Where: Renwick Gallery
When: through August 20, 2017
I went over to the Renwick yesterday, and because it's a bit of a hike for me, I saw two shows in one trip. The first was an exhibit of gorgeous enamels by June Schwarcz; I liked them so much I took two photographs to share on the blog.
This is one of her earlier works, called "Nut Bowl." I'm not sure if this comes out in the photo, but the inside looks like a nut. It is both beautiful and a pun, which is an uncommon mixture. The colors of her works are stunning; I felt as if I could take them home and live happily ever after with them.
Although this piece could certainly hold nuts, some of her work is non-functional, or as she herself put it, "They just don't hold water." One gets the sense that she didn't take herself too seriously, which is another reason I like her art.
She took inspiration from nature, fashion and the work of other artists. Only last week, I'd been craving some Durer in that show on French art, well, see the piece below which was inspired by him.
It's an abstract, where Durer was a realist, but the precision is there. So, I'm now a June Schwarcz fan - any friend of Durer's is a friend of mine.
Then I moved on to the Peter Voulkos show, which is in the rooms just behind Schwarcz. What a change, and not for the better. Big clunky, ugly pieces, all sharp edges and looking like failed experiments. The items pictured below are the least awful.
The rest of the show is all mangled clay; all I could think was, "This is so un-beautiful." The wall notes provided my a-ha moment. Turns out he was inspired by Abstract Expressionism, so no wonder it's so beastly.
The final room of the show features some of his "blackware." One of his friends said of it, "It wouldn't surprise me if the pots had been made in the dark." It wouldn't surprise me either!
Verdict: The Schwarcz show is wonderful; Voulkos you can skip.