Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft is an exhibition that showcases Tempe’s ASU Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center’s extensive collection of craft art. Thanks to the vision of Rudy Turk, the museum’s director from 1967-1992, the ASU Art Museum today owns an extraordinary collection, one of the best in the country, of what is considered craft art, works in wood, fiber and ceramics. Crafting a Continuum showcases 100 works from the museum’s collection. It features works by established artists such as Viola Frey, Beatrice Wood (who produced artwork until she died at 105 years old), Peter Voulkos, Ed Moulthrop and Dorothy Gill Barnes. Emerging artists represented include Sonya Clark, Anders Ruhwald, Mark Newport and Alison Elizabeth Taylor.
The exhibition shows the many new and innovative ways in which artists are using basic materials and old techniques to create modern and contemporary works of art. For instance, there is a beautiful contemporary example of the labor intensive, centuries old technique of marquetry titled Chainlink by Alison Elizabeth Taylor. The work was painstakingly crafted by attaching pieces of wood veneers to a flat surface. The result is an intricately detailed picture of a drained and dilapidated swimming pool at a hotel in Salton Sea, a failed resort near Palm Springs. A dilapidated swimming pool has never looked so elegant.
There are many fine examples of innovative fiber art. Carol Eckert’s And a Wolf Shall Devour the Sun is an intricate fabric piece that was created by using the ancient technique of coiling, in which stitches are knotted around a fiber core. Eckert has taken this process further by using wire as the core, which enables three dimensional figures
Crafting a Continuum is virtually brimming with incredible works of art. It’s fascinating to see the innovative ways in which the basic materials of wood, fiber and clay have been transformed into works of art by accomplished artists. The exhibition will be will be up through December 7. After that, selected works from the exhibition will travel to five additional venues around the country, beginning in January of 2014.
Other exhibitions on display at the ASU Art Museum:
Plate • Silk • Stone: Impressions by Women Artists from the ASU Art Museum Print Collection, through December 8
Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order 9066, through January 4
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts School of Art Faculty Exhibition, October 12-January 18
This Is Not America: Resistance, Protest and Poetics, through June 6
Museum hours: Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday and holidays. For more information on the ASU Art Museum exhibitions, visit http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu/exhibitions/.
For more information on Tempe events, visit www.TempeCalendar.com.