Professor smashes ceramics record at auction
A work of art by a professor from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Farnham has broken a British record at auction.
Magdalene Odundo OBE's Untitled 1991 vessel sold for $134,500 (£86,500) at Sotheby's New York recently, making it the most expensive work by a living British ceramicist.
The world-renowned ceramicist smashed her own record from April 2010 when her 1985 burnished terracotta vessel sold for £31,250. The record prior to that was £27,000.
Magdalene Odundo said: "It's amazing to see my work sell for such a large amount of money and to think that people think that something I have made is special enough to bought at auction.
"I didn't become an artist to see my works sell of hundreds of thousands of dollars but it is a pleasant surprise and I feel very happy to see people appreciate the work that I love to create.
"It's the reasons behind the sale which are truly special to me because it's proves that people understand what you're trying to say in your work and captures other peoples' imaginations.
"It's astonishing to reach this level of recognition of my work in my lifetime."
The 42cm high piece was sold to a distinguished private collector at Sotheby's auctioneers in New York on 11 May 2012.
Antiques Roadshow USA expert, Anthony Slayter-Ralph, who represents Magdalene, said: "It's a rare and exciting occasion when a work by Magdalene Odundo appears at auction.
"Most of her work, when it leaves the studio, goes to museums and institutions leaving very little for the open market, but the results at auction clearly show that even in these uncertain times, wonderful examples do well."
The piece was expected to fetch between £25,000 and £38,000 but went on to achieve more than double the highest estimate.
Anthony explained: "Estimates can be notoriously off when the competition for an Odundo starts going. There are very few living contemporary ceramists that can command this sort of price, but Magdalene's work is scarce and exquisite and has steadily increased in value."
Magdalene, who was awarded an OBE in 2008 for her services to art, graduated from UCA Farnham in 1976 and returned to become a professor in 2001.
Magdalene said: "I love teaching and have view it as an equally important platform for me to extend my creativity beyond my studio - it rejuvenates me and enables me to share my passion and creativity with the next generation of artists at UCA."
Magdalene's work is represented in over 40 public collections worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The British Museum, London, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The National Museum of African Art and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (both at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.), and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939