People trained in clay, glass and fiber often wonder why their work is marginalized within the art world and relegated to craft. I suspect it’s because much of the work puts an emphasis on technical virtuosity (a subject that never arises in discussing contemporary art which, these days, is likely to favor the quick and dirty solution) and does not engage issues of interest to the wider art world. Here are two books, one on an artist who works in glass, the other on ceramics, which should interest readers across disciplines.
My first assignment: 1895 Years of Pottery at the B-Square Gallery on South 9th Street organized by Neil Patterson and Sandi Pierantozzi. The show is a collection of 74 pieces of utilitarian pottery from 60 different potters around the nation. Each potter is a leader in the field having over 25 years of experience.
With so many exhibits all over the city first for printmaking and then ceramics, the question needs to be asked. How to recognize which well-crafted tree in the forest is the rare specimen worth the visit?
The University of the Art’s Rosenwald Wolf Gallery is hosting the NCECA 2010 National Student Juried Exhibition of handpicked ceramic works from 40 artists enrolled in various graduate and undergraduate programs across the United States. Among the array of masterful ceramic work, a majority of the figurative pieces within this exhibition dominate the show, impressing passersby with their whimsical nature, quizzical poses, and curious contextual allusions.
This post continues the tale of our NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) shuttle bus tour on Mar. 31 of ceramics exhibits in the Fishtown/Northern Liberties parts of town. Little Berlin “Scene,” an international show organized by Jennifer Woodin at Little Berlin is spare and a little chilly. The grid of ceramic knots held up by wire by Henny Linn Kjellberg (of Sweden) reminded us of how many other grids we had seen that day — at Tyler, up on Amber St. and elsewhere. Grids are great, but we had trouble conversing with the ceramic knots in the ... More » »
Small ceramic figures in various states of languorous undress populate Wexler Gallery’s upstairs space in “The Hermaphrodites: Living in Two Worlds.” The group show, like rabbits in spring, has sex on its mind. Beautifully crafted, delicately painted and glazed, the statuettes by Tip Toland, Chris Antemann and others depict men, women and double-gendered beings who kiss and caress and expose little aroused body parts.
Just when you thought that you were finally making headway through the riches of the Philagrafika shows, 90 clay shows and events are starting to open all around town. The multiple shows are in conjunction with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference in Philadelphia from March 21 to April 3. I went to two that were early off the blocks, and they are as different as can be.
As I try to write about Naomi Cleary, so that I can introduce you to her, so that you want to read the interview that follows, I am holding one of her pots in my hand. I am holding it in my hand and I am turning it around horizontal and flipping it vertical, I am running my fingers over it’s smooth surface, I am trying to explain to you why I like it so much.« Previous Page