Great Estates: How Contemporary Ceramics Are Keeping Chatsworth Relevant – 大地产:当代陶器如何与查茨沃思相关

Opinion - 15 Aug 2018

Great Estates: How Contemporary Ceramics Are Keeping Chatsworth Relevant

Alongside a centuries-old collection of Old Masters, Delftware and Chinoiserie, the Devonshires continue to commission contemporary art 

By Glenn Adamson

What makes a great house great? There’s no easy answer to that question. Britain’s landed estates have always expressed the power and prestige of their aristocratic owners. Yet historically, they were also essential economic hubs and drivers of taste. New fashions (baroque architecture and Chinese ceramics) and technologies (window glass and indoor plumbing) were as likely to emerge in the countryside as the city.

Around the time of the industrial revolution, as Peter Mandler has explained in his book The Rise and Fall of the Stately Home (1997), rural estates began an erratic but irrevocable decline. The low point was the mid 20th century, when high death duties and wartime requisitions forced many families to abandon their ancestral seats. From a certain point of view, it was high time: the landed gentry had embodied all that was regressive in British culture. Absent a conservation plan, however, it was a recipe for art historical carnage. Some houses were pulled down. Contents were sold off. 

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Great Estates: How Contemporary Ceramics Are Keeping Chatsworth Relevant - 大地产:当代陶器如何与查茨沃思相关

Gwyn Hanssen, Pigott Echo, 2018. Courtesy: Chatsworth House Trust; photograph: Glen Segal 

It was during this crisis that ‘Duchess Deborah’, as she was affectionately known, entered the picture. The sixth of the celebrated Mitford sisters, in 1941 she married into the Devonshire family, owners of Chatsworth, in Derbyshire – among the grandest of all British country houses. When her husband unexpectedly inherited the dukedom (and a huge tax bill) in 1950, she faced facts and took action. 

The Duchess had the insight that an estate could be more than an emblem of the past; it could once again be an economic engine. While other country houses were falling into disuse and stasis, the Duchess led Chatsworth into uncharted waters, opening a farm shop and other commercial enterprises. She and the 11th Duke commissioned adventurous art – including strikingly bold family portraits by Lucian Freud – and re-imagined the house as a tourist destination.

Today, Chatsworth is one of the most-visited attractions in Britain, and a complex mix of past and present. Well-trained guides recount the story of the Devonshires, who first took up occupancy in the early 17th century; but out on the grounds, there is an annual selling exhibition of monumental contemporary sculpture called ‘Beyond Limits’, a collaboration between Chatsworth and Sotheby’s. In some ways, the house today closely approximates the way estates operated hundreds of years ago: symbolic and economic capital are inextricably intertwined there.

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Great Estates: How Contemporary Ceramics Are Keeping Chatsworth Relevant - 大地产:当代陶器如何与查茨沃思相关

Felicity Aylief, Chinese Ladders, 2008. Courtesy: Chatsworth House Trust; photograph: Simon Broadhead

It’s against this backdrop of that the art patronage of the current Duke and Duchess, Peregrine (‘Stoker’) and Amanda Devonshire, must be seen. In particular, it helps to explain their choice to emphasize ceramics. These were already all over the property: garnitures and figurines, porcelain and Delftware, tall tulipières and tiny teabowls. For the most part, the objects serve a supplementary role, providing punctuation to the lavish phrasing of processional rooms. With this precedent in mind, Devonshires have acquired a huge number of contemporary ceramics, many created specifically for the house.

In retrospect, it seems almost inevitable that Edmund de Waal should have received their first major commission. He was not then the prominent figure he is today (that happened largely thanks to his best-selling 2010 book, The Hare with the Amber Eyes), but his work already embodied the fusion of antiquarianism and avant gardism they were seeking. De Waal’s 2007 installation at Chatsworth is entitled A Sounding Line. It consists of unadorned thrown porcelain vessels in many subtly different glazes, arranged in what he calls a ‘site-sensitive’ manner. The arrangement echoes not only the existing ceramic collection, but also the visitors who walk past it in a continuous stream. Bearing silent witness to this passage, it nonetheless suggests (as is implied by the title) the chiming music that would once have filled the rooms.

Today, Chatsworth is one of the most-visited attractions in Britain, and a complex mix of past and present. Well-trained guides recount the story of the Devonshires, who first took up occupancy in the early 17th century; but out on the grounds, there is an annual selling exhibition of monumental contemporary sculpture called ‘Beyond Limits’, a collaboration between Chatsworth and Sotheby’s. In some ways, the house today closely approximates the way estates operated hundreds of years ago: symbolic and economic capital are inextricably intertwined there.

