Wishing I could pop back in at the Renwick Gallery in D.C. before the Craft Invitational 2011 ends in July. Cliff Lee's amazing ceramics are on my mind this morning. His celadon and Imperial yellow glazes on pieces inspired by lotus and melons held such serenity and attention to detail. Other pieces appeared to be porous lava rather than ceramic.
Yesterday it was Ubaldo Vitali's crab and urchin silver candlestick from 1976. True, his pieces are conservative, but they are objects of great beauty. So that is the one out of four.
Matthias Pliessnig creates seating made of steam-bent strips of wood based on complex computer design models used for shipbuilding. While one review suggests this is extremely new, to me it has roots in Thonet's bentwood chairs, Eames' molded plywood, and even basketry. Sadly, we couldn't sit on any to test for comfort.
Judith Schaechter's glass pictures were just too creepy for me, although her "flashed glass" technique created lovely kaleidoscope effects.
In the permanent collection I was struck by Texas quilter, Pamela Studstill's piece. Works by Kiyomi Iwata were intriguing in their use of metal thread and stiffened fabric. An enormous ceramic "Dango" by Jun Kaneko made me regret not visiting the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts during my many trips through Omaha in recent years.
And now, oh my, I have discovered that Kaneko has designed two operas, Fidelio and Madama Butterfly! On the Kaneko website click on "Artwork" and then on "Performance" to see photos of his designs.
There are lots of links here to the Renwick, reviews, and photos of artwork. I don't want to violate any photo copyrights, so please enjoy meandering through the links.
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder