NEW YORK CITY — We’re closing out this week with a pair of fantastic, sleek(!) exhibitions currently on view at NYC’s Museum of Arts and Design. The first is Coille Hooven, who is exhibiting Tell it By Heart (September 22, 2016 – February 5, 2017). The second is Chris Antemann, who you may remember from previous coverage on Cfile. Antemann is exhibiting Forbidden Fruit (September 22, 2016 – February 5, 2017). Below are the descriptions of the two shows, supported with some of the fantastic works of contemporary ceramic art.
Above image: Coille Hooven in the Studio. Photograph by Matthew Hooven.
For more than 50 years, Coille Hooven has been working in porcelain and creating psychologically charged sculpture that explores domestic-centered narratives from the kitchen to the bedroom. One of the first ceramists to bring feminist content to clay, Hooven uses porcelain to honor the history of women’s work, confront gendered inequality, and depict the pleasures, fears, and failures of partnering and parenting.
Hooven’s sculptures range from teapots and vessels to figurative busts and dioramas, and they mine the domestic psyche to produce vignettes that resonate with familiarity despite an undisguised use of the fantastical. Developing her own vocabulary of archetypes, she regularly revisits certain creatures and forms: a domestic palette of aprons, pillows, shoes, and pies, as well as a cast of characters that includes mermaids, fish, snakes, and anthropomorphic beasts that appear part-dog, part-horse, and part-human. While these creatures may appear familiar and amiable at first, tension lurks underneath. Recalling fairy tales, fables, and myths, Hooven’s sculptures conjure a vision of the unconscious—both the joy and buoyancy of dreams, as well as the discomfort and despair of anxiety and doubt.
Coille Hooven: Tell It By Heart is curated by Shannon R. Stratton, William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator, with the support of Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy.
About the Artist
Coille Hooven: Tell It By Heart assembles more than 30 years of Hooven’s work. Hooven studied with David Shaner at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and later relocated to Berkeley, California, with her two children. Citing Peter Voulkos and Robert Arneson as influential in her decision to move west, Hooven became part of the Bay Area clay community, where she worked independently from academia and forged a career making both functional pottery and ceramic sculpture. In 1979 she became only the second woman to be in residence at the Kohler Co.’s plant in Kohler, Wisconsin, as part of their renowned Arts/Industry residency program.
Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit celebrates the collaboration between Oregon-based artist Chris Antemann and the renowned MEISSEN Porcelain manufactory. In 2011 Antemann was invited to participate in MEISSEN’s Art Studio Program, where she worked closely with MEISSEN’s master artisans to create unique pieces and a series of limited editions that strike a perfect balance between her distinctive style and MEISSEN’s identity. These pieces are arranged in Forbidden Fruit as a grand installation that reinvents and invigorates the great figurative tradition.
Inspired by 18th-century porcelain figurines and decorative art, Antemann’s delicate and intricately detailed sculptures are lavishly presented on a central banquet table alongside a selection of stand alone sculptures and a nine-light porcelain chandelier. Her centerpiece, Love Temple (2013), is inspired by MEISSEN’s great historical model of Johann Joachim Kändler’s monumental Love Temple (1750). Stripping the original design back to its basic forms, Antemann added her own figures, ornamentation, and flowers to her five-foot work, as well as a special finial with three musicians to herald the arrival of guests to the banquet of “forbidden fruit” below.
Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit is a traveling exhibition organized by Chris Antemann. The artworks were produced with Antemann by the MEISSEN Porcelain Manufactory in the MEISSEN Art Campus. It was secured for the Museum of Arts and Design by William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator Shannon R. Stratton with the support of Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy.
About the Artist
Using the Garden of Eden as her metaphor, Antemann has created a contemporary interpretation of the eighteenth-century banqueting craze by inserting her scantily clad male and female figures. Posed in intimate and playful vignettes of seduction, Antemann’s figures convey narratives of domesticity, social etiquette, and taboos while making formal references to classic Baroque MEISSEN figurines. The ceramist invents a new narrative on contemporary morality in a setting that evokes the decadence of François Boucher and Jean-Antoine Watteau.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.