FERRIN GALLERY: COVET - TEAPOTS
One of the group exhibitions in the COVET program
May 26 - July 29, 2012
Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
July 19 - August 5
Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA announces COVET: Teapots, an exhibition within the series of exhibitions and programs presenting contemporary objects and fine art in all media including design, sculpture, painting, ceramics, photography, prints, works on paper. COVET is based on contemporary artists creating new works in response to museum collections. COVET: Teapots will present selected works that use the teapot form to explore and and reference historic decorative arts and conceptual information using source material drawn from museum collections. The exhibition coincides with COVET: Art + Objects and runs concurrently extending through September 2.
The exhibition is curated by, Leslie Ferrin, author of Teapots Transformed: Exploration of an Object, published in 2000, by GUILD Publishing. Ferrin explains, "Teapots are complex objects steeped in world culture and art history. Their appeal - conjuring images of afternoons in Victorian tearooms, elegant gatherings in grand hotels and contemplative Japanese tea ceremonies - is universal. But a new generation of teapots has stood tradition on its ear: As author Leslie Ferrin says, "Today the teapot has one foot in the kitchen and the other in the art world." Teapots Transformed: Exploration of an Object, tells the tale of this art form from the traditional, functional teapot to an eclecticmix of contemporary designs. The exhilarating collection is presented in more than 120 vivid full-color photographs. The book will delight tea drinkers from around the world, while providing inspiration for artists and a visual feast for the growing number of teapot collectors."
Leslie Ferrin, a former ceramic artist, is a founding partner/director of Ferrin Gallery. The gallery, that began in Northampton, MA held periodic survey exhibitions of teapots throughout the 80's and 90's, the during hay day of teapot production in studio craft movement. In 1995, Ferrin was the project director for "Celestial Seasonings: A Loose Interpretation", an annual national competition, exhibition and acquisition program for the Boulder based company. In 2012 the COVET: Teapot exhibition at Ferrin Gallery in Pittsfield, MA, is one exhibition in a series that presents contemporary objects and fine art in all media including design, sculpture, painting, ceramics, photography, prints, works on paper and is based on contemporary artists creating new works in response to museum collections.
In addition to COVET: Teapots and COVET: Art + Objects taking place at Ferrin Gallery, COVET will be the theme for the 2012 ArtBerkshires summer program taking place in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, July 19 - August 5. Organized by ArtBerkshires, a collaboration between gallerists, Sienna Patti and Leslie Ferrin, the COVET program involves curated itineraries and behind the scenes tours of museums, studios and gallery shows related to the project. During the two weeks of programming, artists, curators and collectors are brought together at the galleries and through the tours, special talks and Dish + Dines.
COVET was originally inspired by conversations between Museum of Fine Arts Boston curator, Emily Zilber and designer/artists Molly Hatch and Chris Antemann about the direct relationship between contemporary artists and historic artworks in museum collections. Starting in summer of 2011, a formal dialog began between artists and the museum curators responsible for specific artworks or collections. The exhibition will present new artworks inspired by the curator/artist conversations about content, context, social history and patronage. In addition to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, artists have begun work referencing collections based at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Williamstown, MA; the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA; Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA among others.
The projects in COVET range from simple updates of content by changing a cast of characters or details in a painting; the recreation of an object using new technology; and conceptual perspectives that focus on details drawn from the conversations with curators. For example, Molly Hatch began her dialog with curator Emily Zilber about the powerful John Singer Sargent family portrait of the Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, 1882. The painting is prominently on view in the newly opened American Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, positioned between the two large scale 19th century Japanese vases featured in the painting. Hatch will be producing new works that continue her interest in paintings from their collection that feature silhouetted ceramic forms. The preview at SOFA NY 2012 will present the works by ten ceramicists involved in the COVET project including Christa Assad, Giselle Hicks, Sergei Isupov, Mara Superior, Jason Walker, Red Weldon Sandlin and Kurt Weiser.
FERRIN GALLERY, established 1979, is nationally known as a contemporary gallery specializing in figural sculpture and studio ceramics. The gallery works closely with private collectors, institutions and the media as a source for works by both established and emerging artists. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, it is equidistant from New York City and Boston.