Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Why the Art World is Embracing Craft: Artsy

Thank you to Michele for bringing this recent Artsy post to my attention. Readers should be able to access it here.

The author, Glenn Adamson, celebrates a renewed interest in craft as art, evidenced by several major museum shows and by rising sale prices for craft-based art.

Anni Albers, Black White Yellow, 1926
included in her retrospective show at Tate Modern, 2018-19

He proposes that bringing craft "into the circle" is a way of ensuring the inclusion of women and non-Western artists.
"Craft is also a rich tapestry of ethnic diversity, having been practiced expertly by people of all nations and regions for millennia. You can make a strong case that the long-standing marginalization of the crafts—and the self-evidently crazy idea that painting isn’t one—was just the art world’s way of practicing sexism and racism, barely disguised as a policing of disciplines rather than people."

an installation photo from "Taking a Thread for a Walk",
a show organized for the re-opening of MOMA, and continuing until April 19, 2020

He also suggests that the embrace of handwork reflects our hunger for "materiality" in an increasingly virtual world.
"At a time when our collective attention is dangerously adrift, trapped in the freefall of our social-media feeds and snared in a pit of fake facts, handwork provides a firm anchor. It cannot be spun. It gives us something to believe in."
I expect to visit the MOMA show before it closes, and will share the experience by posting here.

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