Douglas Newby
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Horse & Trolly

Pottery and Weaving

Craft or art? Pottery is the only craft that ranks one notch higher as art than weaving. Primitive and utilitarian, both of these art forms seemed to hit their zenith in the 1970s. This was a time of organic, back to nature, and when the Whole Earth Catalog movement was at its height. Now there is a resurgence. The weavings of Sheila Hicks were shown at the Biennial a few years ago. The Nasher museum in Dallas is having a one-woman show of her weavings and the DMA is about to install one of her pieces. Pottery has always had a special place for me, both working on the wheel and going to the Art Institute of Chicago looking at centuries of ceramics, and as a student doing site surveys in Oaxaca collecting pottery shards from centuries ago. Ceramicist Theaster Gates won last year’s Nasher Prize. This piece by artist and ceramicist Simone Leigh combines textiles and pottery. It pulls from both of these ancient mediums and cultures as craft and art communicate her black feminist thought. This art demonstrates how powerful contemporary radical political thought is when it draws from the power of history, culture, form, art, and craft. *Pottery and Weaving
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