Betty Woodman

Born in 1930: Died Jan. 2, 2018

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Betty Woodman January, 2, 2018

Betty Woodman was a leading American ceramist whose dazzling inventions with form and color moved beyond the traditional domain of craft and consistently challenged the limits of the medium.

Since 1985, Woodman collaborated with Master printer Bud Shark to produce monotypes, woodcuts and lithographs with the same inventiveness and exuberance of her ceramic work. Taking up the challenge to work in two dimensions, Woodman painted, cut, and collaged her prints to create glorious pots sitting in interiors, just as she formed, cut and assembled her ceramic pots. Woodman’s painterly prints make reference to the rich history of ceramics around the world, from the “Oribe Tray” monotypes, to “Etruscan Pot”, and “Iznik” and the pots she referred to as Japanese ladies in the woodcut/lithograph, “Ladies on the Balcony”.

A Single Joy of Song is Betty Woodman’s last print. We began discussing this project with her in 2016. She sent a large three part study that would make a wonderful woodcut. Betty made plans to come to Shark’s Ink. to begin work on the triptych but had to postpone the visit. We picked up the project again in November 2017 while Betty was in Italy. She said we should start cutting woodblocks and proofing colors. We sent her proofs in Italy and had numerous phone calls and emails as the work progressed. She was pleased with the way the print came together.

Betty returned to New York and we were close to finalizing the print when she went into the hospital and died January 2, 2018. We received permission from her son Charlie Woodman and the Woodman estate to make the final changes we had discussed with Betty and complete the edition.

The Art of Betty Woodman a retrospective of Woodman’s work was shown at The Metropolitan Museum, NY during the summer of 2006.

Betty Woodman’s work has been shown around the world in exhibitions in France, Italy, Holland and Japan. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Brooklyn Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, The Smithsonian Institute, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and numerous others.

To view or download a complete biography, please click here