Academic Year Gallery Hours:
Tues, Wed, Sat: 12-3pm
Thurs, Fri: 12-6pm
Closed Monday, Sunday, and University Holidays
Summer Gallery Hours:
Wed, Thurs, Sat: 12-3pm
Closed Monday, Tuesday, Sunday and Federal Holidays
From top: Ryan Mitchell, Excavator’s Daughter, 2005. Wood fired stoneware and porcelain. Campus Art Award; Trey Hill, Just a Little Taste, 2009. Hand-built earthenware. Gift of Jon and Anne Bertsche; Crista Ann Ames, Four Years with a Silver-Tongued Devil, 2013. Hand-built ceramic. Museum Purchase from UMECA Juried Exhibition; Suzanne Lussier, Abundance, 2011. Gold leaf on ceramic. MMAC Student Purchase Award.
This exhibition brings our Permanent Collection into the vanguard of ceramics history by examining formal and thematic developments in the American ceramics movement since its onset in the early 1950s. Beginning with collaborations by Peter and Henry Meloy and early works by Rudy Autio and Peter Voulkos, the show highlights work that broke with clay’s decorative and utilitarian heritage to usher in what is now known as the Vessel movement.
In the subsequent decades, artists like Branson Stevenson, Frances Senska, Tony Hepburn and Ken Little turned toward a sculptural understanding of clay, guided more by the physical properties of the medium than principles of quality manufacturing. These artists laid the groundwork for the more whimsical work produced by artists in the 1980s, such as Tom Rippon and Jay Rummel. Examples of their work appear alongside treasures by Douglas Baldwin, David Shaner, and Kurt Weiser. Some of the most daring advances in artistic sensibility and glazing and firing techniques were made in this era, and the works on view will elate ceramics enthusiasts as well as newcomers to the clay medium.
More contemporary trends like the emergence of personal narrative and mythology will be on view in works by artists defining the field today, many of them recent graduates of UM’s own ceramics program, including Megan Bogonovich, Sue Tirrell, Alex Kraft, Ryan Mitchell, and Trey Hill.
Decades is co-curated by UM Professor of Ceramics Julia Galloway and MMAC Curator of Art Jeremy Canwell.
Jiří Anderle, Portrait of My Friend, from the cycle Portraits in the Passage of Time, 1979. Intaglio: drypoint, mezzotint, and wire brush à la poupée. MMAC Permanent Collection. Gift of J. Scott Patnode in Honor of Wally and Irene Patnode.
This exhibition will present a selection of graphic works by Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak and Slovenian artists, offering an extraordinary glimpse into creativity in the shadow of Soviet communism. From Khrushchev’s mid-1950s cultural “Thaw” to the Prague Spring, the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath, Eastern European artists used the printed form to recover their national traditions and critique the totalitarian culture that had eclipsed them.
Over and above the historical record it presents, this exhibition is a veritable survey of technical mastery by some of the region’s most accomplished printmakers, including Jiří Anderle, Alena Kučerová, Oldřich Kulhánek, and Pravoslav Sovák.
Examples from an accompanying research archive, consisting of 59 rare art books, corresponding monographs, and exhibition catalogues will also be on view.