Friday, September 23, 2011

Putting on the final touches

The real stuff of exhibitions: lists, plans, glasses and tape. Lots of tape.

Yesterday afternoon, Entra Magazine got a special installation walk-through of The Golden State of Craft: California 1960–1985, a new exhibition opening this weekend at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.

The show is a collaborative effort between CAFAM and Craft in America, and is part of the Getty initiative, Pacific Standard Time. Nearly 80 artists are featured, many of whom were part of the ground-breaking California Design exhibitions held in Pasadena between 1954 and 1976. The CAFAM/Craft in America exhibition is curated by independent curator (and Entra contributor) Jo Lauria, and surveys a period of the state's artistic history that is characterized by an unbound imagination. It was a time of new technologies, innovative materials, hippie counterculture, environmentalism, and a spirit of defiance. The freedom and energy with which the era's artists worked had a profound effect on the American Craft Movement, and on the art world, as a whole. There are vessels by the Natzlers, Sam Maloof's iconic wood rocker, a Claire Falkenstein necklace, a sculpture by Ruth Asawa, and ceramics by David Cressey, Marguerite Wildenhain and Stan Bitters. Plus so much more absolutely incredible material.

It was a period of unparalleled discovery. Come and see for yourself.

The exhibition is on view from September 25th through January 8th.

Exhibition designer Richard Amend contemplates a display of Natzler vessels.
Miller Fong's Lotus chair, a reissue made of synthetic wicker, is in the foreground.

Curator Jo Lauria beside a soon-to-be-closed vitrine that includes silver pieces by Allan Adler.

An installer hangs a text panel by a platform that includes Elsie Crawford's Zipper Light II, a chair by Donald Chadwick, a weaving by Lia Cook, a Douglas Deeds chair for Architectural Fiberglass, and a side table by Charles Hollis Jones.

Also opening at CAFAM this weekend is The Alchemy of June Schwarcz: Enamel Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection.  Schwarcz, whose work is also featured in The Golden State of Craft, is in her 90s and is a Living Treasure of California. The show spans her staggeringly productive career and is beautifully installed by exhibition designer Ted Cohen.

Ted chats with Jo about some of the pieces he selected for the show.

It's all hands on deck at CAFAM (sounds like our magazine!) and director of public programs, Holly Jerger (left), dons her installation hat and helps close a vitrine with the aid of her crew.

The Schwarcz exhibition will feature the artist's quotes around the upper walls of the gallery. Couldn't resist a quick snap.

And don't miss the cases of Dora De Larios's work on the main floor... saw them being finished as we were leaving (couldn't get any pics) and absolutely loved the pieces.

For more information on the shows, click here.

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