This past Wednesday marked a changing of the guard at Augustana College’s Eide/Dalrymple Gallery. Newly arrived for a month-long exhibition are the peculiar and entrancing ceramic vessels of Randy Johnston.
Based in River Falls, Wisconsin (where he has his studio and teaches at a local university), Johnston brings a rather unique perspective to his chosen medium. Indeed, ceramics is conventionally thought of in terms of “function”– more as a “craft” than an “art.” And it is too often neglected by Continue reading If By Chance: The Ceramic Art of Randy Johnston
Today, the art world is a really big place. In the last few decades, the advent of the internet and the decline of Western cultural imperialism have opened making it an almost global network of creativity. Major galleries and museums now make a point to feature artists from all walks of life and countries of origin. If Picasso, a Spaniard, was the world’s foremost artist-celebrity in his heyday, one might argue that China’s Ai Weiwei has inherited his mantle.
But in some ways, the art world has changed for the worse. Sadly, it is still exclusive and money-driven, prone to excessive hype and bizarre trends. And for all intents and purposes, it is still based in a handful of cultural meccas: New York, Paris, London, Tokyo.
This is why it can be refreshing, even enlightening, to look at the work of artists living in places where the art world has scarcely penetrated, where the creative impulse isn’t overwhelmed by Continue reading Some Quick Thoughts About Carl Grupp