Carol Prusa is a mid-career contemporary artist known for her meticulous silverpoint technique and use of unexpected materials from sculpted resin and fiberglass to metal leaf and LED lights. Prusa seeks to express her euphoria when glimpsing the strangeness and vital beauty of what is possible – to give form to thin spaces that evoke the mystery that both surrounds and binds us together.
See her work in 'MAD Collects: The Future of Craft Part 1,' on view through March 31, 2019. The exhibition examines works by a diverse roster of forward-thinking artists who are pushing the boundaries of craft. _______________
Burke Prize finalist Holland Houdek (@hollandhoudek) combines traditional metalworking techniques with the new technology of medical implants to create contemporary memento mori that encourage contemplation of the fragility and mortality of the human body.
See her work in 'The Burke Prize: The Future of Craft Part 2.' On view through March 17, 2019. _____________ Holland Houdek, 'Reconstructive Uterine Cavity,' 2014. Copper, Swarovski crystals and patina, 7 3/4 × 6 1/4 × 1 1/4 in. (19.7 × 15.9 × 3.2 cm), courtesy of the artist.
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We are saddened by the passing of artist Wendy Ramshaw (1939-2018). A trained designer of printed textiles and illustration, Ramshaw had played a significant role since the early 1970s in establishing British jewelry as an international force. Coming from a background in design, she was free from the fetters of jewelry traditions. The artist was best known for her innovative combinations of rings, which, when not being worn, are meant to be displayed on elaborate stands, as sculptural objects. Widely traveled as a visiting artist, Ramshaw absorbed many influences and incorporated many materials into her work, ranging from feathers to ceramics and glass.
Wendy Ramshaw, 'Chain of Glass Tears for Weeping Woman,' 1998, 16 1/8 x 3 1/2 x 1/4 in, glass and blackened steel. Gift of Barbara Tober, 2005. Part of MAD’s permanent collection (currently not on view).
On view now 👁👁: ‘Lauren Skelly Bailey: Studio Focus’ incorporates assemblage sculptures, photography, conglomerations, and a site-specific installation, all featuring the artist’s distinctive layering, glazing, and reuse of ceramic materials.
Bailey’s paradoxically subtle and vibrantly colored works often reference the natural world, especially critically endangered coral environments, in which certain corals change to near-neon hues before being bleached due to the ravages of global warming.🌎 . ______________
MAD artist-in-residence Jesse Harrod (@jkharrod) manipulates and transforms materials to animate their sexual and sensual qualities and explore the intersections between queer kinship, support, and sexuality. In her sculptural installations, she works with rope as a pliable element that she regards much like a drawing tool, specifically utilizing knot-making techniques such as macrame in ways that can be understood as simultaneously restraining and supporting. She is interested in the doubleness of rope as an element used within queer sexual play and as a material that conveys how bodies rely upon and support one another. 🌈
At MAD, Harrod is creating a series of works that investigates the relationship between color and gender identity. While color has always played an active role in her sculptural works, in these new works she is using color as a conceptual tool to explore how physical form, and forms of gendered embodiment, are made and remade through perception. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💖 Visit Harrod every Friday in #MADArtistStudios to learn more about work and process.
Burke Prize finalist Merritt Johnson (@me.rritt) rewrites indigenous and colonial histories through sculptural baskets that resemble artifacts on view in natural history and ethnographic museums, highlighting the complicated relationship between indigenous craft and its collection and display. Her work navigates spaces between bodies and the body politic, between land and culture rooted in and dependent on Anowarakowa Kawennote (Turtle Island). She has seen and felt the effects of the tongues, knives, and pens that cut apart land, culture, sex, and communities; she responds by creating works that build connection and vision. Her work casts light and shadow on how and who we are, and on how and who we could be.
