NinaJohnson

Burnaway takes a close look at Vessels

February 20th, 2021
Vessels, installation view

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By Burnaway Staff

When I visited Betty and George in Italy, the first thing I noticed were all the Betty Woodman’s littered around the garden, kitchen and studio. We ate off them, she planted in them, and yet, they were inextricably linked to the precious sculptures I had exhibited in the gallery months prior. For her nearly seventy-year career, Betty battled with functionality, finding joy, release and infinite inspiration in using the idea of function as source material. In the years since my visit to her home just outside Florence, I often think of Betty and her fascination with the vessel as subject matter. Most specifically my love of Betty led me to Katie Stout. More on that later.

Over 13 years of gallery exhibitions and one persistent form has continually appeared as an object of desire; the vessel. In all its many forms, this subject never tires. This much regarded, revered and studied form is the genesis of many discussions, exhibitions, publications, and texts, many of which are more scholarly, well researched and surely more responsible than the one I am presenting here.

This exhibition aims to be of the more varietal sort, a vast and random, densely populated network of artists. A group that transcends age, race, and in some instances, even life, yet, somehow the artists within it manage to remain in vividly active conversation with each other. Many consider themselves designers, some architects, some sculptors. Many are dedicated to one media, one persistent conceptual thread, many are not. All are seekers, connecting via tactility.

  • Vessels, installation view