The Everson Museum of Art’s exhibition for the fall, Three Graces: Polly Apfelbaum, Tony Feher and Carrie Moyer (Syracuse, New York, September 26, 2015 – January 3, 2016) aims to recast the mythical graces of Beauty, Wonder, and Joy using new artwork and existing pieces from the museum’s collection.
According to the museum, the three New York abstract artists created new pieces as well as displayed some of the hundreds of ceramic objects and paintings that inspired them. In effect, Three Graces creates a dialogue that spans the space of the museum and generations of artists.
The museum states of the work:
Polly Apfelbaum has transformed two galleries in homage to Morris Louis, the celebrated Color Field artist. Her installations, titled For the Love of Morris Louis, feature wall paintings and rugs of her design along with an exuberant display of ceramic objects from the Everson’s collection. Apfelbaum selected more than 200 ceramic works from the collection, dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. Celebrating form and color across time and media, Apfelbaum’s selections include examples of American Art Pottery, functional commercial ware and international ceramics. Artists include Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Russel Wright, Roseville, Gruby, Rookwood, Maria Martinez, Rose Cabat, Betty Woodman, Vivika and Otto Heino, among many others.
Carrie Moyer has also used works from the Everson’s acclaimed ceramics collection in her installation – showcasing select large-scale sculptural works whose brilliant color and organic forms share an allegiance with her new large-scale acrylic paintings and monoprints. Moyer has also connected these works with paintings and prints from the Everson’s collection – some of which are well-known and many others of which have never before been on public view.
Tony Feher has taken the Everson’s building as his point of departure, creating site-determined installations inside and outside, utilizing everyday materials. His work highlights the extraordinary in the ordinary – focusing on color, light, shadow, form and movement to create magical experiences.
This is an impressive step forward, the first major outing for the museum’s new director, Elizabeth Dunbar. The Everson is an institution that has been bedeviled by a succession of impotent and interfering boards, lurching from one financial crisis to another. It was once the most famous world-class venue for modern ceramics, which gave the institution great cache. But the board in its ‘wisdom’ decided to turn its back on this powerful brand and long legacy (Adelaide Also Robineau was a Syracuse resident and her fin-de-siecle and highly influential magazine, Keramik Studio, was published from this town) in favor of showing minor local art. This is a first step towards recovery (the museum was on the brink of closure). We wish Dunbar the best, she comes in with a background in progressive art and is charged with reviving this museum and its powerful romantic brutalist building by I.M. Pei (that needs work and expansion). This was smart first step to resurrect the ceramics collection now that ceramics is a golden child of the fine arts..
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