Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art

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Duke University Press, Mar 4, 2011 - Art - 306 pages
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Contemporary artists such as Ghada Amer and Clare Twomey have gained international reputations for work that transforms ordinary craft media and processes into extraordinary conceptual art, from Amer’s monumental stitched paintings to Twomey’s large, ceramics-based installations. Despite the amount of attention that curators and gallery owners have paid to these and many other conceptual artists who incorporate craft into their work, few art critics or scholars have explored the historical or conceptual significance of craft in contemporary art. Extra/Ordinary takes up that task. Reflecting on what craft has come to mean in recent decades, artists, critics, curators, and scholars develop theories of craft in relation to art, chronicle how fine-art institutions understand and exhibit craft media, and offer accounts of activist crafting, or craftivism. Some contributors describe generational and institutional changes under way, while others signal new directions for scholarship, considering craft in relation to queer theory, masculinity, and science. Encompassing quilts, ceramics, letterpress books, wallpaper, and textiles, and moving from well-known museums to home workshops and political protests, Extra/Ordinary is an eclectic introduction to the “craft culture” referenced and celebrated by artists promoting new ways of thinking about the role of craft in contemporary art.

Contributors. Elissa Auther, Anthea Black, Betty Bright, Nicole Burisch, Maria Elena Buszek, Jo Dahn, M. Anna Fariello, Betsy Greer, Andrew Jackson, Janis Jefferies, Louise Mazanti, Paula Owen, Karin E. Peterson, Lacey Jane Roberts, Kirsty Robertson, Dennis Stevens, Margaret Wertheim

 

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Contents

The Ordinary Made ExtraOrdinary
1
New Theory
21
The Lexicon of Studio Craft
23
Mapping Craft Communities of Practice
43
Craft as an Aesthetic Position
59
When Content Is a Verb
83
In the Realm of Fine Arts
97
The Modern Eye and the Quilt as Art Form
99
Craftivist History
175
Writing a Craftivist History
184
Radical Curatorial Strategies for Craftivism
204
An Outburst of Craft in Contemporary Art
222
New Functions New Frontiers
241
Reimagining Craft Identities Using Tactics of Queer Theory
243
The Flow of the Amateur DesignerMaker
260
An Interview with Margaret Wertheim
276

Wallpaper the Decorative and Contemporary Installation Art
115
Recasting the Craft of Letterpress Printing
135
Contemporary Conceptual Ceramics
153
Craftivism
173
Contributors
291
Index
295
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Maria Elena Buszek is a critic, curator, and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado, Denver. She is the author of the book Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture, also published by Duke University Press. She has written for magazines and journals including BUST, Art in America, Photography Quarterly, and TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies.

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