Malcolm Wright was born in Minnesota. He earned a BA from Marlboro College, an MFA from George Washington University, and was an apprentice to a 12th-generation Japa- nese potter Tarouemon Nakazato in Karatsu, Japan, working directly under Takashi Nakazato.


In my college years, I was interested in the roots of modernism, from the development of cubism, constructivism, and futurism to Scandinavian design, and the time/ space elements in architecture. These interests were interrupted for 30 years by my deep involvement with Japan, functional pottery for food and owers, and in the ascetic, restrained taste of tea ceremony pottery.

Over the last 35 years, my early interest has reawakened. Walking around the fields among Chuck Ginnivers’s monumental sculptures, here in Vermont, inspired me to revisit these interests. Slowly, I became aware of the power of minimalism as expressed in Tony Smith’s work. More recently, the work of Jorge Oteiza and the foam sculptures of John Chamberlin have been a source of inspiration.

The nature of clay and my years working with tabletop scale directs me to a small size that is comfortable, yet retains power. I am interested in dry surfaces, without ash build up, and negative space. I think the sense of Japanese restraint and Western minimalism combine in these pieces, the forms, and ideas I studied more that 50 years ago.

— Malcolm Wright

MALCOLM WRIGHT: Moving Beyond Tradition

Published date 2018

Purchase HERE