Beyond Function: Contemporary Ceramics from the Donald Clark Collection

June 21, 2018–September 2, 2018 D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

Presenting handmade ceramics that shed the common designation of “hobby” or “craft,” this exhibition demonstrates the artistry of form and explores why ceramics now occupy an important place in the art world. The second half of the 20th century was an era of unprecedented innovation, growth and recognition for ceramics in the United States. Over the past 70 years, several generations of artists have contributed to the advancement of handmade ceramics, a movement that has earned clay arts a prestigious place in higher education and museum collections.

Viewers will be fascinated by the extraordinary works from the extensive private collection of Donald Clark. Varying in scale, shape and color, the contemporary ceramics on view represent different modes of creation that are thoughtful, vibrant, and artful.  The pieces range from functional vessels to works that move beyond function into the realm of sculpture. Works by internationally renowned artists are shown alongside works by emerging ceramicists. The display encourages visitors to consider the relationship between form and function; to compare shapes and glazes; to consider the master-apprentice relationship that is crucial to the development of this art form; and to enjoy the beauty of these spectacularly made pieces. Featured in the exhibition are a stunning set of vases by Angela Fina, a lustrous teapot by Beatrice Wood, a saké set with beautiful surface drawings by Akio Takamori, and innovative sculptures by Peter Lenzo and Sergei Isupov.