Museum of Fine Arts Houston opens Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics. The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection

. March 4, 2012 . 0 Comments

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics. The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection, an exhibition on view March 4 to June 3, 2012.

Beginning in the 1960s, collectors Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio assembled over five decades an unparalleled collection of modern and contemporary ceramics, focusing on objects that individually and collectively challenge traditional expectations of the medium. In 2007 the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, acquired this landmark collection, giving the museum one of the most important collections of post-World War II ceramics in the world.

Organized by Cindi Strauss, MFAH curator of modern and contemporary decorative arts and design, Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics will reveal new research in the field and present clay art in a new light. The exhibition begins with a brief overview of ceramic history and types as seen through the collection—functional forms, vessels, and sculpture comprise this section. The main thrust of the exhibition follows; specifically, redefining ideas about the vessel and sculpture through dynamic and unexpected works such as a porcelain “carpet” displayed on the gallery floor; objects by famed artists who were not trained in ceramics, like Arman and Claes Oldenberg; and a mixed media/video work by Barnaby Barford. In addition, five immersive room-sized, ceramic installations will create unique environments within the exhibition. Seminal ceramic artists such as Ron Nagle, Adrian Saxe, Akio Takamori, Peter Voulkos, Beatrice Wood and Betty Woodman will also play a major role in the exhibition as will emerging artists such as Beth Cavener Stichter, Michael Geertsen, Aoki Katsuyo and Reinaldo Sanguino, among others.

“In their collecting, Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio have focused on truly innovative examples in the field,” said Cindi Strauss, MFAH curator of modern and contemporary decorative arts and design. “The extraordinary range of ceramics on view will span nearly 60 years and five continents, demonstrating to the public the rich and inexhaustible possibilities of the medium.”

The exhibition opening weekend coincides with the annual Ruth K. Shartle Symposium at the MFAH on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m., featuring a roundtable discussion and lectures by the curator, collectors, and leading scholars in the field.

A 496-page catalogue co-published by Yale University Press will accompany the exhibition, providing an overview of both the exhibition and the collection itself. This major publication offers an in-depth look at the artists, movements and innovations that shaped the field internationally and presents new perspectives on ceramic art.

Founded in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is among the 10 largest art museums in the United States. Located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, the MFAH comprises two gallery buildings, a sculpture garden, library, theater, two art schools, and two house museums. The encyclopedic collection of the MFAH has some 63,000 works and embraces the art of antiquity to the present.

Museum of Fine Arts Houston
1001 Bissonnet Houston, Texas 77005
713.639.7300
www.mfah.org

Category: Fine Art

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