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“OBJECTS: REDUX—HOW 50 YEARS MADE CRAFT CONTEMPORARY”
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is pleased to present OBJECTS: REDUX—How 50 Years Made Craft Contemporary to commemorate the 50th anniversary of OBJECTS: USA, a seminal exhibition of American craft that debuted at the Smithsonian National Collection of Fine Arts in 1969. Featuring a selection of work by artists in the original exhibition, along with contemporary makers who have made their own contributions to the field, OBJECTS: REDUX reflects on the legacy built by the influential survey.
As a traveling exhibition sponsored by S.C. Johnson and organized by art dealer Lee Nordness and Paul J. Smith, Director Emeritus of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now Museum of Art and Design), OBJECTS: USA acknowledged the pioneers of the American Studio Craft movement in enamel, ceramics, glass, metal, jewelry, plastic, mosaic, wood, and fiber. From glass artist Dale Chihuly to woodworker and furniture designer Wendell Castle, many of the featured artists embraced new techniques and modes of experimentation to engage with the world around them. As the exhibition traveled throughout the United States and Europe, many of the pieces were acquired by museums, solidifying the foundation of American Studio Craft collections across the country and making space for craft artists to be presented in the same context as fine art and design.
OBJECTS: REDUX demonstrates how craft first became contemporary in the 1960s and ‘70s, when studio-craft artists were striving to push boundaries and challenge the traditions of American craft. The show looks critically at how the field has evolved in the last 50 years, moving beyond traditional wares and beautifully crafted functional objects, into a diverse selection of work that confronts the current socio-political environment and favors an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing new technologies and skill sets gleaned from traditional craft practices. The exhibition includes works by celebrated artists Wendell Castle, Dale Chihuly, Arline Fisch, Stanley Lechtzin, Howard Kottler, George Nakashima, and Tashiko Takaezu, as well as a variety of contemporary makers. Today’s artists, who continue to challenge existing hierarchies, embody the fearless spirit set forth by the American Studio Craft movement, while demonstrating the relevance of craft in a contemporary context.
OBJECTS: REDUX—How 50 Years Made Craft Contemporary is curated by HCCC Executive Director Perry Price and HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall.