ceramic vessel of arched, bulbous shapes, glazed a pale brown with black and orange speckles.

Vessels: Containment and Displacement, Useful to Grand

April 24–May 12, 2018


Vessels: Containment and Displacement, Useful to Grand is a sweeping survey of hollow-form ceramics. Curators Barry Bartlett and Aysha Peltz invite the viewer to consider the history of the vessel, from its primal beginnings as a container necessary for survival through its evolution into an increasingly sophisticated form of expression. Because of this history, vessel forms cover vast thematic territories—decorative, political, religious, mythical and narrative—and serve functions from the utilitarian to the conceptual. A vessel can inspire, inform, and celebrate (and be practical as well).

Exhibited works range from ancient to current, from quotidian objects such as shaving mugs and crocks, to large-scale sculptural ceramics by contemporary artists. Not comprehensive by any means, Vessels is designed foremost as a teaching tool forged by variety.

“Our intention,” write Bartlett and Peltz in their curators’ statement, “is to have these forms aggregate into a visual marker from which we can contemplate where we have come from and where we are going as traditions of vessel-making continue to evolve.”

Vessels features works by artists including:

Ann Agee; Richard Aerni; Jen Allen; Mary Barringer ’72; Peter Beasecker; Nicole Cherubini; Bruce Dehnert; Carolyn Dilcher-Stutz; David Eichelberger; Julia Galloway; John Gill; Andrea Gill; Martha Grover ’02; Chris Gustin; Perry Haas; Mike Helke; Tom Jaszczak; Karen Karnes; Kristen Kieffer; Eva Kwong; Patrick Loughran; Liz Lurie; Kirk Mangus; Michael McCarthy; Paul McMullan; Alleghany Meadows; Lisa Orr; Donna Polseno; Patrick Purcell; Liz Quackenbush; Noah Riedel; Alison Reintjes; Lindsay Rogers; Steve Rolf; former faculty member Stanley Rosen; Jack Troy; Deborah Schwartzkopf; Mark Shapiro; Rob Sieminski; Arlene Shechet; Rosanne Sniderman; Akio Takamori; Todd Wahlstrom; Holly Walker; Sheryl Zacharia; and Arnold Zimmerman; as well as representative objects of American stoneware and porcelain (late 19th-early 20th century); Ming Dynasty, China (1368-1644); Shipibo Culture, Peruvian Amazon (mid-20th century); and Silla Dynasty, Korea (57 BC–935 AD).

The gallery is grateful for loans offered by the Bennington Museum.