Shows to See: December/January 2016

Shows to See: December/January 2016

Published on Monday, November 16, 2015. This article appears in the December/January 2016 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Sophia Jung-Am Park at Society for Contemporary Craft

Sophia Jung-Am Park at Society for Contemporary Craft; Photo: Sophia Jung-Am Park 

CT / New Haven
Yale University Art Gallery
The Ceramic Presence in Modern Art: Selections from the Linda Leonard Schlenger Collection and the Yale University Art Gallery
to Jan. 3
Ceramic artists such as Ruth Duckworth and Peter Voulkos have long been revered in the craft world but have been less familiar names in the wider universe of contemporary art. More than 80 objects from Linda Leonard Schlenger’s stellar ceramics collection mingle with works by artists such as Isamu Noguchi and Willem de Kooning, giving all the pieces a new context. 

GA / Atlanta
Signature Gallery
Same Old Guys, Same Old Stuff, Only Different: Ron Meyers, Ted Saupe & Sunkoo Yuh
Dec. 12 – Jan. 2
Ron Meyers’ lively and gestural surfaces, Ted Saupe’s intimate narratives, and Sunkoo Yuh’s blend of the personal with the cultural and political: Three masters of clay demonstrate that working in their established styles leaves plenty of room for expression and innovation.

HI / Honolulu
Waikiki Parc Promenade Gallery
Erin Marquez
Jan. 14 – Apr. 1
The Waikiki Parc Hotel has partnered with the University of Hawaii since 2013 to provide exhibition space for emerging artists associated with the school. Erin Marquez’s six sculptures are inspired by the horses she grew up with on Oahu and those that come to her in her dreams, arriving, she says, “as messengers, bringing knowledge and guidance.” 

IA / Des Moines
Des Moines Art Center
Iowa Artists 2015: Jessica Teckemeyer
to Feb. 21

Where the wild things are in all of us is where Jessica Teckemeyer finds her unsettling subject matter. Mixed-media animals sculpted in vulnerable or surreal positions suggest the dark places in human experience where reason, primal emotion, and instinct slug it out. 

LA / New Orleans
Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane
Andrea Dezsö: I Wonder
Jan. 20 – Apr. 10
Growing up in Romania under a brutal dictatorship, Andrea Dezsö found freedom within by letting her imagination rove. In her drawings, book art, glass, clay, installation, embroidery, papercutting, and other work, a sense of free-range curiosity pervades; superstitions and dreams feed the eerily beautiful worlds she creates, in which all things seem equally possible. 

MA / Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Crafted: Objects in Flux
to Jan. 10
Looking at the 50-some objects here, it isn’t obvious that the accepted definition of craft once was something like “useful things made by hand.” Each piece resembles traditional craft in medium, form, or concept. But each was made after that old definition cracked wide open after World War II, and the lines between art, design, and craft got fuzzy: a chair machine-wrapped in thread, a carpet whose design is digitally distorted, a ladle almost as tall as its user. 

NJ / Newark
Newark Museum
The Shape of Light
to Jan. 10
Colored thread is Gabriel Dawe’s main medium here, whether woven on a large scale into two gallery-dominating installations that seem to alter with the viewer’s vantage point, or as the basis of garments Dawe transforms into surreal sculptural works that express clothing’s influence on identity. 

NY / New York City
Brooklyn Expo Center
Dec. 4 – 6
At this time of year, craft fairs bloom like poinsettias. This new one from Artrider is right in the heart of the Brooklyn artisanscape, with 100 makers offering gift-wrappable wares. 

NC / Hickory
Hickory Museum of Art
Interconnected: Tangible Dualities by Joël Urruty
to Feb. 28
In carved wood sculptures gilded with 23K gold leaf and in assemblages made of burned wood from discarded factory pallets, former furniture maker Joël Urruty bares his stripped-down aesthetic and devotion to form and line. 

NC / Raleigh
D.H. Hill Library Exhibit Gallery
Life’s Little Dramas: The World of Puppets and Illusions
to Jan. 4
Artist John C. Henry’s collection of puppets from around the world, a gift to the Gregg Museum of Art and Design (in temporary quarters here; new digs opening in 2017), stars in this display of 73 puppets, marionettes, and robots. Among them are Indonesian shadow puppets and the complete cast of a 19th-century Punch and Judy show. 

PA / Pittsburgh
Society for Contemporary Craft
Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art
to Mar. 12
Mental disorders have yet to completely cast off their stigma, despite their prevalence: Depression alone affects more than a quarter of adult Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 30 works by 14 artists working in fiber, glass, metal, clay, book arts, and mixed media, this show takes an unwavering look at the effects of mental illness on individuals and communities, and makes the case for art as a tool for awareness and healing. 

SC / Spartanburg
Spartanburg Art Museum
A Dyeing Art: Contemporary Textiles and Fiber Arts
to Jan. 14
Nine fiber artists’ sculptures, felt installations, quilted paintings, and other works pay homage to the history of the Spartanburg area, where cotton mills sprang up along local rivers after the Civil War and dominated the region’s economy for the next century. 

TX / Houston
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Wendy Maruyama: The wildLIFE Project
to Jan. 3
A trip to Kenya to meet with wildlife advocates inspired ACC Trustee Wendy Maruyama’s life-size elephant “trophy heads” of wood, blown-glass tusks, and her altars based on Buddhist rituals to honor the dead. Together, the works make a passionate statement about poaching, the illegal ivory trade, and the tragic plight of elephants.