauty.” Infused with mythological symbols and references to folklore, the delicate figurines meld history and culture across time periods and prompt questions about interpretation and narrative.

Many of the pieces shown here are included in Partington’s solo exhibition En Plein Air, which is on view from  February 2 to March 19 at Winston Wächter Fine Art in Seattle and coincides with the release of Historical Fiction, a monograph spanning ten years of her career. Until then, explore more of her subversive figures on her site and Instagram.