Brick Red

G. William Webb at Room East is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

G. William Webb turns old bricks into new sculpture.

(Courtesy Room East, NY)

This 14-inch terracotta drum is called “Quantity”, and it’s a days-old work by G. William Webb, now on view in a group show at the little Room East gallery in New York. At first it comes across as a supremely elegant example of modernist formalism – a kind of apotheosis or archetype of the shape that a potter’s wheel most naturally forms. It turns out, however, that there’s a backstory. Webb made his clay from ancient bricks that he found on walks in Brooklyn, then smashed to a powder with a sledge hammer. The darker dot on top is actually a hole into the drum, filled to the brim with Webb’s raw brick dust. So the piece is still about archetypal ceramics, but this time understood as having a history.For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit