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Craft and Contemporary Art – September 2012

Janet Zweig: Heinz and Judy, a play (Boston: Photographic Resource Center, 1985); image courtesy of the artist
Janet Zweig: Heinz and Judy, a play (Boston: Photographic Resource Center, 1985); image courtesy of the artist

This season Grove Art Online is pleased to present a group of new and significantly revised articles that explore the significance of craft in contemporary art. Taken together, these new articles offer an overview of the ways that materials and processes typically associated with handicrafts have been used in conceptual and extraordinary ways by contemporary artists.

The centerpiece is an article on craft and contemporary art, which provides a broad summary of current practices and theories that shape debates about a craft aesthetic. Complementing it is an important new essay on artists’ books – a broad summary of the forms, subject matter, and strategies encompassed by the term, focusing on the 20th and 21st centuries – and an expanded essay on developments in textiles and fiber art. Rounding out the update are 10 new biographies of significant artists whose work demonstrates an innovative engagement with craft media or processes, including Ghada Amer, Nick Cave, and Yoshihira Suda.

Many thanks are due to the accomplished scholars who contributed to this update, as well as to the institutions and individuals who generously provided illustrations. This update represents the fourth in our ongoing series of Contemporary Art updates, following those on globalization, visual culture, and science. The material complements Grove’s ever-growing coverage of contemporary art, which includes well over 1,200 articles. Please enjoy this installment, and look for more new articles and images on contemporary topics in 2013.

Jean Robertson
Grove Advisory Editor for Contemporary Art
Chancellor’s Professor of Art History
Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Elissa Auther, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs: Fibre art
Paula J. Birnbaum, University of San Francisco: Reichek, Elaine
Naomi Beckwith, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago: Cave, Nick
Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver: Craft and contemporary art
Kimberley Chandler, Ceramic Review: Twomey, Clare
Geraldine Craig, Kansas State University: Wilson, Anne
Johanna Drucker, University of California, Los Angeles: Artist’s book
Michele Fricke, Kansas City Art Institute: LeDray, Charles; Lou, Liza
Janet Koplos, Independent Scholar: Suda, Yoshihiro
Patricia Malarcher, Independent Scholar: Hicks, Sheila
Chika Okeke-Agulu, Princeton University: Amer, Ghada
Jean Robertson, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: Messager, Annette

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