Curated by Bridget Donlon
On view September 18 - December 11, 2016 / Opening reception: Sunday, September 18
For many artists, there has been a surge of interest in getting back to direct, unmediated experience and an affinity for objects that are individualized, handmade, and authentic. The practices of the artists in this exhibition --- Regina Bogat, Martha Clippinger, John Crawford, Kathy Erteman, Christopher French, Sheila Hicks, Richard Kalina, Ruth Laskey, Douglas Melini, Melissa Meyer, Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz, Odili Donald Odita, Don Porcaro, and Altoon Sultan --- encompass painting, drawing, weaving, and sculpture including blacksmithing, marble carving, and ceramic pottery in the service of finding meaning through analog creation in a digital world. They focus on and derive pleasure from the craft of making work by hand.
Mingei, a Japanese folk craft movement founded by philosopher Sōetsu Yanagi, promoted a set of principles and approaches that the artists of the present exhibition explicitly or implicitly embody. Among those are a deep and evident pleasure in a hands-on relationship to materials and craftsmanship, a reductive approach to formal composition, and a lack of irony. Mingei (and the artists of Confluence/Influence) espouse a return to the tangible in the face of a world that seems to exist ever more in the ethereal, cyber realm.