Monday, March 27, 2017

Keeping an Open Mind to Meissen

Last week I had a day trip up to Sacramento that included the Crocker Museum.  Currently most of the special exhibits are Japan-focused, including two shows of contemporary ceramics. Japanamerica — Points of Contact explores the role and influence Japanese art on the United States through a century of international expos and world’s fairs. There is also an exhibit with the photography of Ansel Adams from the Japanese-American internment camp at Manzanar.  They are beautiful and stunning photos from an ugly, sad and shameful chapter in American History.
There was one exhibit that I knew I did not need to see.  Forbidden Fruit – Chris Antemann at Meissen.  Sure, as an artist I can appreciate the craftsmanship.  But from my point of view, Meissen porcelain is at the high end of the spectrum of old lady knick-knacks.  Starting at the bottom with the offerings of the Lillian Vernon catalog, to Hummel, to the Franklin Mint to museum-worthy Meissen.  It is one big yawn.
As I passed by the sun filled room, I was like, okay, sure, I might as well have a look….
I love them.  Technically the sculptor Chris Antemann has created beautiful work.  At a quick glance yeah, Meissen — at second glance, what, wait a minute….   They are so naughty.  I can’t resist saying it, but she put the bone back in bone china. 
I was tempted to camp out and wait for a few of the ladies-who-do-lunch to come and have a look and be all, well, titillated. 

The show is in Sacramento until June 25, 2017.  You can get a video preview here. 

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