Forthcoming touring exhibition

Playing with Fire: Edmund de Waal and Axel Salto

CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art Denmark

8 October 2023–11 August 2024

No01 EDW at CLAY

Edmund de Waal will curate an exhibition of acclaimed Danish ceramicist Axel Salto (1889–1961), considered one of the greatest masters of 20th Century ceramic art.

The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Edmund de Waal, CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art Denmark, and Kunstsilo, Norway. It opens in Denmark in October 2023, at the Kunstsilo in September 2024, and at The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in 2025.

This exhibition will bring together a significant number of Salto’s ceramic works from the collection of CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art, Denmark, and The Tangen Collection at Kunstsilo, the world’s largest collection of Nordic modernist art. Salto’s ceramics will be shown alongside lesser-known and unseen works on paper, illustrations, writings and textiles, with a major new installation by de Waal reflecting on Salto’s enduring influence.

“Axel Salto is one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. He created a unique body of ceramic work that continues to fascinate me. His sculptures seem to be on the point of change: glazes are caught in flux. Vases swell as if to burst. He cared about the ways that patterns change course, shift energies, how an animal becomes a person, a man metamorphoses into a stag. Ovid ran powerfully through his life. That moment of change, transformation, is the moment when poetry occurs.”

- Edmund de Waal

Photography: Peter Leth-Larsen, Ole Akhøj © Axel Salto/VISDA

Edmund de Waal with Salto work No07 Three Salto vases CLAY RC Collection Veistrup Collection No13 Axel Salto Three Vases in budding style