At the Central School, Duckworth received encouragement from her teachers, who offered excellent training and artistic freedom. She soon demonstrated her facility with clay as she investigated both stoneware and porcelain. Duckworth began to create vessels and sculptures that were radically freeform, organic, and liberated from the tyranny of function. Most importantly, she demonstrated that clay was a viable medium for sculpture.
In 1964 Duckworth accepted a teaching post at the University of Chicago's Midway Studios. She remained there through the next decade, eventually deciding to settle permanently in the United States, her third homeland.
Now in her mid-eighties, Duckworth is recognized as one of the twentieth century's most innovative and important sculptors. A true alchemist of abstraction, she has consistently produced boundary-crossing work that is both elegant and uplifting. The vessels, sculptures, and wall murals in this exhibition exemplify the seductive refinement, austere power, and radiant immediacy that masterfully continue the aesthetics of modernism into the twenty-first century.
Untitled [pair of cup-and-blade works], porcelain, c. 1997, Museum of Arts and Design, NYC.