Shows to See: June/July 2019

Shows to See: June/July 2019

Published on Friday, June 14, 2019. This article appears in the June/July 2019 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Mira Nakashima sofa

Mira Nakashima at the Michener Art Museum

George Nakashima Woodworkers

CA / Los Angeles
Craft Contemporary
"The Riddle Effect"
June 2 – September 8 
Artist John T. Riddle Jr. was also a curator, teacher, and driving force in the black arts movement of the 1960s and ’70s in Los Angeles. He used his mastery of ironwork, ceramics, printmaking, painting, and assemblage to place his own life in the context of his turbulent times (he died in 2002), and to inspire others to do the same. Twenty of his works are on view here, some for the first time, alongside others by students and colleagues.

CA / San Francisco
Museum of Craft and Design
"Dead Nuts: A Search for the Ultimate Machined Object"
July 27 – December 1 
This show evolved from a question posed in the online forum Practical Machinist in 2009: “What is the ultimate machined object/mechanism?” Some respondents favor basics such as the wheel, lever, and screw; others name high-tech inventions, among them microprocessors and aircraft engines. All the objects here are integral to the way we live now, and exemplify the precise craftsmanship of the trade.

MD / Baltimore
American Visionary Art Museum
"Esther and the Dream of One Loving Human Family"
to March 3, 2024 
At age 50, dressmaker and Holocaust survivor Esther Krinitz began the first of 36 detailed, hand-embroidered panels illustrating her happy childhood and its disruption by war. The museum welcomes home this exhibition, first shown in 2001 (the year she died), then sent to dozens of venues worldwide; the addition of works from South African and Rwandan Tutsi artists place Esther’s story on the world’s long, tragic continuum of persecution and genocide, and within its shared dreams of peace.

MN / Minneapolis
Minneapolis Institute of Art
"Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists"
June 2 – August 18 
This first major exhibition of work by Native American women artists honors their centuries of dazzling achievements in ceramics, textiles, basketry, and other mediums. MIA worked with a panel of scholars, curators, and makers to choose 115 historical and contemporary artists who demonstrate the range and individuality of these long-underappreciated masters.

“Waasamoo-Beshizi (Power-Lines),” a sister show at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota, celebrates Native women artists as bearers and innovators of culture, with work by 25 contemporary Ojibwe, Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, Eastern Band Cherokee, Seneca, Cree/Flathead, and Ponca artists; it runs to July 31. 

NC / Charlotte
Mint Museum Uptown
"Under Construction: Collage from the Mint Museum"
to August 18
More than 100 snipped, ripped, and layered pieces by more than 50 international artists make up this show. Most are from the museum’s own treasure trove, with works by Charlotte native Romare Bearden among the gems.

NY / New York City
Cooper Hewitt
"Nature: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial" 
to January 20 
More than 60 projects displayed by theme – Understand, Simulate, Salvage, Facilitate, Augment, Remediate, and Nurture – demonstrate how designers and artists around the world are working with scientists, farmers, engineers, and others to consider how people live with nature, and to imagine how we can do it better. Co-organized with the Netherlands’ Cube design museum, the show includes work by Alexandra Kehayoglou.

PA / Doylestown
Michener Art Museum
"Nakashima Looks: Studio Furniture at the Michener"
to July 7 
Mira Nakashima curates this appreciation of work by the likes of Paul Evans, Wharton Esherick, Sam Maloof, her late father George, and herself, with many pieces from the Michener’s fine collection of studio furniture.

PA / Pittsburgh
Contemporary Craft
"Fiberart International 2019"
to August 24 
Out of 1,400 entries from across the globe, jurors Jane Sauer and Sonya Clark chose 56 expressive, insightful, and innovative works for the 23rd iteration of this triennial world’s-best fiber show.

RI / Providence
RISD Museum
"Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850 – 1970"
to December 1
The Gorham Manufacturing Co. dominated the luxury silver market for more than a century. One of its tea sets graced the Lincoln White House, and its elaborate, 4-foot-tall sterling vase commemorated the nation’s centennial. The exquisite craftsmanship of the company’s silversmiths, always backed by its technical and design innovations, is visible in the pieces here, many drawn from the museum’s holdings.

TX / Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
"Houston Mending: Craft and Community"
to October 20
Mending, a required skill in the days before disposable everything, has reemerged as a respected art form. Here, 28 objects from the museum’s collection reveal how stitching, patching, gluing, reweaving, and reassembling not only can bring objects back into service, but also can join elements of menders’ personal narratives.

VA / Norfolk
Chrysler Museum
"Emerge/Evolve: Rising Talents in Kilnformed Glass"
to July 28 
Bullseye Glass Co.’s biennial kiln-formed glass competition aims to discover and encourage artists new to this versatile medium. The 280 entrants in this year’s contest hail from 29 countries; seven finalists were chosen for the “Emerge” section of this traveling show. “Evolve” highlights work by four finalists from previous years.

WA / Bellingham
Whatcom Museum
"Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century"
June 1 – August 25 
The Modern Quilt Guild’s 12,000 members do their stitching in 39 countries on six continents, united in the belief that the centuries-old art is perfect for expression right now. The 60 quilts in this show, all made by guild members, link their long lineage to both the present and the future.