What's on View: 13 Exhibitions to Explore in 2016

What's on View: 13 Exhibitions to Explore in 2016

Bodysuit from Hard Copy Collection

Bodysuit from Hard Copy collection (2014) by Noa Raviv; silk, polyester, tulle, cotton, beads, and 3D printed elements. Photo by Ron Kedmi. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Now that we've reflected and resolved, it's time to look ahead to the exhibitions we'll be seeing on-site, online, and in print in 2016. We've put together a short selection of what's new and on view in the coming year. Of course, this list is concise and far from representative of everything happening in the field. Is there an exhibition you're excited about? 

"Liittle Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America 1920-present"
January 24 – May 8, 2016
Craft and Folk Art Museum
Los Angeles, CA
With 122 objects on view, this exhibition highlights advances and innovation in the field of enamels during the past 100 years. Works range from early masters of the medium, including Karl Drerup and June Schwarcz, to contemporary artists such as Jessica Calderwood and Andrew Kuebeck, who use the medium to explore sexuality, gender, and relationships. It is sure to be a gratifyingly comprehensive survey, with a bonus: More than half of the artists featured are women.

"Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions"
February 5 – May 3, 2016
Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Celebrated one-of-a-kind sculptor Martin Puryear is recognized for his sensitivity to material and devotion to skill and craft process. The artist’s works are renowned the world over, but little is known about the inspirations, methods, and hours of drawing and printmaking that goes into his everyday artistic routine. According to the Art Institute of Chicago, this is the first exhibition to explore the artist’s studio practice. The show will feature more than 100 drawings and prints as well as 12 sculptures — many borrowed directly from the artist and never displayed before.

"Paper and Blade: Modern Paper Cutting"
February 20 – July 24, 2016
Fuller Craft Museum
Brockton, MA
This is an opportunity to see innovative work in an often underrepresented medium. The exhibition features an all-star list of exhibitors who have created and mastered pioneering techniques for cutting paper. Included in the show are a range of today’s most recognizable talents, from emerging artists like Annie Vought and Charles Clary to established practitioners Beatrice Coron and Nikki McClure. 

"Unconventional Clay: Engaged in Change"
February 26 – June 12, 2016
Nelson-Atkins Museum
Kansas City, MO
With a focus on innovation and audience interactivity, this exhibit invites 24 of today's most socially engaged artists to show works that challenge our understanding of clay as material. The exhibition is taking place in conjunction with "Makers, Mentors and Milestones," the 50th annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference in Kansas City on March 16 – 19.

March 6 – July 10, 2016
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Boston, MA
"Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology"
May 5 – August 14, 2016
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, NY
Two major museum shows this year will focus on the intersection of wearables and technology, starting with the MFA Boston’s "#techstyle" in March. Featuring all contemporary works, "#techstyle" focuses on responsive design, 3D technology, laser cutting, and the wearer’s experience. In May, the Met will launch "Manus x Machina," a look at how the traditional handmade couture and avant-garde fashions are being reimagined in the digital age. The Met exhibit offers a historical perspective on fashion and technology, with 100-plus works dating from the late 1800s through today.

"Lines that Tie: Carole Beadle and Lia Cook"
April 9 – August 2, 2016
Museum of Craft and Design
San Francisco, CA
On the occasion of their respective retirements from the California College of the Arts (CCA), this exhibition highlights the impact Lia Cook and Carole Beadle have had on the textile field at large. Both artists have been prominent in the craft world since the 1970s and were instrumental in developing CCA’s legendary textile program, as well as inspiring hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to have illustrious careers of their own.

"On the Edge of Your Seat: Chairs for the 21st Century"
May 6 – July 23, 2016
Center for Art in Wood
Philadelphia, PA
A collaboration with the Furniture Society in conjunction with their annual conference June 23 - 25, "On the Edge of Your Seat" presents an opportunity to see 45 of the latest in chair, bench, and stool design from 39 artists including Lauren Kalman, Mira Nakashima, and Mark Sfirri, as well as seven students. Accompanying the exhibition will be a richly-illustrated catalog with juror essays and statements by each of the artists on their sources of inspiration and creativity.  

"The Design and Craft of Prosthetics"
June 24 – December 31, 2016
Museum of Contemporary Craft
Portland, OR
This unique exhibit examines the history of prosthetic design and provides a comprehensive look at how new technologies have advanced the field. "The Design and Craft of Prosthetics" incorporates artificial limbs as well as a broad range of wearable technology, including DIY objects and elite athletic devices. Of particular interest is the ability to touch and handle select items on view, as well as the timing of the exhibit to coincide with the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Permanent Collection Reinstallation
Opening July 2016
"Renwick Invitational"
September 9, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Renwick Gallery
Washington, DC
After the huge crowds and media attention of "Wonder," the gallery's first exhibition after a multi-year renovation, comes to a close, the reinstallation of the permanent collection of work in craft, design, and decorative arts is eagerly anticipated by the field. On hiatus since 2011, this year also sees the return of the "Renwick invitational" exhibition series, this year featuring Steven Young Lee, Kristen Morgin, Jennifer Trask, and Norwood Viviano.

"BAM Biennial 2016: Metalmorphosis"
September 2, 2016 – late January 2017
Bellevue Arts Museum
Bellevue, WA
BAM continues its exhibition series dedicated to innovation in a particular medium by featuring metal this year. Focusing on the work of established and emerging Northwest artists, craftspeople, and designers, "Metalmorphosis" promises to highlight new work that represents the unique character of the region.

"Beyond Bling: Jewelry from the Lois Boardman Collection"
October 2, 2016 – February 5, 2017
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA
Featuring a variety of objects for adornment from the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, this exhibit highlights artists working with nontraditional materials and techniques. According to LACMA, the Boardman collection is the first major collection of studio jewelry to enter a West Coast art museum collection.