Recently I visited NYC and saw two shows that should not be missed by anyone interested in contemporary ceramics. MAD (the Museum of Arts and Design) is hosting Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years. This show--co-curated by Andrew Perchuk, Glenn Adamson, and Barbara Paris Gifford--offer a close-u
p on the critical period in Peter Voulkos' career when he leapt from pottery to sculpture and returned (in a different state) back to the vessel form. In spite of Voulkos' fame, this installation is very fresh--the various sections (chronologically arranged) are clearly delineated and the early period has works elevated onto large table tops that allow us to really examine the surfaces.
The second exhibition to see is Arlene Shechet's Porcelain: No Simple Matter at the Frick. This installation--curated by the artist from the museum's Arnhold Collection and containing work that she created over in Dresden--is found in a light-filled hallway that looks out to a garden. Shechet's "intervention" of the collection along with her own witty additions is both fun and provocative.