Welcome back to NewsFile, your weekly resource for newsy tidbits and happenings from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. We’re going to start off with a birthday celebration with Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain turning 100.
A Century of Duchamp’s Fountain
Marcel Duchamp’s iconic Fountain turns 100 today. Marking the work’s infamous rejection by the Society of Independent Artists, which Duchamp himself helped found and promote, several museums offered free admission Sunday to visitors who used a secret password: Richard Mutt.
‘Mr Mutt’s fountain is not immoral, that is absurd, no more than a bathtub is immoral. It is a fixture that you see every day in plumbers’ shop windows. Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.’ (‘The Richard Mutt Case’, Blind Man, New York, no.2, May 1917, p.5)
Read our homage to the Fountain here.
Indigenous Art Heads to the Met as American Art
In a transformative step, Native American art, including myriad ceramic pieces, are now on display as American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Times writes.
While some American art museums — among them the Denver Art Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey — have notable collections of Native American work, many large encyclopedic institutions continue to have spotty holdings. And the sometimes-troubled history of sizable collections of Native art in natural history museums, where the work is usually presented ethnographically, underscores those gaps. The National Museum of the American Indian in New York and Washington, considered one of the world’s best collections, has bridged some of the gaps. But curators describe an immense distance yet to be traveled before Native American art is given its due in public collections.
The Met writes, the choice selection of exceptional Native American works of art is drawn entirely from New York’s Charles and Valerie Diker Collection—one of the most outstanding and comprehensive private collections of its kind. With artworks ranging in date from the second to the early twentieth century, the collection celebrates the achievements of artists from culturally distinct indigenous traditions across the North American continent.
Rally to Save the Arts
The arts are on the chopping block as the Trump Administration’s budget proposal aims to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts — a program which provides grants to arts institutions across the country. The announcement prompted roughly 400 artists, educators, and art-enjoying Americans to protest last week in front of City Hall in New York City, Artforum writes.
“Just as the President assaulted healthcare for millions of Americans, he’s now assaulting the arts, culture, humanities, and libraries, and seeking to deprive hundreds of millions of Americans the right to experience and express themselves through art and culture. We want to have the same kind of resistance movement against Trump’s assault on the arts.” – Councilor Jimmy Van Bramer.
According to Americans for the Arts, NEA’s annual appropriation supports a $730 billion arts and culture industry, 4.8 million jobs and a $26 billion trade surplus.
Hiring: Gardiner Museum Seeks Chief Curator
The Gardiner Museum, Canada’s national ceramics museum, seeks a visionary Chief Curator who will help shape the audacious future of the small, but dynamic institution.
We are seeking an exceptional person to join the senior management of the Museum as our next Chief Curator. He or she should be passionate about ceramics, and have a particular interest in modern or contemporary work, though also with sensitivity to our historic collections. We are looking for a visionary, who will shape the future of our contemporary collections, lead both the Curatorial and the Education and Programs departments and work closely with the Board and the Curatorial Committee, the Executive Director & CEO, other colleagues and with the public. The Chief Curator needs to be a gifted leader, a compelling communicator, both in the spoken word and in writing, an outstanding researcher willing to learn about our collections and enrich them, an ardent advocate for the Museum, and an able administrator.
Candidates should have a Ph.D. in a related subject or relevant equivalent experience and publications. A minimum of eight years of progressive experience as a curator, scholar or artist; a distinguished body of publications and exhibitions or/and gallery development, experience working with donors, collectors, Board members, volunteers and members of the public, and strong administrative skills are all requirements.
Read more about the position.
Grayson Perry’s Artist Housing
In an effort to provide affordable housing and studio space for working artists, Grayson Perry and Apparata have teamed up to do just that. ‘A House for Artists’ is designed to house 12 artists and serve as a community art center in the Barking town centre, Dezeen writes.
“By placing artists squarely within the community, the project aims to remove barriers to engagement, fostering inclusive and creative ways of using civic space,” said Create London, the arts organisation that commissioned the project.
The aim is to accommodate artists at different stages of their careers and lives, with space for recent graduates as well as older artists with families.
Grayson serves on a panel overseeing the design and artist/resident selection.
Apparata is responsible for the design of the building, a five-story red brick block with an irregular roof form that combines mono-pitched and flat sections. Various cut outs in the facades will provide access to inset balconies and to the street, Dezeen writes.
Students Build and Program 3D Ceramic Printer
Student at the Rochester Institute of Technology in record crushing time, built and programmed their first 3D ceramic printer – in three hours. SUNY New Paltz ceramics professor and artist Bryan Czibesz tells 3dPrint.com the innate nature of 3D printers generates creativity and ideas.
“I think there is also this tendency to label ceramist as ‘luddites’ or people who don’t embrace technology – but that’s not true. Clay is a really sophisticated and nuanced material technology. But, digital is a new one. And I like how 3D technology kind of bridges the gap, that it’s just one next step on the continuum of making things.”
Czibesz came to RIT to help the department build and program their 3D printer. He said he was impressed not only by the speed and skill with which the students built the printer, but by the artistic ideas they came up with for its use.
An Unexpected Gallery
Johnathan Messum’s Wiltshire gallery is a unique arts venue housed in a 14th century tithe barn serving not only as an exhibition space, but also as a local headquarters for dance, workshop and music events, Apollo Magazine writes. The gallery’s latest exhibition Material; Earth (March 12 – May 1, 2017) reflects on British ceramics over the past 70 years.
The latest show at the gallery, Material; Earth, is the first of three to explore work by artists who make things by hand, from natural materials. Clay is its theme, picking up on a surge of interest in the medium among artists, collectors and the general public, fostered by high-profile figures such as Grayson Perry and Edmund de Waal. The beautiful, hand-made building, with its giant carved roof beams, stone walls and thatched roof, provides an inspiring context in which to consider these earthy yet ethereal works.
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