Another young talent joins the most exciting generation of American designers we've seen in a long while. His work is stylish and intensely made, but tends to slouch into the room, as if it were no big deal.
Originally published with Hyperallergic, December 2017.
In 1996, at the age of 26, Anissa Mack entered every single category in the Durham Agriculture Fair. But there was a big difference between her and the other entrants, and it was not just the volume of her craftwork. Mack was making art.
Originally published in Art in America magazinein December 2017.
Paola Antonelli has described the MoMA exhibition “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” as a show of the “super normal.” Nearly every visitor will be wearing variations on the very objects that are on display. It is a risky project—and what it risks is being boring.
Julia Bryan-Wilson and I discuss our book "Art in the Making," at the second annual Windgate Research and Collections Curator Lecture, Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, North Carolina. Recorded October 27, 2016.
In the talk, we highlight one of the most important, yet least discussed aspects in the making of contemporary art: its economic footprint, examining issues such as the use of luxury materials, dependence on fabricators, and the significance of scale. Among the artists under discussion are Susan Collis, Urs Fischer, Sylvie Fleury, Damian Hirst, Jeff Koons, Jill Magid, Ai Weiwei, and Rachel Whiteread.
An overview of "Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery," an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Recorded at the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair, 20 January 2017.
My thoughts about directing the Museum of Arts and Design, at a time when I was transitioning from the role of a critic and researcher. Recorded at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York, 2 November 2014.
A story about the values of making, beginning with my Grandfather Art, who grew up in Depression-era Kansas. He became an aircraft engineer and skilled woodcarver, and got me interested in craft. Delivered as the Thomas J. Volpe Lecture at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, on 29 February, 2016.
A photographer’s wagon stands stock-still, arrested in the midst of a long drag across the wide-open reaches of America. Four mules – famous for their bloody-mindedness – have swerved from their trajectory, doubling back along their plodding tracks. The wagon’s U-turn is marked in a great double sweep along the ground, a double swathe of sand displaced by the wooden wheels.