Focused investigations of studio craft at Racine Art Museum

Focused investigations of studio craft at Racine Art Museum

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Aqua Bowl No. 2

"Aqua Bowl No. 2" by Toots Zynsky.

RACINE — “Objects Redux: Clay, Glass and Metal, 1960–1985” is the first exhibition in the Racine Art Museum’s “Objects Redux” series — which will be featured through Jan. 26 in five of the gallery spaces at RAM, 441 Main St. Primarily drawn from the collection, this exhibition offers a look at how studio craft was developing in the last part of the 20th century.

In the years following World War II, studio craft — especially as it was being practiced in the United States — slowly began to undergo changes in content and form. Particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, many artists who used craft materials were pushing the boundaries of function and practical use — investigating materials and artistic concepts while beginning to overtly question social, political, environmental and cultural issues.

“Objects Redux: Clay, Glass and Metal” showcases studio craft made between approximately 1960 and 1985 when the field was looking at intentionally blurring any perceived boundaries between what was called craft and what was called fine art. Those years were also a time for the larger public to see studio craft in a new light, especially owing to the popularity of Objects: USA, a landmark exhibition that traveled to museums across the country and overseas beginning in 1969. “Objects Redux: 50 Years After Objects: USA Defined American Craft” opens in RAM’s largest gallery space on Sept. 21 to commemorate the touring exhibition’s 50th anniversary.

While the spectrum of materials associated with studio craft is greater than the clay, glass and metal featured in this exhibition, and the conversation is much broader today, dividing works into media categories does allow for focused investigations and for comparing and contrasting approaches across materials.

Artists whose works are featured in this exhibition include Ruth Duckworth, Michael Jerry, Cliff Lee, Marvin Lipofsky, James Lovera, Joel Philip Myers, June Schwarcz, Mary Tingley and Toots Zynsky.

Owing to either the particularities of RAM’s collection or individual successes in the field during the highlighted time period, the work of some artists is on view in more than one gallery this fall. For example, multiple works by Toshiko Takaezu, Joel Phillip Myers and Ronald Hayes Pearson are on display throughout the museum.

RAM is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 or $5 for youth ages 12-18, full-time students and seniors 62 and older. There is no charge for children ages 11 and younger and on First Fridays.


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