Kate MccGwire - Sluice - seen here
The latest issue of Crafts magazine has been floating around the gallery office this week, and we got quite excited about an article called The Natural Order therein; I was particularly gleeful about the lovely image used of one of Nick Cave's Soundsuits. The piece is about a new show due to open in April at New York's Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) called Dead or Alive described as '...simultaneously beautiful, disturbing and monstrous.' The show brings together 30 artists who use once-living objects in their practice - bones, hair, twigs, insects, feathers, seeds...in the week leading up to the opening, visitors are able to watch the artists' making and installing their work in situ.
Nick Cave - Soundsuit - seen here
The show seeks to demonstrate the role that craft plays in contemporary fine art practice and the article puts that into context a little, including the strong opposition and resistance to that position within sections of the fine art establishment. It also makes reference to the feminist roots of the current resurgence in 'making' within art and the often notable reluctance for those roots to be acknowledged explicitly. Interesting debates!
I like this paragraph which quotes from MAD's Chief Curator, David Revere McFadden: "Artists are discovering a new thrill from taking the over-looked, unloved and ignored and investing them with new meaning." There's been a noticeable surge of interest in the "magic of making things", he adds, with a new generation of artists paying attention to process and materials. Crafts March/April 2010