Shows to See: April/May 2016

Shows to See: April/May 2016

Published on Friday, April 8, 2016. This article appears in the April/May 2016 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka at Corning Museum of Glass

Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka at Corning Museum of Glass; Photo: Courtesy of CMOG

Nature in close-up: Springtime exhibitions in Missouri, New York state, and Tennessee call attention to the tiny details, from tendrils to tentacles, that help make the natural world itself such a splendidly varied show.

CA / Los Angeles
Craft & Folk Art Museum
Made in China: New Ceramic Works by Keiko Fukazawa
to May 8
The artist’s first solo museum show builds on her three residencies in Jingdezhen, China. Luxury-brand logos and Chairman Mao’s visage, rendered in clay, become meditations on consumerism and history.

CA / San Francisco
Museum of Craft and Design
Lines That Tie: Carole Beadle and Lia Cook
Apr. 9 – Aug. 7
In their four decades on the faculty of California College of the Arts, Lia Cook and Carole Beadle inspired countless fiber artists. This show honors the legacy of innovation of these two professors emeriti.

CA / San Francisco
SFO Museum, San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 2
A Potter’s Life: Marguerite Wildenhain at Pond Farm
to Oct. 16
For nearly 40 years, Bauhaus-trained potter Marguerite Wildenhain lived, worked, and taught at Pond Farm, the Sonoma County site of the artists’ colony she helped found in 1942. Today, Pond Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places, largely because of its role in her pioneering pottery. The more than 100 pieces in this show all are from the collection of Forrest L. Merrill, a longtime friend of the artist.

MA / Brockton
Fuller Craft Museum
Visions from the Lathe: Selections from the Massachusetts South Shore Woodturners
to Jun. 12
This chapter of the American Association of Woodturners celebrates its 20th anniversary with a show of work by artists among its threescore members.

MI / Bloomfield Hills
Cranbrook Art Museum
Simple Forms, Stunning Glazes: The Gerald W. McNeely Collection of Pewabic Pottery
to Aug. 28
Pewabic Pottery’s brilliant and iridescent glazes have distinguished its vases, tiles, lamps, and architectural elements since soon after the pottery’s founding in 1904. This is the first complete display of a major collection of Pewabic ware that was recently donated to the museum.

MO / Sedalia
Daum Museum of Contemporary Art
Christopher Russell: After the Golden Age
to May 30
In his finely detailed, hand-built terra-cotta tableaux, Christopher Russell expresses an unblinking vision of the natural world in all its struggle and glory. The work here takes that view a step beyond: It’s an allegory about artifice, a still life that blends forms from nature with others drawn from art history.

NY / Corning
Corning Museum of Glass
Fragile Legacy: The Marine Invertebrate Models of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka
May 14 – Jan. 8, 2017
Glass artist Leopold Blaschka of Bohemia became fascinated with marine life during a voyage to America in 1853. By the turn of the last century, the hyper-realistic models of sea creatures he and his son produced were used all over the world as museum specimens and objects of study. Beyond their delicate, translucent beauty and superb craftsmanship, the models continue to serve science: Cornell University researchers are using them to compare the teeming life of 19th-century oceans with the endangered waters of today. Also on super-keen view: “Revealing the Invisible: The History of Glass and the Microscope” (Apr. 23 – Mar. 19, 2017).

PA / Doylestown
James A. Michener Art Museum
Katharine Steele Renninger: Craft, Commitment, Community
to Jun. 12
Objects made by hand for use in a vanishing way of life were Katharine Steele Renninger’s subject matter of choice. These 70 paintings, drawings, and pastels lovingly chronicle the craft tools and products of her Bucks County, Pennsylvania, neighbors in the mid-20th century. 

PA / Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts; Society for Contemporary Craft
Fiberart International 2016
May 6 – Aug. 21
The 22nd iteration of this triennial show, juried this time by Chunghie Lee, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, and Tali Weinberg, puts stellar work on view at two locations.

TN / Memphis
Metal Museum
Inches from the Earth
to Jul. 10
In intimate works of sculpture and jewelry, 17 metal artists explore the endless complexities, colors, and shapes of plants and insects.

WI / Racine
Racine Art Museum
Cut, Fold, and Form: Featuring Kiff Slemmons and Julie VonDerVellen
to May 1
Paper gets its propers in Kiff Slemmons’ jewelry and Julie VonDerVellen’s sculptural clocks and watches, and in books, adornments, and sculptures from RAM’s own collection by artists such as Kay Sekimachi and Walter Hamady.