In the past decade the name Molly Hatch has become synonymous with contemporary ceramics. Hatch’s ceramic installations, inspired by historical decoration, have been exhibited and collected all over the world and garnered her a loyal and fervent following. Todd Merrill Studio has represented Hatch since 2013.
In 2022 Molly Hatch took part in Making Place Matter, an ambitious and experimental exhibition that marked the opening of The Clay Studio’s newly built 34,000 sq ft expanded home. Located in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, the Clay Studio is a non-profit centered around the art and craft of contemporary ceramics. Making Place Matter invited three leading ceramic artists to explore the idea of place with regard to personal history, cultural heritage, and social justice. Drawing on her ancestral heritage, Hatch’s grand-scale “plate paintings” take historical patterns – often from porcelain plates – as their source. Hatch seamlessly merges the past into the present as she enlarges historical ornament, vaulting it into near-abstraction.
The idea of lineage informs two works in the exhibition, titled Linea and Linea Stack. While Hatch grew up on a Vermont dairy farm, her pastoral upbringing was contrasted by visits to her grandmother’s home in Massachusetts, which housed a large collection of 18th and 19th century ceramics brought to America on her family’s merchant ships. Hatch was the third in a line of women artists; both her grandmother and mother were painters. Honoring them in her piece Linea, she chose a floral textile from the collection of the Cooper Hewitt that is reminiscent of pattern she would have seen in her childhood. Rendered upon dimensional pill box forms that extend outward from the wall, the pattern of flowers is interrupted with blank spaces. This absence of pattern represents family members who are no longer here, but whose presence is still felt. The sides of the pill box forms are painted in the same blue and white snakeskin pattern seen in Ouroboros, further representing the circle of life.
As Hatch works on a commission basis, custom works may be requested.
Medium: Slip cast, altered, hand-painted porcelain, underglaze, glaze
Dimensions: 40” H x 72” W x 6” D, 101.6 H x 182.88 W x 15.24 D cm
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