Objects: USA 2020 hails a new generation of artist-craftspeople by revisiting a groundbreaking event that redefined American art.
In 1969, an exhibition opened at the Smithsonian Institution that redefined American art. Objects: USA united a cohort of artists inventing new approaches to art-making by way of craft media. Subsequently touring to twenty-two museums across the country, where it was viewed by over half a million Americans, and then to eleven cities in Europe, the exhibition canonized such artists as Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, Wharton Esherick, Wendell Castle, and George Nakashima, and introduced others who would go on to achieve widespread art-world acclaim, including Dale Chihuly, Michele Oka Doner, J. B. Blunk, and Ron Nagle.
Objects: USA 2020 revisits this revolutionary exhibition and its accompanying catalog–which has become a bible of sorts to curators, gallerists, dealers, craftspeople, and artists–by pairing fifty participants from the original exhibition with fifty contemporary artists representing the next generation of practitioners to use–and upend–the traditional methods and materials of craft to create new forms of art.
Published to coincide with an exhibition of the same title at the renowned gallery R & Company, and featuring essays by some of the foremost authorities on craft at the intersection of art, including Glenn Adamson, curator and former director of the Museum of Arts & Design; James Zemaitis, curator and former head of twentieth-century design at Sotheby’s; and Lena Vigna, curator of exhibitions at the Racine Art Musuem; an interview with Paul J. Smith, the cocurator of Objects: USA; archival photographs of the original exhibition and important historical works; and lush full-color images of contemporary works, Objects: USA 2020 is an essential art historical reference that traces how craft was elevated to the status of museum-quality art, and sets its trajectory forward. Hardcover, 282 pages.