Shows to See: April/May 2018

Shows to See: April/May 2018

Jo Hamilton fiber art

Jo Hamilton at the Boise Art Museum.

Courtesy of the artist and Russo Lee Gallery

Got change? The Metal Museum in Memphis showcases the career of Joseph Anderson, who forever altered perceptions of the blacksmith’s art. The Montana Museum of Art and Culture offers a sweeping look at the many developments in clay since 1950. And Jo Hamilton’s crocheted portraits and urban landscapes at the Boise Art Museum just might shift some notions about this beloved craft.
 

CA / Oakland
Oakland Museum of California
"J.B. Blunk: Nature, Art & Everyday Life"
Apr. 21 – Sep. 9 
J.B. Blunk (1926 – 2002) was known in Northern California for the large redwood “seating sculptures” he made for public spaces. But his defining work might be considered an installation: his Marin County home. The artist built the remote cabin himself, then filled it with his own handmade tables and chairs, ceramic objects, wood and stonework, even clothing and jewelry. On view here are more than 80 examples of Blunk’s devotion to self-reliance and to handmade objects for daily use, manifestations of his belief that art and the natural world are inseparable.

CA / Pomona
American Museum of Ceramic Art
"Fahrenheit 2018" 
to Jul. 22 
Juror Patti Warashina chose work by 80 artists from across the country for the museum’s even-years extravaganza, among them Alex Anderson, Beatriz H. Jaramillo, Robert W. LaWarre III, and Molly Morning-glory.

CO / Denver
Denver Art Museum
"Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer"
May 13 – Aug. 12
Never mind categories such as “Native American art” and “modernism,” although Jeffrey Gibson’s beaded punching bags, figures, sculptures, text-based wall hangings, and other works draw deeply on elements of both. The artist defies neat classifications in his explorations of colonialism and its aftereffects and the universal themes of love, community, and survival. This is his first major museum show, with about 65 works since 2011.

DC / Washington
Renwick Gallery
"No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man"
to Jan. 21, 2019; first-floor exhibition closes Sep. 16 
It’s almost like being in Brigadoon. Each year during the Burning Man festival, an entire city with a population in the tens of thousands arises in the Nevada desert, only to vanish completely at festival’s end. The temporary city’s well defined culture is based on participation, making things by hand, “decommodification,” and self-expression. Some of the jewelry, costumes, large installations, and other works taking over the Renwick are artifacts of previous Burning Mans; others were made especially for this show to reflect the festival’s unique spirit.

ID / Boise
Boise Art Museum
"Jo Hamilton: Knots in Time"
to May 13
Jo Hamilton’s grandmother taught her to crochet. That’s not unusual; craft skills are often handed down within families. Less usual: Hamilton, trained as a painter, turns hook and fiber into a medium for portraiture, both of people and of cityscapes. Her detailed representations are the result of meticulous stitching, unraveling, knotting, and re-knotting; the effect is painterly and vibrant. (For more on Hamilton, see “Two Threads.”)

MA / Upper Connecticut River Valley
Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail
14th Annual Studio Tour and Sale
Apr. 28 – 29
What better way to spend a spring weekend than taking to the greening hills to hunt for fresh pottery, chat with makers, and maybe buy something to take home? At the nine stops on this picturesque route, the studio owners make room on their shelves for guest potters’ work, for double the treasure.

MT / Missoula
Montana Museum of Art and Culture, Meloy Gallery
"Decades: Ceramics from the Permanent Collection"
to May 26
Midcentury objects that pushed clay beyond its functional heritage; whimsical and experimental pieces characteristic of the 1980s; contemporary creations inspired by mythology and personal narrative: This show of works by makers such as Peter Voulkos, Frances Senska, Beth Lo, and gallery namesake Henry Meloy and his collaborator-brother Peter offers a panoramic view of ceramic art history since 1950.

PA / Pittsburgh
Contemporary Craft
"Visual Voices: Truth Narratives" 
to Aug. 18
In this NCECA annual show, 35 artists harness the storytelling power of clay to address matters personal and political, emotional and cultural, with attention to the ways media has bound us all into a global neighborhood. The show includes work by Roberto Lugo, Kyle and Kelly Phelps, and Sharif Bey.

TN / Memphis
Metal Museum
"Everyday Objects: The Evolution & Innovations of Joseph Anderson" 
to Apr. 22
Early in his five-decade career, Joseph Anderson realized iron could be a medium for graceful sculptural works, as well as for the functional items that are a blacksmith’s bread and butter. The 147 objects on view here show why Anderson’s studio art practice has inspired generations of blacksmiths. Also at the museum until April 29: “Alchemy 4,” the Enamelist Society’s 16th biennial international juried exhibition and 12th international juried student exhibition.

WA / Tacoma
Museum of Glass
"Akio Takamori"
to May 6 
Throughout his influential 40-year career, ceramic artist Akio Takamori (1950 – 2014) never stopped experimenting. During a residency at the museum, he created these 11 glass sculptures following an ancient Roman process for shaping glass, using his own clay sculptures as molds.

WI / Racine
Racine Art Museum
"Polymer Art: Recent Acquisitions"
to Jun. 24 
Jewelry, vessels, and even furniture are among the works using polymer that have made their way to the museum since 2011, when a gift of more than 200 objects was the catalyst for its groundbreaking exhibition, “Terra Nova: Polymer Art at a Crossroads.” On view are about 75 of these latest additions to the museum’s extensive holdings in the medium.