A New Look at an Historic Art Form
The ceramic figurine appears throughout art history internationally. It has survived time and excavation. Its presence enhances our picture of each civilization. It can be viewed as a visual document of the pop culture of its time. Historically, it may reflect manners, mores, styles and social custom. In European society from the 18th century, figurines became a commercial must-have, intent on being charming, alluding to desired lifestyle, offered as a mass produced accessory from many prestigious ceramic factories and marketed as a collectable to adorn the mantle in well appointed domestic settings. Later, it became the scale of choice for compelling, one-of-a-kind, dynamic figurative works. It continues to have appeal for artists with something big to say in chosen modest scale.
The magnetic and the memorable in small formats can hold a fascinating, disproportionate power. FRESH FIGURINES explores some of the ideas and arresting forms which contemporary, one-of-a-kind ceramic figurines take and hold. These works resonate within this perspective: be they boldly confrontational, subtly coy, questioning, provocative and/or purely playful. They are, often unanticipated, material evidence of focused subjects expressed in quite diminutive physical size—moods and mores, personal and universal issues, historic or current political and social matters—presented as individual or grouped figures and/or in settings and vignettes.
Fuller Craft Museum
October 8, 2011 - February 5, 2012
Read excerpts from Gail Brown's Curator's Talk.
See a slideshow of selected images.
Cate McQuaid's review in the Boston Globe
Richard Friswell's review in Artes Magazine
Sunday, October 9, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Curator's Talk 1:00 p.m.
Works which reference historic figurines
Andrea Keys Connell
Heather Nameth Bren
Future Retrieval—Katie Parker & Guy Davis
Works with references to history and art history
Rough & Perfect—Rebecca Harvey & Steve Thursten
Works about aesthetics, values and questions
Issues about contemporary life and pop culture—from the weighty to the witty
Personal fairy tales and dreams
Family and community
Janis Mars Wunderlich
Addressing vernacular icons
And contemplating the inner self
Anne Drew Potter
Lisa Marie Barber
Go back to Gail Brown's Home page.