Shows to See: February / March 2017

Shows to See: February / March 2017

Published on Thursday, February 9, 2017. This article appears in the February/March 2017 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Alexander White Chair

Alexander White at the Center for Art in Wood

Toby Coulson

CA / San Francisco
de Young Museum
On the Grid: Textiles and Minimalism
to Feb. 12
Simplicity, symmetry, repetition: The principles of minimalism manifest in two dozen textiles from the museum’s collection.

CA / San Francisco
San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design
Felt DeCoded
Feb. 11 – Jun. 4
Janice Arnold curated this show of her wool felt work. She aims to honor felt’s importance in human history as a medium for shelter and apparel, while envisioning its future uses, both practical and aesthetic.

DC / Washington
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery
June Schwarcz: Invention and Variation
Mar. 10 – Aug. 27  
From her first artistic experiments in the 1950s until her death in 2015 at age 97, June Schwarcz went where no enamelist had gone before. She was inspired by far-flung sources such as Scandinavian design and Japanese ceramics and textiles, but her metal forms and vessels, colors, and textures were all her own. This array of more than 50 objects, some never before on public view, is the first major museum retrospective of her work.

IL / Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry 
to Mar. 19
What fabric speaks of luxury in a smoother voice than velvet? In 44 examples from the museum’s collection, this show looks at designers and producers who kept velvet classy, even after traditional ways of making it gave way to mass production. 

MN / Minneapolis
Textile Center, Joan Mondale Gallery
Commemorating His Purple Reign: A Textural Tribute to Prince
Mar. 9 – Apr. 29
International quilt artists honor Prince’s fierce originality and cultural impact in this home-state homage that marks one year since his death. The juror is Carolyn Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network and an NEA National Heritage Fellow. (See “Stories in the Cloth,” Apr./May 2016.) 

PA / Philadelphia
Center for Art in Wood
Wood, Revisited
to Apr. 8  
Lasers, computers, and other high-tech tools have joined handsaws and lathes in many wood artists’ studios, influencing what gets made and how it looks. This show of 27 works from the past two decades, curated by Anne Carlisle and adviser Glenn Adamson, maps some of the ways technology has altered the field.

TN / Memphis
Metal Museum
Guns, Violence & Justice
to Apr. 30
In this group show, Boris Bally, David Hess, Darryl Lauster, Stephen Saracino, and Victor Hugo Zayas take on cultural and personal issues surrounding guns, among them protection, aggression, and recreation. 

TX / Houston
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Future Tradition: Melissa Cody
Feb. 3 – May 28
Melissa Cody is a fourth-generation Navajo weaver and 21st-century artist who weaves both those elements into the 12 works on view. Her vibrant colors are a link to the Navajos of the 1860s who were imprisoned by the US military in New Mexico; there, weavers reused fibers from the brightly hued blankets they were issued to create intricate textiles. In this solo show, the artist’s boldly geometric work carries her family, cultural, and personal history into our own time. (See “Clear Focus,” Aug./Sep. 2015.)

WA / Bellevue
Bellevue Arts Museum
Divine Ammunition: The Sculpture of Al Farrow
to May 7  
A church door framed by handguns, a mosque tiled with bullets: Guns and ammo are the materials for Al Farrow’s elaborate sculptures of cathedrals, synagogues, and other religiously charged objects that call down a hail of questions, such as: Is there a clash between material and subject matter – or a fundamental connection?

WA / Tacoma
Museum of Glass
Linda MacNeil: Jewels of Glass
to Oct. 1  
Trained as a metalsmith, Linda MacNeil began making small sculptures of metal and glass early in her four-decade career but soon turned to jewelry; since the late 1980s, her elegant necklaces, collars, and brooches have been the mainstays of her dual-medium work. This exhibition is a double first: an in-depth retrospective of the artist’s pioneering work and the museum’s first show of jewelry.

WI / Sheboygan
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
The Road Less Traveled
to Dec. 31 
The center celebrates its 50th anniversary with a yearlong series of 16 shows that explore art environments: homes, yards, or other spaces that artists have creatively altered, often filling them with artwork made from materials at hand and following no formal plan. The center has made art environments a focus of its collection and scholarship since the 1970s.