Hylton Nel

Hylton Nel

To view recent works, see Hylton Nel Studio

Previous exhibitions / Works



Hylton Nel is a master of combining whimsy with satire and making pointed, albeit often humorous, references to his personal concerns as well as those of the world at large. In his work Nel seduces the eye with his sinuous line drawing and lush glazes, yet the mind is often taken aback when it comprehends the intensity of his imagery and inscriptions. Nel describes himself as an 'artist-potter' which aptly refers to his interest in painted imagery as well as form and function. Over the past four decades he has developed a style of work that is rich in references to the decorative arts and literary and art historical sources. His plates, bowls, vases, plaques and figurative pieces are idiosyncratically decorated with witty - and sometimes poignant - line drawings and script. His imagery ranges from penises to Madonnas, and from cats through to angels, and his quotes are drawn from poetry and the daily press as well as his observations of the world around him. He presently lives on the outskirts of Calitzdorp, a small town in the Klein Karoo. Group exhibitions include Unorthodox, at the Jewish Museum, New York (2015-2016); The Magic of Clayat gl Holtegaard, Denmark (2011); Art in Clay at IS Art, Franschhoek (2011); The Birthday Party at the Flow Gallery, London (2009); The Discerning Eye at The Mall Galleries in London (2007); Table Manners: Contemporary international ceramics at the Crafts Council Gallery in London (2006), and To Hold at the Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin (2006). Nel was Festival Artist at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn in 2009.

Click here to read an interview with Hylton Nel.