Racine Art Museum (by Clairan Ferrono)

"Dango #00-2-2"  Jun Kaneko 2000

“Dango #00-2-2”
Jun Kaneko 2000

Recently I needed to go to Kenosha, WI.  My exhibiting group FAC (Fiber Artists Coalition) had shown Salvage to Selvedge  at the Anderson Art Center ( www.andersonartscenter.com );  its a beautiful venue–an old mansion on Lake Michigan–well worth a visit!  I had agreed to help Pat Kroth take down that and the SAQA IL/WI show Eye and the Needle.  My husband happened to be on spring break at that time, so we decided to take a long weekend and also go to Milwaukee.  On the way, I wanted to stop in Racine at the Racine Art Museum ( http://www.ramart.org ). This small gem of a museum is internationally known for its collection of modern craft.  Although I was disappointed to find no baskets on display (silver lining — another trip to Racine!), I did find a very interesting show of ceramics.


"Dango" detail

“Dango” detail


Al Nitak (At Pyramid) Toshiko Takaezu 2001

Al Nitak (At Pyramid)
Toshiko Takaezu 2001

Al Nitak detail

Al Nitak detail

Al Nikam  Toshiko Takaezu 2001

Al Nikam
Toshiko Takaezu 2001

Al Nikam detail

Al Nikam detail


There were dozens and dozens of teapots and bowls etc and lots of strange stuff (IMHO!) but my attention was really caught by these large glazed stoneware objects.  Their size was the first thing to catch my attention. They were 4-6 feet tall!  The colors were subtle. And the glazing was also interesting,  It looked like hand dyed fabric.  Finally, the striations of the coiling process were visible and made for very interesting texture.  Ceramic sculpture that looks like fabric attracts this art quilter!


6 Responses to “Racine Art Museum (by Clairan Ferrono)”

  1. 1 olganorris April 16, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Clairan, these large pieces are beautiful. I also very much enjoyed the Utube linked by Margaret. You spiked my curiosity with all the ‘strange stuff’ – I wonder now what it was!

    • 2 clairan April 16, 2014 at 7:57 am

      I was trying to be politically correct. It was weird sculptures. I found them neither beautiful, nor interesting. My husband felt similarly, and so did several other people in the gallery (yes, I was eavesdropping!). Also, I like to look at a teapot or two, but a hundred? Sorry, not my bag. There was a very good printmaker, the only non-ceramic on display.

      I will show you all what I liked at the Milwaukee Museum of Art in my next post.

  2. 3 clairan April 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    You won’t be disappointed, Virginia. Thanks for the Utube, Margaret. Fascinating.

  3. 4 mcooter3 April 14, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Thanks for the link to Toshiko Takaezu – what an interesting artist. “Everything you do is collaboration” she says in a 1993 video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWFiDfb-W2M) – so I can’t help thinking that the idea of the glazes on her pots looking like hand dyed fabric would have appealed to her.

    Jun Kaneko, he of the “dangos”, is a potter I found quite by chance, via a book in a secondhand bookshop. On my blog is an account of how he went back to Japan in the early 70s and documented the response to his exhibition (http://margaret-cooter.blogspot.co.uk/2007/11/this-book-was-sitting-quietly-in-oxfam.html). The invitations were written in white ink on white paper, crumpled into envelopes – so he knew that anyone who turned up had made quite an effort to get there! His pots are among the highest-priced pieces of ceramic in the world – or at least they were when the book was written.

    Ceramics and fabrics can have good conversations!

  4. 5 Virginia A. Spiegel April 14, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Clairan, I’m putting Racine on my summer road trip list!

  1. 1 ‘You’re freer if you know you can’t save anything.’ (by Olga Norris – a couple of days early) | Ragged Cloth Cafe, serving Art and Textiles Trackback on April 18, 2014 at 2:43 am
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