Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peter Morgan's- All Aboard

If you are in Philadelphia, check out the last weekend of Peter Morgan's Fellowship Exhibition, All Aboard at the Philadelphia Clay Studio.  Here are images from the show.  Look for an interview with the artist on this blog later in the week.  The installation explores the idea of place and the nature of representation with Peter's playful use of scale and humor.  Also included are paintings that reference the pieces in the exhibition.  To view more of the work at the Clay Studio website, click the link imbedded in the title of the exhibition.

Peter Morgan: All Aboard

The 2011-2012 Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship Exhibition
October 4 through October 28, 2012

My work is an exploration of issues of perception and representation and how these concerns mold our understanding of the world. I am interested in both actual representations and cultural perceptions of the way things are and what makes each significant. The work examines how much of what we know of the world is through illustrations and representation rather than from personal experience and the difference between “real” versus simulated experiences.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ai Weiwei at the Hirshhorn

Ai Weiwei is an interesting and very political Chinese contemporary artist.  He is currently unable to leave China but his work is traveling for him. His work combines art with activism and dialogue as his public and vocal persona acts as a catalyst for dialogue as much as his art.  Here is is pictured in the debris of his newly built Shanghai studio after it was demolished by the government in 2010.

He assisted in the design of the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics is 2008.  He is pictured  below with his installation, Sunflower Seeds,  at the Tate Modern in London.  These are millions of hand painted porcelain sunflower seeds that visitors would walk on in the large hall.  He commissioned Chinese craft workers to make these seeds individually.  This work draws attention to the insignificant work of things we take for granted and the interplay between labor, craft and value.  The manufactured, stacked and prepared items are often handled by faceless human beings who remain anonymous but for their residue of labor.  The craftsmanship in each small seed from a distance is unnoticeable, yet makes them indistinguishable from the real thing.  For the first 48 hours of the installation visitors could walk on the seeds, but the dust created a hazard and it had to ultimately be roped off.

He also works with images of Chinese relics and history, especially ceramics, violating precious vessels that represent cultural history. This Chinese neolithic vessel is overwritten with the image of commerce and is overpowered by the bright and catching logo of monetization. These works are provocative and ask questions about the role of objects in cultural history and how we determine our 'values'.  His works use material in a conceptual and cultural context.  They are not about skill, craft of dexterity unless those qualities are part of the critique of the work itself.

Here is a link to the New York Times review of his exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Openings and Studio!

This is the opening weekend of the Archie Bray Resident Artist Exhibition at the Kolva-Sullivan Gallery in Spokane,  Washington.  Craig and I are in the show along with other resident artists from the Bray. This is my piece above!  Information on hours and location can be found at

Our friend Alanna DeRocchi is in the exhibition as well, here are a few pics of her working in the studio this summer.

This weekend also saw the opening of our friend Peter Morgan's Exhibition All Aboard at the Philadelphia Clay Studio.

Next weekend, Saturday, October 13th will be the opening of German Mettlach Ware at the American Museum of Ceramic Art where Craig is included in the section on Present Day Translations.  The works in the exhibition compliment the historical works in the show.  This piece below is in the show.

We are making progress on our collaborative body of work and Craig is working in the basements as I write this.  For me this work was an opportunity to explore the idea of drawing and clay as a primary material as well as a chance to work outside of my comfort zone.  Working together seems to facilitate play, exploration and risk taking, but although stressful at times, rewarding.  These images are of us beginning our work, partly on our own pieces and also on the collaborative work this summer.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

First Post!

Welcome to blog #2.  Check out blog #1, Art, Foundations and Ideas to see any student work and artists works that relate to our topics in the Foundations course I teach at Lawrence University.

This is meant as a forum for ideas about art, happenings, studio progress and bodies of work, both ceramic or crafts oriented and other stuff.   Myself, Debbie Kupinsky and my husband Craig Clifford are both artists, so I guess I will start with our summer residency at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts.  We were beginning our collaborative works for an upcoming exhibition in November.  Here are just a few images from our time in Montana, with more to come tomorrow and some finished work.  We are currently working in our studio here to complete the project.

Me in the summer studio

We also brought our daughter, Hannah. Here we are at the fundraiser, The Bray Bash.
 The Bray had beautiful new kilns for large scale work and firing together.  Here is Jeff Campana and Kenyon Hansen loading a bisque.

John Read's large scale figures are in the kiln waiting to be fired.

The summer was a great time to work in a new environment with other diverse artists who ranged from potters, to figurative sculptors to conceptual object makers and others. 

As I become more involved in foundations I find myself thinking more and more about material, it's implications and contribution to meaning.