Edmund de Waal, Atemwende, 2013, copyright Edmund de Waal
Photograph by Mike Bruce

For the past month, Gagosian Gallery has presented Atemwende, the first exhibition in this country of the work of notable British ceramicist Edmund de Waal. This is most certainly a show worth seeing. The vessels themselves are completely modern and seemingly free of historical and stylistic reference. However, the complete works and installation, in vitrines as collections, are perhaps a nod to the past, his own family history. Edmund de Waal is, afterall, the author of The Hare with Amber Eyes, one of my favorite books of the last few years. It is the remarkable, beautifully told story of de Waal’s Jewish family and the collection of Japanese netsuke (miniature carved sculpture) that has passed down through five generations beginning in 1870s Paris, residing presently with the artist himself in London.

Atemwende runs through October 19 at Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue, NYC.