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Great Estates: How Contemporary Ceramics Are Keeping Chatsworth Relevant - 大地产:当代陶器如何与查茨沃思相关

Pippin Drysdale, Evensong (Devil’s Marbles), 2016. Courtesy: Chatsworth House Trust; photograph: Simon Broadhead

On an upper floor of the house is the Devonshire’s most ambitious commission to date, Jacob van der Beugel’s North Sketch Sequence. Completed in 2014, it is the result of four years of technical and architectural research. It’s a complex work but, in brief, it is intended as an abstract portrait of the Devonshires derived from their mitochondrial DNA (plus one section based on fundamental human genetics, representing Everyman). This genetic code has been translated into small ceramic tiles, and inset into the paneling of a long corridor. The gesture equally brings to mind De Stijl architecture and a climbing wall – two very different images of aspiration and transcendence. The artist says that he wanted to capture ‘chemical structure, relationship to others, lineage, as well as facets of persona […] all visualized as one interwoven experience’.

Most recently, Chatsworth saw the arrival of Sowing Colourby Natasha Daintry. Another arrangement of multiple porcelain vessels, it superficially echoes De Waal’s inaugural installation at the house. Yet the differences are more striking than the similarities. To begin with, it is configured vertically rather than horizontally, in a progression of sizes based on the mathematical Fibonacci sequence, and is ranked in depth, creating a sense of spatial recession. While De Waal’s pots are serenely white, Daintry’s are gloriously polychrome, like a rainbow brought indoors. Then too, her vessels are slipcast using industrial techniques, rather than thrown, allowing for incredible thinness and translucency. (The largest pots, on the work’s bottom tier, are beyond even the scale achieved by skilled mould-makers in Staffordshire.) And if De Waal was thinking about chamber music, Daintry channels another ephemeral aspect of the property, its gardens. The work’s title refers to blossoms unfurling from deep roots; the artist says the phrase struck her as a‘zen koan butting the rational (sowing, a conscious controlled act) and the irrational (colour, fugitive and its own wilderness) up against each other’.

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Great Estates: How Contemporary Ceramics Are Keeping Chatsworth Relevant - 大地产:当代陶器如何与查茨沃思相关

Natasha Daintry, Sowing Colour, 2018. Courtesy: Chatsworth House Trust 

Like the royal family itself, great houses like Chatsworth have been forced into a protracted negotiation with modernity. Their vulnerability has rendered them less controversial to some degree; indeed, they now act as a proxy for British identity writ large. The UK tends to see itself in oppositional terms, traditional yet progressive, pastoral yet cosmopolitan. Lately these contradictions have flared into bitter polarization. As the ceramic installations at Chatsworth show, however, it’s possible for these opposites to combine, at least at a symbolic level. These works are quiet ruptures in the house’s historic grandeur, each offering a moment of resolution, reflection and, yes, a touch of grace.

Main image: Pippin Drysdale, Evensong (Devil’s Marbles), 2016. Courtesy: Chatsworth House Trust; photograph: Simon Broadhead

Glenn Adamson

Glenn Adamson is Senior Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, USA, and the author of books including The Invention of Craft (2013).

Opinion
Architecture
Chatsworth House
Pippin Drysdale
Gwyn Hanssen
Natasha Daintry
Ceramics
Glenn Adamson


