Shows to See: February / March 2020

Shows to See: February / March 2020

Published on Monday, February 3, 2020. This article appears in the February/March 2020 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Judith Schaechter stained glass

Judith Schaechter at the Memorial Art Gallery

Dominic Episcopo

AZ / Tucson
Tucson Desert Art Museum
"Art is the Seed: Contemporary Native American Female Art"
to May 31 
Works by contemporary Native American women pair up with historical examples of crafts such as Hopi pottery and Pueblo drums, revealing the strong links between the modern objects and their artistic foundations. Alongside is “The REDress Project,” a traveling installation of empty red dresses that calls attention to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the US and Canada.

CA / Los Angeles
Craft Contemporary
"The Body, The Object, The Other"
to May 10
In Craft Contemporary’s second clay biennial, the human body is the theme linking sculptures, installations, and performances by more than 20 emerging and established artists such as Raven Halfmoon, Jason Briggs, Brie Ruais, Cannupa Hanska Luger, and Gerardo Monterrubio.

CA / Sacramento
Crocker Art Museum
"American Expressions/African Roots"
February 2 – July 5
Akinsanya Kambon’s art is as varied as his life: He served in Vietnam, joined the Black Panthers, and became an art professor. He works across mediums in bronze and clay sculpture, drawing, and painting. The focus here is on his terra cotta raku-fired pieces. Originally from Sacramento, the artist found solace in drawing as a polio-stricken child, and as a teenager, he frequented the Crocker, making this show a homecoming of sorts.

CA / Ventura
Museum of Ventura County California
"Cool: Mid-century Modernism on the Central Coast"
to February 23
The fresh breeze that blew through the design world in the mid-20th century was felt just up the coast from LA, an epicenter of this cultural “coolquake.” Period interior furnishings, paintings, pottery, and photography re-create the postwar era in the region; influential midcentury LA designers Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman are represented through pieces on loan from collectors and their daughter, Laura Ackerman Shaw.

MD / Baltimore
Baltimore Museum of Art
"Free Form: 20th-Century Studio Craft"
to June 7
Textile artists Mariska Karasz and Gloria Balder Katzenberg, ceramists Gertrud and Otto Natzler, and metalsmith and jewelrymaker Betty Cooke are among the midcentury artists who helped shake off the notion that craft had to be functional. The work on view here reveals how their forays into abstraction and more personally expressive work pushed the field toward its future.

MI / Bloomfield Hills
Cranbrook Art Museum
"Christy Matson: Crossings"
to March 15
A commission for the US Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, led Los Angeles textile artist Christy Matson to notice similarities between Turkmen fiber traditions and her own work: geometric imagery, muted natural and saturated synthetic dyes, patchwork. Matson’s interests in abstraction and collage are evident in this show, in which 16 of her weavings have been conjoined into two monumental tapestries she developed for the embassy.

MO / St. Louis
Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design
"Jo Stealey and Lissa Hunter"
March 6 – April 19
Spoons, brushes, oilcans, brooms: In 20 works of sculpture, prints, and drawings, the artists consider these useful objects as cultural artifacts and witnesses to human history.

NC / Asheville
Center for Craft
"Craft Futures 2099" 
to February 29  
What will craft be like eight decades from now? Eighty years ago, the 1939 World’s Fair in New York asked that question with its theme “Building the World of Tomorrow” and its optimistic glimpses of a shiny, happy future. This show, also a celebration of the Center’s newly renovated and reopened space, asks again, with 10 contemporary artists offering their own visions of 2099.

NY / Rochester
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester
"The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art"
February 16 – May 24
This isn’t your Father’s stained glass. In her nearly four-decade career, Judith Schaechter has wielded this ancient church-window medium to create contemporary art that’s often both beautiful and unsettling. About 45 of her panels, along with drawings and other by-products of the artist’s process, make up this first survey and major scholarly assessment of her work.

PA / Philadelphia
Philadelphia Museum of Art
"Off the Wall: American Art to Wear"
to May 17
With roots in craft, fine art, performance, and fashion, America’s Art to Wear movement grew out of the social commotion of the 1960s and unfolded over the next two decades. More than 110 vests, kimonos, jackets, dresses, and hats by about 60 artists trace this colorful swatch of history. The exhibition is anchored by the fabulous collection of Julie Schafler Dale, whose New York shop Julie: Artisans’ Gallery led the way in wearable art for more than 40 years; the collection is promised to the museum.

WA / Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
"Glass Art from the Permanent Art Collection"
to February 23
Works by artists such as Steffen Dam, Dante Marioni, Nancy Mee, and Janis Miltenberger give a glimpse of the treasures this young museum has acquired since its founding in 2009.