An Expanded Field of Possibilities

amy bessone.jpg

The art world is guilty of hierarchical thinking and elitism, and probably always will be. This, I think most of us would agree, is a shame. So it becomes that much sweeter when an institution renown in the contemporary art world unapologetically presents an exhibition of contemporary ceramicists–artists whose medium has historically lived in the gray area between “fine art” and “craft”, despite its having been the choice medium in the practice of several important artists across many movements. Although the postmodern era has proven to have quite significantly blurred that line between the “high and low” arts, it is a sad fact that it still considered “groundbreaking” to show ceramics. That said, the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF) is currently showing An Expanded Field of Possibilities, an exhibit featuring the work of eleven mostly west coast avant-garde artists using ceramics, including several household names like Amy Bessone, whose work is pictured above, and Eduardo Sarabia, who blew minds with Babylon Bar at the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

An Expanded Field of Possibilities is on view at CAF through May 24, 2009. All eleven artists included in the exhibition are: Amy Bessone, Nicole Cherubini, Mari Eastman, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Klara Kristalova, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Kristen Morgin (who is simultaneously showing at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts), William J. O’Brien, Eduardo Sarabia, Anna Sew Hoy and Stephanie Wagner.