Holly Curcio‘s Forward Fold is in “State of Clay,” the biannual survey show of Massachusetts ceramic artists and sculptors now at the Parsons Gallery, Lexington Arts & Crafts society.
Curcio’s piece, hand built with underglazes, sgraffito, majolica, and oxidation, is relatively small in size —16x10x23 inches—but huge in presence. Curcio’s statement mentions that the impetus behind this sculpture was her despair at the state of current American politics. The bent woman, covered in gem-like blue and white tears, comforted by a watchful cat, is a symbol of deep sorrow.
State of Clay is up until June 3rd.
Holly Curcio’s website
Kiki Smith‘s Lilith is a lifesize bronze woman mounted on the wall, upside down or right side up (depending on the curator), her gravity-defying pose and white inlaid eyes signifying demonic or supernatural abilities. Associated with Inanna, or Ishtar, the Mother Goddess, Lilith in Jewish mythology may have been Adam’s first wife, although this designation is disputed. In Hebrew-language texts, the term lilith or lilit is translated as “night creatures”, “night monster”, “night hag”, or “screech owl.” Lilith is one of an ancient class of demons…perhaps once rulers or goddesses of the night. #GoddessID
Lilith in the Metropolitan Museum, NY
Gillian Wearing’s statue of Suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett was unveiled in London’s Parliament Square. Read more at Hyperallergic.
Gillian Wearing’s statue of Millicent Fawcett, Parliament Square London (photo by Caroline Teo, courtesy Greater London Authority)
Sally Farnham‘s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Ogdensburg, New York, was inspired by the Nike of Samothrace, a sculpture the young Sally saw in the Louvre. The historic photo at left is the clay sculpture before casting; at right, the finished monument on its plinth. Check #GoddessID for my recent posts. Sally’s over-life-size bronze goddess is described in some historic detail here.
Harriet Hosmer is widely recognized today as one of the first and most skilled female neoclassical sculptors in America. She was particularly interested in the historic plight of women, which is seen in her extraordinary bust of Medusa, created in 1854. In Greek mythology, Medusa was a beautiful girl cursed by Athena, who mutated her into a vile, homely Gorgon. Medusa’s hair turned to snakes and she gained the power to petrify men. Hosmer’s Medusa is compassionately rendered in a fixed state of transformation, with snakes intertwining her lovely hair. In addition, Medusa bears two feathered wings, reminiscent of the winged horse Pegasus that was born from her neck after she was beheaded.
Photo and text courtesy of artsmia.org
Nancy Schön, sculptor of the beloved Make Way for Ducklings bronze on Boston Common, is showing new and classic work at the Gallery at North Hill, an assisted-living complex. On view are her series of small-scale Aesop’s fables pieces and life-size animals in bronze. Crow and the Pitcher, a diminutive 6x6x14 inches, is shown below
Ellen Schön, Nancy’s daughter, is a ceramic sculptor who teaches at Lesley University College of Art and Design (LUCAD). Nancy’s hand built, direct-fired ceramic forms are inspired by nature and the landscape. Her transcendent Lotus Pod (above) is smoke-fired clay. The piece references lotus flowers, symbols of enlightenment, and almost seems to hover above its pedestal.
The gallery is open to the public daily from 9am-5pm just inside the main entrance at 865 Central Ave., Needham, MA.
State of Clay is a biannual show of Massachusetts clay artists, and I’m included this year. The show opens May 5 and the opening reception is May 6. Juror was Emily Zilber, Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Frances Glessner Lee created her crime-scene miniatures to assist, and in a sense develop, the training of forensic investigators. Using real dollhouse furniture and dolls, the miniatures are, however, anything but toys.
Thwarted in her quest to become a doctor, this Gilded-age heiress constructed tiny rooms from descriptions of real crime scenes, so accurate they contained correct blood spatter patterns. A sculpture series in its own right, the diminutive rooms subvert all notions of domestic bliss. Viewing the doll corpses and wee murder weapons is to enter a dystopian wonderland of murder, suicide, accident, and mayhem.
Exhibited at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC several years ago, where they were the subject of a book, “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death,” Lee’s pieces deserve a permanent home on public display.
I couldn’t resist reposting this article about Carol May‘s Happy Meal parody sculpture ending up in the trash. Read to the end, which has a short history of other sculptures mistaken for something that needed cleaning.
What has Maya Lin been doing lately? Among other things, re-designing a “jewel box” library complex on the historic Smith College Campus. Lin’s innovative design incorporates, among other features, a large, light-gathering prism to bring rooftop sunlight deep into the interior of the library.
While on campus, visit the College’s Museum of Art, which has a fabulous ladies room designed by Ellen Driscoll and collection highlights like this one by Betye Saar: