Formed & Fired: Contemporary American Ceramics at the Anderson Collection | Summary and Q&A

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December 10, 2020
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Stanford
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Formed & Fired: Contemporary American Ceramics at the Anderson Collection

TL;DR

The "Formed and Fired" exhibition showcases the works of innovative ceramic artists who bridge tradition and contemporary themes, exploring the body, identity, materiality, and value in their creations.

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Key Insights

  • 🌉 The "Formed and Fired" exhibition showcases ceramic artworks by Simone Leigh, Brie Ruais, Kathy Butterly, and Kahlil Robert Irving that bridge tradition and contemporary issues.
  • 🧔 Brie Ruais's large-scale clay objects reveal a physicality born from her performative approach, capturing the material's ability to convey motion.
  • 💦 Kathy Butterly's small ceramic works project strength and provoke reflection on our bodies' connection to the past.
  • 🫵 Kahlil Robert Irving prompts viewers to reconsider American history and ongoing social issues, promoting awareness and a better future.
  • 🖤 Simone Leigh's art addresses race and gender, emphasizing black femininity and empowering black women.
  • 👨‍⚖️ The exhibition provides an opportunity for conversations around race, gender identity, materiality, social justice, and contemporary issues.
  • 🔉 Ceramics offer a unique medium to memorialize and process information related to violence, as well as a way to slow down the movement of photography and digital media.

Transcript

  • The exhibition "Formed and Fired" highlights key works by four groundbreaking ceramic artists whose practice is very much grounded in tradition and grounded in the past, but whose work really speaks to contemporary issues, contemporary ideas and interrogates these questions of the body and identity and materiality and value. The works on view in ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How do Brie Ruais's works connect physicality and clay?

Brie Ruais's large-scale clay works embody physicality through her gestural, performative approach. Using around 130 pounds of clay, she creates these monumental objects through quick, movement-driven techniques, tearing and shaping the clay to reveal legible gestures and capture the mystery of movement.

Q: What distinguishes Kathy Butterly's ceramic pieces?

Kathy Butterly's ceramic works are small yet powerful. Despite their fragility, they exude boldness and strength. By exploring the body's relation to the past and inviting reflection, Butterly's pieces challenge preconceived notions and provoke deeper contemplation.

Q: How does Kahlil Robert Irving explore social issues through ceramics?

Kahlil Robert Irving encourages viewers to refocus on American history and the perpetuation of social issues today. By considering our bodies in relation to the past, Irving aims to raise awareness and contribute to a better future for all, prompting important conversations about race, gender identity, materiality, and social justice.

Q: How does Simone Leigh's work address race and gender?

Simone Leigh's artwork centers on race and gender, particularly highlighting black femininity and creating representation for a black audience. Her sculptures depict black women in positions of power and pride, encouraging dialogue and exploration of these important themes.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The "Formed and Fired" exhibition features works by Simone Leigh, Brie Ruais, Kathy Butterly, and Kahlil Robert Irving, whose ceramic art delves into contemporary issues while being rooted in tradition.

  • Brie Ruais's large-scale clay objects reveal a physicality that reflects the artist's gestural, movement-driven approach and highlights the material's ability to capture and convey motion.

  • Kathy Butterly's small, intimate ceramic works project strength and boldness while inviting contemplation of the body and its relation to the past.

  • Kahlil Robert Irving's art prompts viewers to reexamine American history, social issues, and their own bodies, fostering greater awareness and encouraging a better future.

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