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Talk About Art at Tweed!


Join other art lovers for an evening of lively discussion, be the first to see new acquisitions, and be inspired by our masterpieces! Tweevenings will be held every other month, on the first Tuesday of the month. Faculty, students and community members are invited to choose work to be discussed!





The European and Bauhaus Influence & Variations on Form:

The Vessel moves toward Sculpture


Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Tweed Museum of Art,

Alice Tweed Tuohy Gallery, Main Floor

Image collage Klueg_James


Jim Klueg, ceramist and head of the Department of Art & Design and Liz James, ceramics area head, will team up to do a couple of presentations related to the the exhibition Resurfaced and Reformed: Evolution in Studio Ceramics. Jim will present about works related to the European and Bauhaus Influence group and Liz will focus on works from the grouping Variations on Form: The Vessel moves toward Sculpture.



European and Bauhaus Influence


The Bauhaus (1919-1933), a pioneering German art school which was renowned for the equal promotion of art and craft media in its curriculum, left an aesthetic legacy that long outlived its relatively short duration before Hitler’s rise to power. Its relocation to the US further cemented this influence. Although its influence pervaded most art media, regarding ceramics, its stylistic tendency was toward reductivist, geometric design that stressed tersely elegant functional ceramics. As with a number of Bauhaus artists in the years around WWII, ceramists such as Marguerite Wildenhain*, migrated to America and set up practice. Wildenhain became especially influential through her books as well as pottery. Similarly, other European émigrés, formally unaffiliated with the Bauhaus (but sharing its stylistic preferences )included Lucie Rie* and Vivika and Otto Heino*.


* asterisks denote ceramists featured in the exhibition




Variations on Form: The Vessel moves toward Sculpture


This category concerns the tendency of ceramists to consider the sculptural directions established by mainstream art as they might inform the vessel. These directions in various ways include ideas of assemblage, minimalism and installation.


In the 1960s, Peter Voulkos* began making large sculptural forms by stacking smaller thrown forms in a mode relating to Abstract Expressionism. Don Reitz* and Lyle Perkins* expanded the sculptural vocabulary of the pot in similar ways. Richard Notkin* created a body of slipcast work relating to the Chinese trompe-l’oeil Yixing ware, that appeared to be made of realistic components in an assemblage fashion. Todd Shanafelt* makes multipart assemblage pieces which push this idea to more postmodern ends.


Minimalist attitudes toward form, anticipated by the Bauhaus and culminating in the 1960s Minimalist movement, influenced ceramists such as Ruth Duckworth *, a midcentury European émigré, and more recently, Maren Kloppmann*.


The popularity of installation art, beginning in the 1970s, has opened up the spatial possibilities of claywork as Elizabeth James’* wall piece (in this exhibition) demonstrates. Obviously, charting the immense range of 20th century ceramic styles and attitudes is beyond the scope of this exhibition. However, we are uniquely fortunate in this region to have collections that embody so many tendencies and ceramic artists and educators who continue to expand the vocabulary of the medium.


* asterisks denote ceramists featured in the exhibition



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