Ruth Duckworth (1919-2009) is considered one of the world’s foremost modernist sculptors of the 20th century who specialised in the medium of ceramics, though also working and experimenting with stoneware, porcelain, and bronze. After fleeing her homeland owing to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, Duckworth went to Liverpool College of Arts in 1936, the Hammersmith School of Art in 1955 and at the Central School of Arts and Crafts London from 1956-1958 where she first engaged with ceramics. Though initially following a more conventional trajectory with ceramics, Duckworth increasingly engaged with abstraction in her forms that defied the typical norms of ceramics creation at the time. Duckworth characterised porcelain ceramic as “a very temperamental material. I’m constantly fighting it. It wants to lie down, you want it to stand up. I have to make it do what it doesn’t want to do. But there’s no other material that so effectively communicates both fragility and strength.” Duckworth has had many retrospectives of her work, notably in 2005 at New York City’s Museum of Fine Arts & Design and in 2006 at the Art Expo at the Seventh Regiment Armory in Manhattan. Her work is also represented internationally, including at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.