Eloquent Object: The Evolution of American Art in Craft Media Since 1945

Marcia Y. Manhart, Editor, Tom Manhart, Editor University of Washington Press $45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-295-96602-1
Aptly titled, this splendid tour de force treats readers to multifaceted investigations of memorable objects ``shimmering with consequence,'' from the formally sublimeHarvey Littleton's prismatic glass arcs, Laura Andreson's quixotic luster-glazed porcelains; to the socially portentousJudy Chicago's feminist tableware; the satiricRobert Aronson's ceramic finger-key typewriter; the harrowingJames Surl's cruciform wood mobile, ``Needle Man''; the technically awesomeStanley Lechtzin's electroformed silver jewelry; and just plain kitschKenny Scharf's ``Van Chrome Television.'' The authors, curators of the exhibition at Tulsa's Philbrook Museum that formed the basis for this volume, highlight new directions over the last two decades in work in clay, glass, metals, fibers and wood. They emphasize the melting line between fine art and craft, as the esthetics of functional objects transcend, even contradict, use, and they explore the use of traditionally craft-associated materials for purely sculptural intent or as vehicles for ideas. The remaining 10 lively essays by assorted scholars, critics and museum professionals address the issue of fine vs. applied art, revealing the logic inherent in the current vitality of a crafts impulse in America. Photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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