MAD Exhibits Coming This Fall

October 26, 2016

Perched at the heart of one of New York City’s most vibrant cultural corridors, The Nicole apartments offer residents proximity to Midtown’s finest museums and the impressive array of galleries lining 57th Street. A few blocks east of these Central Park rental homes, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) occupies a dazzling mid-century building that was redesigned in 2008 by Allied Works Architecture to provide ample space for exhibition galleries, artist-in-residence studios, the museum shop, and the in-house gourmet bistro, Robert. Lit by night, its white facade brightens the southwest tip of Central Park and the Time Warner Center; inside, the museum offers a regular rotation of new exhibitions of cutting-edge works for the art-minded residents of The Nicole Columbus Circle.



Founded in 1956, MAD is devoted to the handcrafted side of design, from delicate ceramics and glass to avant-garde furniture and lighting, one-of-a-kind pieces of eye-catching jewelry, 3D-printed clothing, and beyond. This fall, ceramics takes center stage at MAD. Clay is chameleon-like: the same material produces luxurious, light-as-a-feather porcelain tableware, bathtubs, and subway tiles. Two new exhibitions will highlight artists’ diverse use of clay, from the European-style refinement of Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit to the gestural and wild sculptural forms on view in Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years. Both are part of MAD’s Transformations Series, which looks closely at artists who have pushed traditional materials to their limits.


Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit brings visitors on a journey back to 18th-century Europe, when elaborate dining rituals and court etiquette made every meal a visually beguiling drama. Oregon-based ceramic artist Chris Antemann has spent several years in collaboration with the MEISSEN Porcelain manufactory in Saxony—the legendary firm where European artisans first discovered the elusive recipe for the clay they called “white gold.” As part of MEISSEN’s Art Studio Program, Antemann has been working closely with the company’s master craftsmen. Her works place the demure porcelain figurines that graced elite tables within a contemporary context. At the center of the gallery, Antemann’s 2013 work Love Temple comprises an elaborate banquet scene set under an architectural folly, with musicians beckoning guests to join an opulent party in progress. Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit is on view at MAD from September 22, 2016 to February 5, 2017.


If Chris Antemann has an opposite, it might be Peter Voulkos (1924-2002). Trained as a traditional potter, Voulkos was living in New York City and spending time with artists like Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline in the 1950s when he began experimenting with wheel-thrown forms, altering and slashing their surfaces like the canvas of an abstract expressionist painting. His work helped catalyze the movement toward nontraditional craft practice that reverberates in the field today. Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years covers the period from 1953 to 1968, when Voulkos was gathering the inspiration for his new approach to clay, and includes examples of his mix of traditional glaze and epoxy paint, and ceramic vessels that are so large they have their own internal support structures. Voulkos: The Early Years is on view from October 18, 2016 to March 15, 2017.

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