By Mark Shapiro
Popular ceramic artist Karen Karnes has created essentially the most iconic pottery of the overdue 20th and early twenty-first centuries. The physique of labor she has produced in her greater than sixty years within the studio is impressive for its intensity, own voice, and constant innovation. lots of her items defy classification, invoking physique and panorama, pottery and sculpture, female and male, hand and eye.
Equally compelling are Karnes's reviews in probably the most major cultural settings of her iteration: from the worker-owned cooperative housing of her youth, to Brooklyn university below modernist Serge Chermayeff, to North Carolina's avant-garde Black Mountain collage, to the Gate Hill Cooperative in Stony aspect, manhattan, which Karnes helped determine as an scan in integrating paintings, existence, relatives, and group.
This publication, designed to accompany an express of Karnes's works geared up by means of Peter Held, curator of ceramics for the Arizona country college paintings Museum's Ceramic learn heart, bargains a finished examine the lifestyles and paintings of Karnes. Edited by means of very popular studio potter Mark Shapiro, it combines essays through major critics and students with colour reproductions of greater than sixty of her works, delivering new views for knowing the achievements of this remarkable artist.
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Extra info for A chosen path : the ceramic art of Karen Karnes
Ibid. 12 mark shapiro christopher benfey Turn, turn, my wheel! Turn round and round Without a pause, without a sound: So spins the ﬂying world away! This clay, well mixed with marl and sand, Follows the motion of my hand. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Kéramos” Karen Karnes is best understood in an American historical context as someone who throughout her long career has drawn on varied — and sometimes conﬂicting — cultural traditions while pursuing her own distinctive path in clay. In the case of each of my seven contrasts, Karnes avoids choosing one alternative over the other, managing instead to fuse and transcend conﬂicting forces in aesthetically challenging directions.
She prefers to look forward rather than back. She has also drawn strong boundaries around her studio, shielding her practice from intrusion, distraction, and external critique. In trying to understand the relationship between her life and work, one must look as well as listen and read. A 1957 photograph provides a revealing window. Like Karnes’s notoriously silent demonstrations, it expresses a great deal without words. Bracing a huge plaster mold against her breast, arm muscles taut, she pushes clay up its walls with controlled force.
In trying to understand the relationship between her life and work, one must look as well as listen and read. A 1957 photograph provides a revealing window. Like Karnes’s notoriously silent demonstrations, it expresses a great deal without words. Bracing a huge plaster mold against her breast, arm muscles taut, she pushes clay up its walls with controlled force. Her body expresses authority, focus, and composure. Seemingly unaware of the camera, she is self-contained, complete unto herself. It’s important to recognize how unusual this image was in its time.
A chosen path : the ceramic art of Karen Karnes by Mark Shapiro