Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft features twenty artists who innovatively expand the traditions of art and craft through the incorporation of performance. The exhibition, curated by CAMH Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, features a series of on- and off-site performance events, including crochet nights at the Museum in which visitors are invited to crochet works from an installation created by Sheila Pepe, a performance of Anne Wilson’s Wind-Up: Walking the Warp, and a series of public events around the city in which Babriel Craig creates small articles of jewelry for those he encounters.
Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft is a dynamic group exhibition that explores the innovative means by which artists continue to expand the traditional boundaries of art and craft. Through the integration of performance, the artists featured in this exhibition have broadened the context of craft for contemporary times. The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston will present sculptural objects, environments, and site-specific installations along with photography and video, documenting performances, as well as a series of live performance events.
Performance and the incorporation of spectacle in the works featured becomes a catalyst toward the creation of new forms that challenge the traditional ideas of art rooted in the handmade. Participating artists include the collaborative group B Team, Conrad Bakker, Nick Cave, Cat Chow, Sonya Clark, Gabriel Craig, Theaster Gates, Cynthia Giachetti, Ryan Gothrup, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Lauren Kalman, Christy Matson, James Melchert, Yuka Otani, Sheila Pepe, Michael Rea, Anne Wilson, Saya Woolfalk, and Bohyun Yoon.
The artists in this exhibition have either sought to animate the handmade object by using it as an instrument of performance; deepen the impact of the object by broadening its interpretation through public interventions and interactive objects; or, through objects that are created as residual of public performances. Collectively, they embody the unconventional within their respective fields, breaking new ground into areas of presentation, representation, and meaning.
Hand+Made features several new works, including a Book of the Month Club series of exchangeable sculpture by Conrad Bakker; a new series of Soundsuits by Nick Cave; two site-specific installations; and performances by Gabriel Craig, Theaster Gates, Cynthia Giachetti, and Anne Wilson. Performance event highlights include a lecture-demonstration by Nick Cave; public interventions by Pro Bono Jeweler Gabriel Craig, in various locations throughout the city; knitting nights for audiences to unravel the installation created by Sheila Pepe; a restaging of a 1972 happening by pioneering ceramic artist James Melchert; an endurance performance by Anne Wilson in collaboration with Hope Stone Dance Company; and a musical performance by Theaster Gates with a local Houston choir co-presented by the Houston Museum of African American Culture. The exhibition will close with a performance/ceremony by Cynthia Giachetti. The Museum will use web-streaming to share these events with broader audiences.
The exhibition, curated by CAMH Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, consists of twenty works created using materials that range from fiber to glass and wood to metal. Hand+Made breaks new ground on the current dialogue surrounding practices within art, craft, and design, through the lens of performance.