Figuring Space

Jan 12th - Apr 16th, 2023

Join us for the opening reception Thursday, January 12th, 2023, 5-8pm

Figuring Space is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ruth Foundation for the Arts. The exhibition will present full-scale, figurative sculptures in clay by the top artists working in clay in the United States. Kelli Morgan, Professor of the Practice, Tufts University, will add her integral knowledge of the historical use of the figure in American art over the last 200 years to deepen The Clay Studio’s usual focus on contemporary ceramic art.

Tip Toland, Jonathan Christensen Caballero, Kyungmin Park, Sergei Isupov, Christina West, George Rodriguez, Cristina Cordova, Chris Rodgers, Roxanne Swentzell, Kensuke Yamada, Roberto Lugo and Victoria Walton

The group of powerful, full-scale representations of human figures will serve as a body of evidence to lay bare the issues that permeate American art and social culture. Each of the artists chosen uses the figure to usurp the painful history of bodies on display in American history. They assert their autonomy and subjectivity by presenting cultural critiques through lenses of their own choosing: race, gender, class, and anti-war ideas. Roberto Lugo, Kensuke Yamada, Cristina Cordova, Chris Rodgers, Sergei Isupov, Christina West, Tip Toland, Jonathan Christensen Caballero, George Rodriguez, Roxanne Swentzell, and Kyungmin Park are among the invited artists.

We are excited to announce that Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library will be collaborating with The Clay Studio through research visits for the Curator, and possible inclusion of historical ceramic figures from their Collection that represent cultural heritage, gender, class, and other social issues. Many thanks to Leslie B. Grigsby, Senior Curator of Ceramics and Glass, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library for her partnership.

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 Jennifer Zwilling, Curator & Director of Artistic Programs at TCS, and Dr. Kelli Morgan are working together to make Figuring Space relevant to our audiences and the art historical record. Dr. Morgan is a curator, educator, and social justice activist who specializes in American art and visual culture has worked with TCS in the past. Her scholarly and activist work combine to make her incredibly qualified to examine the issues of racial politics and the artistic use of the figure in this exhibition. Morgan has developed and championed new curatorial methodologies that privilege the voices of museum audiences, breaking the misconception that museums should hold all the authority dictating how to experience art. Collaboration with colleagues of varied experiences produce expansive curatorial perspective. Together, we are endeavoring to create an exhibition that can offer truly meaningful experiences for every person who walks into the gallery at The Clay Studio.