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Material Matters: A Poetics of Possibilities
Curated by Howard Risatti

Jun 30, 2005-Jul 23, 2005

Press Release | Works | Curatorial Statement | Howard Risatti

Exhibition guest curated by Dr. Howard Risatti, critic and Chair, Department of Craft/Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University


ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts presents the work of a group of established artists and their young, emerging counterparts, all of whom work primarily in traditional Craft materials, but without relying on function as their primary support. 


In an art world in which Craft materials are regularly used in the manner of Fine Art (e.g., Rosemarie Trockel뭩 knitting and Jeff Koons slip-cast ceramics), traditional distinctions based on material alone hardly seem significant.  Material Matters: A Poetics of Possibilities features a wide range of objects in typical Craft materials that challenge conventional notions of Craft and explore the sensibilities guiding Craft disciplines. 


Craft has always involved a dialogue between material, form, and technique resulting in beautifully made objects that allow material to co-exist in itself. While few works in the exhibition are functional in nature, they all tend to have features that express the special nature of Craft.  Works included in this exhibition demonstrate that cross-cultural, global affinities in form, material, technique, and concepts have long been a part of Craft. 


 Moreover, Craft generally adheres to an idea of the object as personally scaled and suitable for the domestic realm; thus out-sized, museum-scaled objects tend to be avoided.  In place of the grand, public gesture common to Fine Art, Craft works tend to be more intimate and personal in scale and sentiment뻧ore like chamber music than grand opera. Because Craft objects invite touch, interactive qualities of "feel," weight, and balance are part of their intimate aesthetic appeal.

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