Shows to See: February / March 2018

Shows to See: February / March 2018

Published on Monday, February 12, 2018. This article appears in the February/March 2018 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Derrick Adams MAD

Derrick Adams at MAD

Courtesy of the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery

AR / Bentonville
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
"Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power"
Feb. 3 – Apr. 23
This is a look back in time at the civil rights era of the 1960s and the Black Power movement that grew out of it. In works by 60 artists such as Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, and Melvin Edwards, this show, organized by London’s Tate Modern, considers how artists examined and expressed the tumult of the time, and how they, in turn, were shaped by it. Crystal Bridges is the first US museum to present this show; the Brooklyn Museum will be its only other stateside stop.

CA / Los Angeles
Craft & Folk Art Museum
"Melting Point: Movements in Contemporary Clay" 
to May 6  
What techniques can be used to form, fire, and glaze clay objects, what might those objects look like, and what do they say about the world? For its first clay biennial, CAFAM has chosen sculptures, installations, and performative works that seek fresh ways to answer, or ask, these perennial questions. The show includes work by ACC 2017 Emerging Artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk and Kahlil Robert Irving.

FL / Boca Raton
Boca Raton Museum of Art
"Regarding George Ohr: Contemporary Ceramics in the Spirit of the Mad Potter" 
to Apr. 8  
“ ‘GREATEST’ ART POTTER ON EARTH, ‘YOU’ PROVE THE CONTRARY,” bellowed the signs George Ohr took to fairs where he tried to sell his work. Few took him at his word. His wildly eccentric, gorgeously glazed pots were ahead of their fin-de-siècle time, and Ohr’s personal quirks – an 18-inch mustache that he tied behind his head, for one – added to the perception that he was just a kook. Thousands of his pots gathered dust in his Biloxi, Mississippi, workshop until half a century after his 1918 death, when his work was rediscovered by an antique dealer. Since then, Ohr has gained a place in the clay firmament, with a Frank Gehry-designed museum in his hometown devoted to him. Here, 24 of Ohr’s finest, some never exhibited before, are on view alongside work by kindred spirits such as Arlene Shechet, Betty Woodman, and Peter Voulkos.

NE / Omaha
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
"Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly" 
to Feb. 24  
The monarch butterfly’s 3,000- mile migration takes place over generations; butterflies reaching Mexico from Canada and the US are completing an odyssey their forebears began. The three dozen artists in this show, including Sarah Zapata, live along the monarch’s most-traveled path in the middle of the continent; they, too, are the bearers of inherited knowledge, in the form of cultural memory and transmitted skills. In a range of mediums including basketry, metal, clay, and textiles, they consider themes inspired by the butterfly’s journey: migration, transformation, sovereignty, and resilience.

NE / Lincoln
University of Nebraska, Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery
Feb. 5 – Mar. 23  
Jason Pollen, who led the fiber program at the Kansas City Art Institute for many years, delves into the imaginative and joyful spontaneity of childhood play in these assemblages of brushes, threads, pigments, and twigs.

NY / New York City
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Jewelry of Ideas: Gifts from the Susan Grant Lewin Collection" 
to May 28  
For decades, Susan Grant Lewin has collected what she calls “work by the most experimental jewelry designers.” The 150 rings, necklaces, bracelets, and brooches on view here are evidence of the envelope-pushing those designers have engaged in since the mid-20th century, whether by using unconventional materials or finding new ways to tell stories and express ideas through ornament, as in the work of Joyce J. Scott.

NY / New York City
Museum of Arts and Design
"Derrick Adams: Sanctuary" 
to Aug. 12  
Between 1936 and 1966, travelers of color could rely on The Negro Motorist Green Book to find restaurants, hotels, and other destinations where they would be welcome and safe. In sculpture, collage, and assemblage, Derrick Adams imagines places where those travelers might have found rest and refuge, inviting viewers to reflect on why such a book was necessary, and on how much or little the world has changed since its last edition.

TX / Houston
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
"Light Charmer: Neon and Plasma in Action" 
Feb. 9 – May 13  
Signs made of neon-filled glass tubes were once ubiquitous in the American landscape, but many of those luminous cocktails and flashing motel names have gone dark. The nine artists here resurrect the marriage of gas and glass to create sculptures that glow, move, and even interact with viewers.

WA / Bellevue
Bellevue Arts Museum
"Making Our Mark: Art by Pratt Teaching Artists" 
to Apr. 15  
Countless students have made art for the first time, thanks to the affordable and free classes Seattle’s Pratt Fine Arts Center has offered for 40 years. The center celebrates this milestone with a show of work by about a quarter of the more than 1,000 artists who have taught there over the years, including Preston Singletary, Jana Brevick, and Maria Phillips.

WA / Tacoma
Museum of Glass
"Complementary Contrasts: The Glass and Steel Sculptures of Albert Paley" 
to Sep. 3  
Over the past two decades, metal master Albert Paley has incorporated glass into some of his pieces, exploring what he calls a “dialogue of opposites.” This is the first comprehensive exhibition of Paley’s sculptural work in steel and glass, with 29 sculptures on view; the artist began several of them during residencies at the museum.

WA / Seattle
Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery
"Right On! Rites, Rituals, Remembrances"
Feb. 7 – 27  
In more than 60 new works, the 24 artists in this show explore the cultural and deeply personal dimensions of amulets, tokens, and talismans.