This is a palm-sized ceramic bowl by Beatrice Wood. She began studying ceramics after her Dada phase, and continued working with ceramics until she died in 1998, at the age of 105.
During her Dada phase, when she’d gone to New York as a young woman to pursue acting, she got in deep with Marcel Duchamp and French novelist Henri-Pierre Roché, who later wrote Jules et Jim, but not about another, later love triangle he was in, not with Wood.
Wood published The Blind Man with Duchamp and Roché, the magazine in which Louise Norton, another friend of this tight-knit posse, defended Fountain after it had been rejected from the Society of Independent Artists’ April 1917 show. Like Duchamp, Norton was also involved in the SIA leadership, and in Stieglitz’s photo of it, Fountain‘s submission tag lists Norton and her address as the alternate contact for R. Mutt.
In The Blind Man Wood wrote of Fountain that the only art America had managed by that point was plumbing and bridges. She created her own entry to the SIA show in Duchamp’s studio. It was a drawing of a woman exiting a bathtub with an actual bar of soap collaged over her crotch, which she gave a punny French title. Like Fountain, it was lost after the show, and decades later she made versions referencing it when the need arose. C’est la vie.
22 Jan 2021, Modern Design, Lot 629: Beatrice Wood, Folded Vessel, volcanic glazed earthenware, est. $1,500-2,000 [ragoarts]
Previously, related to the women friends Duchamp mentioned when explaining Fountain to his sister: Marcel Duchamp Fountain Sword Fight