Molly Hatch has been extremely busy in 2013, with a solo show, Reverie, at the Philadelphia Art Alliance (February 7 – April 27) and another during London Design Week in September and an installation at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston for its exhibition, New Blue and White (February 20 – July 14).
The exhibition notes for Hatch’s exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance state that the show demonstrated her “continued effort to claim the functional surface of the dinner plate as a painting surface.” This is patently true, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Hatch can’t keep a painting within only one plate, nor can she keep her activities to even a few spheres. With a BFA from the Museum School in Boston and an MFA in ceramics from the University of Colorado in Boulder, it was the award of an Arts/Industry Residency in the Pottery at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin that put Hatch on the path to making both works of art and design for industry. (She has licensed work to Anthropologie, Galison, and Chronicle, among many others.) She is keenly aware of the different concerns and goals of each, while engaging with the ambiguity of objects that seem to exist in both the decorative and fine art realms.
For “Reverie” Hatch drew from 18th and 19th century plates and other antiques from her family’s own collection, she has created a series of “plate paintings” in which design elements from “source” plates are drastically scaled up and applied in a matrix on a grid of new plates, forming an image all its own. In response to the domestic history of the Philadelphia Art Alliance—once a private home—Hatch has also created wallpaper called “Tea For Two.” Working closely with curators at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, Hatch studied the teacup collection of Francine and Sterling Clark, and began painting teacups and designing a pattern that employed both their intricate surface designs and their silhouettes. The resulting wallpaper invites the viewer to contemplate this complex identity—is it a work of art, or is it decoration, and can it be both?—and provides no definitive answers, only provocative questions.
Despite her hectic schedule, Hatch has agreed to create a limited edition for CFile that will be available in our online shop that opens in a matter of weeks.
Molly Hatch (1978) is an artist, illustrator, and ceramist. She balances creating one-of-a kind artworks that are widely exhibited and collected with designing for industry, licensensing her work to Anthropologie, Galison, and Chronicle. She teaches ceramic and illustration workshops across the country, as well as online courses through Creativebug, and a Tableware course at RISD. Her first book will come out in 2015. Hatch’s recent solo exhibitions include Zea Mays Printmaking: Nanny Vonnegut and Molly Hatch, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, Massachusets, 2012; and Mon Plaisir, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, 2011. She is represented by Ferrin Gallery in Pittsfield, MA.
Above image: Molly Hatch installing Reverie, 2013. 28 hand-painted plates with glaze, underglaze and 11 carat gold luster, 70” W.