意见- 15八月2018大庄园:当代陶瓷如何保持查茨沃斯与百年历史的老主人,德尔夫特和Chinoiserie,Devonshires继续委托当代艺术。是什么使Glenn Adamson的房子大?这个问题没有简单的答案。英国的地产一直表现出贵族贵族的权力和威望。但从历史上看,它们也是必不可少的经济中心和口味的驱动力。新时尚(巴洛克建筑和中国陶瓷)和技术(窗户玻璃和室内水暖)很可能出现在农村作为城市。在工业革命时期,正如Peter Mandler在他的书《庄严的家》(1997)的兴衰中所解释的那样,农村地产开始了不稳定但不可撤销的衰落。最低点是二十世纪中旬,当时高的死亡义务和战时征用迫使许多家庭放弃了祖籍。从某种意义上说,这是一个很高的时代:地主士绅体现了英国文化中的倒退。然而,没有一个保护计划,它是艺术历史大屠杀的处方。有些房子被拆毁了。内容物被销毁。GWYNH-HANSON-PEGOTTHECHORY1.1.JPG Great Estates: How Contemporary Ceramics Are Keeping Chatsworth Relevant - 大地产:当代陶器如何与查茨沃思相关 GWYN HANSEN,PEGOTT回波,2018。礼貌:查茨沃思豪斯托拉斯;照片:Glen Segal。正是在这场危机中,“Duchess Deborah”,她深情地知道,进入了画面。第六个著名的米特福德姐妹,1941,她嫁给德文郡家庭,查茨沃思的主人,在德比郡-在所有英国乡村住宅中最宏伟的。当她的丈夫意外地在1950继承了公爵(和一个巨大的税收法案)时,她面对事实并采取了行动。公爵夫人有一种洞察力,认为遗产不仅仅是过去的象征,它可以再次成为一个经济引擎。当其他乡村房屋陷入闲置和停滞状态时,公爵夫人带领查茨沃思进入未知水域,开办了一家农场商店和其他商业企业。她和第十一公爵委托冒险艺术——包括卢西安·弗洛伊德的大胆大胆的家庭肖像画,并把房子重新想象成一个旅游目的地。今天,Chatsworth是英国最受欢迎的景点之一,也是过去和现在的复杂组合。训练有素的导游讲述了Devonshires在十七世纪初第一次入住的故事,但出于这个原因,每年都会有一个纪念性展览,展览名为“超越极限”,这是查茨沃思与苏富比的合作。方式,今天的房子非常接近数百年前的经营方式:象征性和经济资本在那里密不可分地交织在一起。SH2264-04.JPG WPA6022602IMG Felicity Aylief,中国梯子,2008。礼貌:查茨沃思豪宅信托;照片:西蒙BuldHead,在这一背景下,必须看到现任公爵和公爵夫人Peregrine(“斯托克”)和Amanda Devonshire的艺术赞助。特别是,它有助于解释他们的选择,强调陶瓷。这些已经遍布整个财产:装饰品和雕像,瓷器和三角帆,高大的郁金香和小袋鼠。在大多数情况下,这些物品起着补充作用,为居室的华丽措辞提供了标点符号。有了这个先例,德文郡获得了大量的当代陶器,许多陶器是专为房子而设计的。回想起来,Edmund de Waal几乎应该不可避免地接受了他们的第一个主要委员会。他并不是当时的杰出人物(这主要是因为他最畅销的2010本书《兔子的琥珀色的眼睛》),但他的作品已经体现了他们寻找的古董和先锋派的融合。De Waal在查茨沃思的2007次安装被称为“测深线”。它由许多微妙的不同釉料组成的未装饰的瓷器容器,以他所谓的“网站敏感”的方式排列。这种安排不仅反映了现存的陶瓷收藏,而且还反映了在连续的河流中走过的游客。尽管这篇文章无声地证明了这一点,但它还是暗示(如标题所暗示的)那些曾经充斥着房间的钟声。今天,Chatsworth是英国最受欢迎的景点之一,也是过去和现在的复杂组合。训练有素的导游讲述了Devonshires在十七世纪初第一次入住的故事,但出于这个原因,每年都会有一个纪念性展览,展览名为“超越极限”,这是查茨沃思与苏富比的合作。方式,今天的房子非常接近数百年前的经营方式:象征性和经济资本在那里密不可分地交织在一起。BydiySH2264-017JPG WPA6060602IMG PIPIN DrySDALE,Evensong(魔鬼大理石),2016。礼貌:CassWaveHouthTestCommission;照片:Simon Broadhead在楼上的楼层是德文郡迄今为止最雄心勃勃的委员会,雅各伯范德比格尔的北方草图序列。2014完成,这是四年技术和建筑的结果。研究。这是一个复杂的工作,但简而言之,它是从他们的线粒体DNA衍生出来的DunnSeRes的抽象肖像(加上一个基于人类遗传学基础的部分,代表Everyman)。这一遗传密码已被翻译成小瓷砖,并嵌入到长廊的镶板中。这个姿势同样让人想起De Stijl的建筑和攀岩墙——两种截然不同的渴望和超越的形象。艺术家说,他想捕捉“化学结构,与他人的关系,血统,以及人物角色的面…………所有被视为一种交织的体验”。最近,查茨沃思看到了播种Colourby Natasha Daintry的到来。另一种排列多个瓷器皿,它表面上回响着De Waal在家里的就职仪式。然而,这些差异比相似之处更为显著。首先,它是根据数学斐波那契数列在垂直方向而不是水平方向上配置的,并且是深度排列的,从而产生空间衰退的感觉。虽然De Waal的盆栽是洁白的,但丹蒂的色彩鲜艳,就像一道彩虹带到室内。然后,她的容器是用工业技术滑动,而不是抛出,允许令人难以置信的薄和半透明。(在工作的底层,最大的罐子甚至超过了斯塔福德郡熟练的模具制造者的规模。)如果De Waal在考虑室内音乐,DeTrand频道将是房地产的另一个短暂的方面,它的花园。作品的标题是指从深根中绽放的花朵;艺术家说这句话把她看作是“禅宗”,把理性(播种,有意识的控制行为)和非理性的(颜色、逃亡和它自己的荒野)对立起来。SoWiang-CyuruL57.JPG WPA6024602IMG Natasha Daintry,播种色,2018。礼貌:查茨沃思豪宅信托公司,就像皇室本身一样,像查茨沃思这样的大房子已经被迫与现代性进行长期的谈判。他们的脆弱性使他们在某种程度上没有争议,事实上,他们现在充当了英国身份令状的代言人。英国倾向于以对立的传统来看待自己,传统的、进步的、田园的、世界性的。最近,这些矛盾发展成两极分化。然而,在查茨沃思的陶瓷装置中,这些对立物很可能结合在一起,至少在象征意义上是如此。这些作品在这座房子的历史壮丽中是安静的破裂,每一个都提供了一个瞬间的分辨力,反射力,是的,一点优雅。主要形象:皮皮林德雷斯代尔,Evensong(魔鬼大理石),2016。礼貌:查茨沃思豪宅信托;照片:西蒙博德格伦亚当森格伦亚当森是美国纽黑文耶鲁大学英国艺术中心资深学者,作者包括发明者。工艺离子(2013)。意见建筑CassWestHoin Pippin DrySDaleGWYN汉森娜塔莎DANTEST陶瓷格伦亚当森


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