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Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America, 1920 to the Present
June 19 September 11, 2016
Enameling, the art of fusing glass to metal through a high-temperature firing process, gained widespread popularity in the United States in the last half of the 20th century. In the first decades of the 21st, artists throughout the country continue to explore enamel in a variety of forms, finding new meaning and rich expressive potential in the vibrant color and layered depth of this time-honored medium.
"Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America, 1920 to the Present" is the first nationally traveling exhibition to survey the art of enameling in more than 50 years. Organized by the Los Angeles-based Enamel Arts Foundation, "Little Dreams in Glass and Metal" includes 121 works by 90 artists, including the late Sacramentan Fred Uhl Ball, considered a pioneer in the field. The exhibition, which runs June 19 through Sept. 11, 2016, features objects ranging from jewelry and vessels to large enamel-on-steel wall panels. (right: Sarah Perkins (born 1953), Seeded Container, 2003. Enamel on copper, silver, 4 1/2 x 3 x 3 inches. Collection of the Enamel Arts Foundation.)
"We're thrilled to bring this stunning collection of enamels to Sacramento, especially given Fred Uhl Ball's enduring importance to the medium and to the Sacramento community. Ball created the enormous enamel "The Way Home" for the 3rd and L Street parking structure," says Crocker Interim Associate Curator Kristina P. Gilmore. "Crocker visitors will see the versatility and beauty of enamel through a great variety of objects, styles, techniques and subjects. They will also find that not all of the pieces are so little as the title suggests -- several works in the exhibition are surprisingly large in scale."
"Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America, 1920 to the Present," is part of the Crocker Art Museum's Summer of Glass. Two other exhibitions, "Glass for the New Millennium: Masterworks from the Kaplan-Ostergaard Collection," on view July 10 through October 2; 2016, and "The Luster of Ages: Ancient Glass from the Marcy Friedman Collection," on view July 17 through October16; 2016, along with Dale Chihuly's "Golden Teal Chandelier," a recent acquisition now on view, are also part of the series.
Article from Crocker Art Museum's member magazine, ArtLetter
Enameling -- the art of fusing glass to metal through a high-temperature firing process -- gained widespread popularity in the United States in last half of the 20th century. In the first decades of the 21st, artists throughout the country continue to explore enamel in a variety of forms, finding new meaning and rich expressive potential in the vibrant color and layered depth of this time-honored medium.
The first nationally traveling exhibition to survey this dynamic field in more than fifty years, Little Dreams in Glass and Metal is organized by the Los Angeles-based Enamel Arts Foundation. Little Dreams takes its title from a phrase the artist Karl Drerup used to describe the extraordinary properties of his medium: "I appreciate knowing when someone derives joy from the long hours I spend in making these little dreams out of glass and metal." The show includes 121 works from the Foundation's collection of modern and contemporary enamels.
Little Dreams features objects ranging from jewelry and vessels to large enamel-on-steel wall panels as it explores the history of the medium in this country from 1920 to the present. Among the 90 artists included are such early leaders as Fred Uhl Ball, Kenneth Bates, Karl Drerup, Doris Hall, Edward Winter, and Jade Snow Wong; plus many of its current luminaries, including Jamie Bennett, Harlan Butt, William Harper, John Iversen, and June Schwarcz; and artists making significant contributions to the field today, such as Jessica Calderwood, Helen Elliott, David Freda, Gretchen Goss, James Malenda, and Sarah Perkins.
The exhibition is documented by a fully illustrated publication with introductory essay and artist profiles by the exhibition's co-curators, Bernard N. Jazzar and Harold B. "Hal" Nelson, and is supported by the Windgate Charitable Foundation, the McLeod Family Foundation, and other generous contributors.
Additional text provided by Harold B. Nelson, Enamel Arts Foundation
(above: William Harper (born 1944), Labyrinth, 1984. Gold, silver, cloisonné enamel on copper, fine silver, amethyst, tourmaline, pearl, and snail shell, 3 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 3/4 inches. Collection of the Enamel Arts Foundation, gift of the McLeod Family Foundation/Jairo Ramirez.)
Resource Library editor's note
The above ArtLetter article was reprinted in Resource Library with permission of the Crocker Art Museum, granted to TFAO on July 6, 2016. Resource Library wishes to extend appreciation to Christine Calvin of the Crocker Art Museum for her help concerning permission for reprinting the above article
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