Agalis Manessi

Agalis Manessi’s work lies within the tradition of maiolica and celebrates this rich historical medium. Her influences are diverse, ranging from the sophistication of Italian Istoriato dishes through to the simplicity of humble folk wares. She strives for poetic mastery through pictorial representation, trying to retain a freshness of palette that belies the difficulty of the process.

Drawing upon experiences of viewing subjects in churches, museums and galleries, as well as observations directly from life, Manessi’s work is inspired by portraits and animals depicted by a variety of Renaissance painters such as Pisanello and Gentile da Fabriano, Flemish masters like Lucas Cranach, English artists Edwin Landseer, George Stubbs and Christopher Wood, and the Fauvist work of Maurice Denis and Franz Marc. Animated vessels express a gentle humour which is offset by the suggestive poise of their condensed forms. Portrait dishes are softly coiled, with painted images built up of composite features worked up from notebook sketches. Modelled animals and figures take on a more enigmatic nature, communicating a silent yet eloquent message that resonates with the viewers.


  • 1952 Corfu, Greece


  • 1973 – 76 BA (Hons) Ceramics, Central School of Art & Design, London


  • 2019 Elected Brother, Art Workers' Guild
  • 2018 Peer Prize, MADE London

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2021 Ek Stasis, Cultural Foundation of Tinos, Greece
  • 2021 Orna-Mantle-Pieces, Atelier Beside the Sea, Brighton
  • 2020 Leap, Ken artspace, London. 2 person
  • 2019-20 A Journey Painted in Clay, solo exhibition, Art Space, Municipal Gallery of Central Corfu and Diapontia Islands, Greece
  • 2019 Featured artist, 1 Canada Square, London
  • 2019 Moorwod Art, Bruton, Somerset
  • 2019 Into our garden come, Primarolia Festival, Greece.
  • 2018 MADE London, Canary Wharf, London
  • 2018 Featured Maker, Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London
  • 2017 Home from Home, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • 2017 Christmas Circus, Galerie Handwerk, Munich, Germany
  • 2017 Craftsmanship Alone is not Enough, Lethaby Gallery, London
  • 2017 Window Show, Pangolin Gallery, London
  • 2017 Ceramic Art London, Central Saint Martins, London
  • 2016 Vase: Function Reviewed, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny and Farmleigh House, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2016 Making a Winter’s Tale, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • 2016 A Clowder of Cats, Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales
  • 2016 Ceramic Art London, Central Saint Martins, London
  • 2016 Lakeside Arts, Nottingham
  • 2015 MADE London, One Marylebone, London
  • 2015 Kaleidoscope, Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London
  • 2015 Makers Market, Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen, Wales
  • 2014 Tanner & Lawson, Burnham Market, Norfolk
  • 2014 Ceramics in the City, Geffrye Museum, London
  • 2014 One Church Street, Great Missenden
  • 2013 Fauna, Gallerytop, Derbyshire
  • 2013 Ingo Fincke Gallery, Affordable Art Fair, London

Selected Publications

  • 2021 TOAST Portraits. TOAST Magazine, Style and Stories.
  • 2011 Maiolica, Daphne Carnegy, A&C Black
  • 2009 2000 Colours, G Lewis, Batsford
  • 1999 The New Maiolica, M Ostermann, A&C Black
  • 1993 Tin Glazed Earthenware, Daphne Carnegy, A&C Black
  • 1982 The Potters Manual, K Clark, MacDonald


  • Ulster Museum, Belfast
  • Geffrye Museum, London
  • Usher Gallery, The Collection, Lincoln

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