PHYLLIS ODESSEY

the ugly thing

1983-79_1bThis isn’t a blog.  It’s a heads up. Most of my friends know I love ceramics.  The current exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design:  Voulkos:  The Breakthrough Years (1953-1968) October 18, 2016 to March 15, 2017 is a show about liberation.  Garth Clark, ceramics dealer and historian had this to say about Peter Voulkos:  “He removed ceramics from the death grip of good taste.”

voulkosp_1956_002-hero-2

“Clay is just thick paint, and paint is nothing but thin clay.” Peter Voulkos

I attended a panel discussion about Peter Voulkos about the Museum of Art and Design on October 20th.  James Melchert, a former student of Voulkos in the 1950’s placed Voulkos in an historical context.  Melchert:  “You have to understand.  These guys came from blue collar families.  They were destined to work in factories.  The GI Bill changed all that.  They went to college and become artists. We forget the tremendous conformity of the Eisenhower era.”  When you go to the Voulkos show, it is worth remembering Melcherts’ remarks.  It was Voulkos, who put the shake, rattle and roll in ceramics.

if you want to meditate…
Agnes Martin, October 7, 2016 to Jan. 11, 2017, Guggenheim Museum
agnes-martin

Is there a worst place to hang an Agnes Martin Show, than the Guggenheim Museum? The Gugg is all about sinuous curves and Martin is all about the grid.  In spite of incongruity of these two architectures, the show works incredibly well.  An Agnes Martin painting is like chanting Om.

brendan_bannon_4500x3000and if you need a good cry...
Insecurities:  Tracing Displacement and Shelter
MoMA through January 22, 2017

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