Ceramic Paintings

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Introduction

Saatchi Art’s “Ceramic Paintings” category contains original painted works which have ceramic as their support medium (e.g. plates, tiles, etc), or that incorporate ceramic materials within the work itself. Ceramic painting has a long history across all continents with the artform primarily used to beautify utilitarian objects such as pottery and wall tiles. However, today, modern ceramic art is often created and appreciated for its aesthetic qualities alone. If you’re curious to see the many inventive ways in which artists around the globe incorporate ceramic into their painted works, we invite you to explore our stunning array of ceramic paintings for sale today!

Famous Ceramic Paintings and Artists

Many art lovers are not aware that Henri Matisse actually incorporated ceramics into his artistic practice. Perhaps most notably, he created a 2,000 lb ceramic that is currently installed at LACMA. “La Gerbe (The Sheaf)” was commissioned in 1953 by Beverly Hills patrons Frances and Sidney Brody, and was one of the final major works by Matisse before his death the following year. Matisse used ceramic as a medium support; the ceramic painting was shaped like a large, horizontally-oriented canvas. He then painted directly atop the ceramic as he would a painting. The ceramic was based on his colorful paper cutouts. 

History of Ceramic Paintings

Ceramic as a material is made of clay hardened by heat. Ceramic art and ceramics refers specifically to art objects such as figures, tiles, and tableware made from clay and raw materials through the process of pottery. Ceramic products are either regarded as fine art, decorative art objects, or even archaeological artifacts. The word “ceramic” comes from the Greek word “keramikos,” which means “of pottery” or “for pottery.” Ceramic art can be found historically in almost all developed cultures, including Chinese, Greek, Persian, Mayan, Japanese, Korean, and modern Western cultures. The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects; this includes 27,000 year old figurines made from clay. Eventually, humans learned the processes of glazing and firing ceramic in order to create smooth and colored surfaces. 

Popular Ceramic Painting Techniques

Julian Schnabel (1951-)  is one of the most famous artists to incorporate ceramics into his painting compositions. He is an American painter who is known for his inclusion in the  Neo-expressionist art movement. The art movement was focused on painting, and began in Germany in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Typically, the artworks of this movement were large, colorful, raw, and violent in subject matter. The artists often incorporated other materials into the surfaces of their works, such as ceramics, which would then create jagged surfaces. Schnabel is best known for his “plate paintings,” which are large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates. As he worked, he would apply heavy layers of pigment over broken plates that were then glued to a wood panel. The inclusion of broken ceramics transformed his paintings from two dimensional paintings into three dimensional objects.