In partnership with the University of North Texas, the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Lecture Series in Contemporary Sculpture and Criticism presents curator, writer, historian Glenn Adamson.
FREE Admission. Advance registration required.
The Sound and the Fury: On Craft and Sculpture in America
In recent years, craft has come roaring into focus in contemporary sculpture. Mediums that had once been firmly marginalized in fine art circles - ceramics and textiles particularly - are now front and center. Glenn Adamson will offer a personal perspective on this shift, drawing on his thirty years of work on craft theory and history.
One of the most persistent stereotypes about craft is that it is traditional: a means of connecting to the past, defined by continuity rather than innovation. In fact, this is a false opposition: to preserve a tradition successfully often requires constant invention, while the development of new ideas (particularly in a process-intensive creative context) invariably relies on accumulated knowledge. In this first talk, Adamson will take us to the 1950s and 1960s, and to three figures working in three different media: Lenore Tawney, in fiber; Toshiko Takaezu, in ceramics; and Harry Bertoia, in metalwork. He will trace unexpected connections between these apparently disparate figures, focusing on the presence of sound and kinetic elements in their work as a particularly compelling leitmotif. The talk will conclude with a look ahead to the second lecture, and discussion of contemporary artists who are integrating sound and other forms of action into crafted sculpture.
About Glenn Adamson
Glenn Adamson is a curator, writer and historian based in New York. He has previously been Director of the Museum of Arts and Design and Head of Research at the V&A. Dr. Adamson’s publications include Thinking Through Craft (2007); The Craft Reader (2010); Postmodernism: Style and Subversion (2011, accompanying the exhibition of that title at the V&A, co-curated with Jane Pavitt); The Invention of Craft (2013); Art in the Making (2016, co-authored with Julia Bryan-Wilson; Fewer Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects (2018); Objects: USA 2020; and Craft: An American History (2021).
Dr. Adamson is Artistic Director for Design Doha, a new biennial festival for Qatar (forthcoming in 2024), editor of Material Intelligence, a quarterly journal published by the Chipstone Foundation, and host of Design in Dialogue, an ongoing online interview series in collaboration with Friedman Benda. His current curatorial projects include Mirror Mirror: Reflections on Design at Chatsworth (2023) and Toshiko Takaezu: Garden of Forms at the Isamu Noguchi Museum (forthcoming in 2024, and touring nationally thereafter).