See her work in the 'The Burke Prize 2018: The Future of Craft Part 2' On view through March 17, 2019. ______________
Merritt Johnson, ‘Container' (trade object), 2016. Hand-woven fiber and dentalium shells, 6 × 10 × 6 in. (15.2 × 25.4 × 15.2 cm), Courtesy the artist.
Feminist artist and educator Judy Chicago (@judy.chicago) is well known as the founder of the first feminist art program in the United States. She launched the program at Fresno State College and later reestablished it at the California Institute of the Arts with Miriam Schapiro. Her work ranges in scale and material, from painting and needlework to large-scale collaborative mixed-media artworks like ‘The Dinner Party,’ which commemorates historical and mythical female figures.
Created with weaver and longtime collaborator Audrey Cowan, Chicago’s series “What If Women Ruled the World?” challenges accepted patriarchal traditions and offers a glimpse into an imagined reality. The significance of the series’ messages is reinforced by the choice of tapestry technique, a weft-faced weaving technique historically used to create portable murals, which might depict coats of arms, state emblems, or biblical and mythical narratives.
The work is featured in ‘MAD Collects: The Future of Craft Part 1.’ On view through March 31, 2019. ______________
Judy Chicago (United States, b. 1939) and Audrey Cowan (United States, 1931–2017), 'Would God Be Female? and Would There Be Equal Parenting?' from the “What If Women Ruled the World?” series, 2004. Modified Aubusson tapestry. Gift of the Robert and Audrey Cowan Family Trust, 2015.
Sketch your ideal creature and then create your own soft toy 🐻 with textile designer and MAD artist-in-resident Elodie Blanchard (@theofficialelodie) in a fun and exciting workshop on Sunday, December 2 from 10 am to 1 pm! 🥳 At 10:30 am, join us for MADreads, where we’ll be reading Stripe Island, written and illustrated by the dynamic duo tupera tupera. 📖 This event is free with Museum admission.
In her artistic practice, textile designer Elodie Blanchard makes use of the textile waste that inevitably accumulates during the process of designing fabric and creating fiber installations. At MAD, Blanchard is creating playful “tree” sculptures out of Poly-Fil, metal rods, concrete, and fabric, and sewing embroidered textile scraps to create large collage wall hangings inspired by fauna or flora. Taken together, these elements create an enchanted landscape of nonsense, an alternative universe made of all the stuff not needed in our society of overconsumption. Blanchard’s interest lies in spotting discarded objects and transforming them into something whole and beautiful.
"His objects hint at the historical forms and functionality of ceramics but refuse to satisfy their requirements. They are founded on a love of improvisation."—Roberta Smith, @nytimes Los Angeles–based artist Sterling Ruby’s larger body of work includes a wide range of formats, many with a relationship to craft traditions, both studio and amateur. In addition to ceramics, his practice incorporates fabric, found-metal sculpture, cardboard collages, and drawings on paper. Sculptures in clay have long held a fascinating and primary position in Ruby’s broader studio work. Though he has no interest in separating himself from the history of his materials, Ruby upends tradition in his hybrid ceramic forms, which are simultaneously familiar and alien.
The exhibition is on view through March 17, 2019. ________________
Sterling Ruby, 'EURYDICE, 2018. Ceramic, 41 x 21 5/8 x 17 inches (104.1 x 54.9 x 43.2 cm)
Adejoke Tugbiyele (United States, b. 1977): Charged with symbolic meanings, Adejoke Tugbiyele's (@adejoketugbiyele) works investigate historical, cultural, and political ideas around race, gender, sexuality, class, economy, sex politics, and religion. They examine the role of religion in defining how we view our bodies, as well as the subversive role spirituality can play in the reclamation of healthy forms of self-love and acceptance. Her works encourage an unapologetic commitment to love in the face of discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, class, and religion. Tugbiyele uses a diverse range of materials, including wire, natural fibers, fabric, and wood, to create intricate sculptures, which are occasionally integrated into performances.
See her work in ‘MAD Collects: The Future of Craft Part 1.’ On view through March 31, 2019. _________________