Shows to See: October / November 2016

Shows to See: October / November 2016

Published on Monday, October 17, 2016. This article appears in the October/November 2016 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Gere Kavanaugh Sculpture

Gere Kavanaugh at Fowler Museum

Bruce M. White, © 2016 Lloyd Cotsen

Past Presence: Retrospective exhibitions take a fresh look at artists better known (Claire Falkenstein, Peter Voulkos) and lesser known (Russell Childers), while an East Coast archaeological dig uncovers the work of anonymous craftspeople from centuries past.

AL / Dothan
Wiregrass Museum of Art
Assimilation: From Clay to Cotton, the Pottery of Guadalupe Lanning Robinson 
to Dec. 31
The artist moved from her native Mexico City to Alabama more than 30 years ago. Both cultures inspire her pottery and quilts, and her work in cloth informs her work in clay: Her wheel-thrown stoneware pots are embellished with detailed hand-drawn designs that have a quilt-like geometry.

CA / Los Angeles
Edward Cella Art & Architecture
Jun Kaneko: Mirage 
to Oct. 29
This show marks the artist’s return to the state where he got his start more than 50 years ago, when he studied with Peter Voulkos at Berkeley and Paul Soldner at Scripps College. Black-and-white ceramic sculptures are paired with a series of 9-by-7-foot abstract paintings stretching 63 feet to form an installation replete with Kaneko hallmarks: monumental scale, repetition, balance, restraint. 

CA / Los Angeles
Fowler Museum at UCLA
The Box Project: Uncommon Threads 
to Jan. 15
Collector Lloyd Cotsen asked 36 fiber artists, most of whom normally work in two dimensions, to come up with 3D pieces that would fit in a smallish box. Their responses are far from Squaresville: diverse works that riff on imagery such as cartoons and gardens, game boards and the night sky. Following its run at the Fowler, the show moves to the Racine Art Museum and the Textile Museum at George Washington University. 

CA / Sacramento
Crocker Art Museum
Claire Falkenstein: Beyond Sculpture 
Oct. 2 – Dec. 31
Claire Falkenstein (1908 – 1997) could never be contained within one city or one medium in her broad and bold artistic explorations. Best known for her sculpture, she also created prints, paintings, jewelry, stage sets, films, architectural commissions, and works in glass, while moving around the Bay Area, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. This retrospective, with 65 key pieces, follows the artist wherever and however she worked..

MN / St. Paul
AAW Gallery of Wood Art
Turning 30 
to Dec. 29
The American Association of Woodturners celebrates its 30th anniversary with this show of 32 works by AAW members, exploring aspects and attributes of the number 30 and the organization’s 30-year culture of sharing knowledge and camaraderie. 

NJ / Millville
Museum of American Glass at WheatonArts
From the Ground Up: Archaeology | Artisans | Everyday Life 
to Dec. 31
Craftspeople have lived near present-day I-95 north of Philadelphia for thousands of years: Native Americans as early as 3560 B.C., who made knives and other tools; shipwrights and glassblowers from the last couple of centuries; 19th-century potters and glassworkers. Archaeologists, working along the route as the roadway is readied for improvements, have been digging up artifacts – almost a million so far. This show, the first to put a selection of those objects on public view, focuses on the daily lives of glassworkers and potters whose history, until now, has been buried.

NY / New York City
Museum of Arts and Design
Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years  
Oct. 18 – Mar. 15
American ceramics would be vastly different if Peter Voulkos had never happened. This show is the first to focus on his early career from 1953 to 1968, when he was just beginning to invent new methods of building and glazing pots, and to create forms never seen before in clay. The effects of these experiments have been reverberating ever since. Three rarely seen oil paintings reveal how the artist worked out his ideas in multiple mediums.

OR / Salem
Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Russell Childers: Oregon Outsider 
to Oct. 23
Russell Childers (1915 – 1998) was institutionalized at age 10 in what was then called a home for the feeble-minded. For nearly four decades he lived there in near-silence, fed and clothed but otherwise left largely to himself. He taught himself to carve wood, a skill that blossomed into an art upon his release to a rehabilitation center, where he was given space and support to make and sell his carvings of family, friends, animals, and his own memories. Twenty-five pieces, plus his carved toolbox, make up this first retrospective of his work. 

TX / Houston
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
CraftTexas 2016
to Jan. 8
The ninth iteration of HCCC’s biennial juried exhibition shows off talent as big as the state it’s in. Fifty-three works by 38 artists address themes such as genetics and upcycling, in all traditional craft mediums as well as in cut paper, installation, and sculpture.

WA / Bellevue
Bellevue Arts Museum
BAM Biennial 2016: Metalmorphosis 
to Feb. 5
This fourth edition of the BAM Biennial showcases the work of 49 Northwest metal artists chosen from 330 applicants, a Biennial record; among artists in the show are Rik Allen, Jana Brevick, Deborah Butterfield, and Midori Saito. 

WA / Seattle 
Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery
Signs of Life 2016
Oct. 19 – Nov. 9
Nine jewelry artists do their work. Nine writers are paired with one of those works, and use it to inspire their own. The result: a combined literary journal and art jewelry exhibition, an annual event for a dozen years now. This year’s jewelry artists: Chris Abrass, Raïssa Bump, Barbara Cohen, Kristin Diener, Emiko Oye, Joan Hammond, Seth Papac, Linda Threadgill, and Wolfgang Vaatz.