De Waal, Edmund

First name: 
De Waal
Year of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Great Brittain

Edmund de Waal was born in Tottingham in 1964. He studied English at Cambridge University and ceramics in both England and Japan. Edmund works and lives in London. He is best known for his large scale installations, which have been exhibited in many museums around the world. Much of Edmund's recent work has been concerned with ideas of collecting and collections; how objects are kept together, lost, stolen or dispersed. His work comes out of a dialogue between minimalism, architecture and music, and is informed by his passion for literature.

Edmund has had major interventions in many museums and public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Waddesdon Manor, Tate Britain and the National Museum of Wales. In September 2013, de Waal opened his first show in New York at the Gagosian Gallery and installed a new work for the Asian Pavilion at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (see picture). His current intervention, On White, is on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge until February. In 2014, de Waal will undertake a major new commission for Turner Contemporary in Margate. Other future projects include working with the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the Staatliche Kunstsammlugen in Dresden.

Edmund is also known as a writer. His recent book, Hare with the Amber Eyes, which traces his family history, has been an international bestseller and won many literary prizes (f.e. the Costa Biography Award).

Visit the website of the artist:

Portrait 1 (source Radio Omroep 2013); Portrait 2 (Photographer Steven Joyce); Edmund in the exhibition Signs and Wonders in the V&A, London; teapot and vases (source MAAK Auction London); Installation A Change in the Weather, 2007; Installation An Idea for a Journey, 2013 (coll. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam).

Work of the artist: 

I've been thinking about new ways to make pauses, spaces and silences, where breath is held
inside and between each vessel, between the objects and the vitrines, the vitrines and the room. In
working with the vessel, working with porcelain, and with colors that express the great history of
Oriental ceramics, but also the colors of modernism and minimalism; this seems to be enough
material to be getting on with.
—Edmund de Waal 2013