Visions and Revisions: Renwick Invitational 2016 at Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, through January 16, 2017

“The 2016 Renwick Invitational, Visions and Revisions, highlights the work of four craft artists, Jennifer Trask, Steven Young Lee, Kristen Morgin, and Norwood Viviano, who invite chance into their practice, and explore universal cycles of growth and decline, ruin and reinvention.

Jennifer Trask creates ornate sculpture and jewelry with the eye of a naturalist, using fragments of bone, antler, antique frames, and natural materials. Her contemplative pieces reflect on humankind’s struggle for dominion over nature, and the resilience of life in the harshest conditions. Steven Young Lee reimagines Asian ceramic traditions through his ‘deconstructed’ vessels, surrendering control and allowing them to slump and fold in the kiln. Expressive yet humble, his work provokes meditations on cultural identity and the nature of perfection. Norwood Viviano’s glass and metal works use cutting-edge technology and historical data to explore population shifts; the fragility of his medium becomes a metaphor for the delicate equilibrium of communities, industry, and environment. Kristen Morgin’s nostalgic raw clay sculptures, from massive ‘archaeological relics’ to tiny anonymous toys, recall the innocence of bygone days, elevated to art even as they teeter on the brink of disintegration.

Reflecting on life’s ephemerality, these artists challenge our expectations to optimistically remind us that we are part of a large continuum. Through their work, they pose to us a vital question: What do we choose to carry with us, and what do we leave behind, as we remake ourselves time and again?” —  Introductory Wall Text

Jennifer Trask

trask-breslervignette

Jennifer Trask, Bresler Vignette, 2013, found and altered objects including late 18th century carved wood and gilt frame (Italy), white tail deer bones, antlers, python and boa ribs, cow bone, chicken ribs, coyote and fox bacula, Asian water buffalo teeth, camel bones, giraffe femurs, resin, gold leaf. Collection of Fleur Bresler. Photo by Gene Young

trask-burgeon

Jennifer Trask, Burgeon, 2012, Found 18th & 19th century Italian gilt wood fragments, 22K & 23.5 K gold leaf, antler, bone, teeth (various), epoxy resin. Private collection. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo by Storm Photo

trask-revivalneckobject

Jennifer Trask, Revival Neck Object, 2012, wood, gesso, 23.75k gold leaf, antlers, boars’ tusks. Courtesy Gallery Loupe. Photo by the artist

trask-marionmorifoliumnecklace

Jennifer Trask, Marion’s Morifolium Neckpiece, 2011, sewing needles, antler, 23.5k gold leaf, found 18th century frame fragments, various teeth and bones, cast resin with bone powder. Collection of Marion Fulk. Photo by the artist

trask-octobernecklace

Jennifer Trask, October Necklace, 2002, fabricated and constructed 18k royal gold, 18k green gold, 14k palladium, 22k gold with swallowtail, monarch, queen, and silvery checkerspot butterfly wings; yellow soil from Verona, Italy and Spain; red soil from Arizona; ring-necked pheasant feathers; guinea fowl feathers; iron filings; black sand; and rusted steel in mineral crystal and reticles. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund

trask-tulipa

Jennifer Trask, Tulipa, 2012-2013, antler, bone. Courtesy of Jennifer Trask and Robert Chester. Photo by the artist

Steven Young Lee

younglee-vasewithscrollpattern

Steven Young Lee, Vase with Scroll Pattern, 2014, porcelain, copper pigment, glaze. Collection of Faith and Corey Berger, St. Louis, Missouri. Image courtesy Duane Reed Gallery

younglee-jarwithlandscapeandgoldbutterflies

Steven Young Lee, Jar with Landscape and Gold Butterflies, 2015, porcelain, cobalt inlay, glaze, decals. Collection of Tom Rossiter and Nathalie Ribon-Tourre. Image courtesy Duane Reed Gallery

younglee-jarwithdragon

Steven Young Lee, Jar with Dragon, 2015, porcelain, cobalt inlay, glaze. Collection of Steven Young Lee, Image courtesy Duane Reed Gallery

younglee-peoniesandbutterflies

Steven Young Lee, Peonies and Butterflies, 2013, porcelain, cobalt inlay, gold luster decals. Collection of Lee and Mel Eagle. Image courtesy Duane Reed Gallery

younglee-diptychvaseswitheagles

Steven Young Lee, Diptych Eagles, 2013, porcelain, cobalt inlay, decals. Collection of the Estate of Candice B. Groot. Image courtesy Duane Reed Gallery

younglee-tortoisepatternjar

Steven Young Lee, Tortoise Pattern Jar, 2013, porcelain, cobalt inlay, gold luster. Collection of Louise and David Rosenfield. Image courtesy Duane Reed Gallery

younglee-eastwestjar

Steven Young Lee, East West Jar, 2010, porcelain, cobalt inlay, glaze. Collection of Chris Antemann and Jakob Hasslacher. Image courtesy Duane Reed Gallery

Norwood Viviano

viviano-recastingmichigan-detroitpopulationshift

Norwood Viviano, Recasting Michigan: Detroit Population Shift, 2010, cnc machined and cast aluminum, cut vinyl. Collection of Norwood Viviano, courtesy of Heller Gallery, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer, courtesy Heller Gallery, NY

viviano-globalcities

Norwood Viviano, Global Cities, 2015, blown glass, cut vinyl, stainless steel cable, and MDF. Collection of Norwood Viviano, courtesy of Heller Gallery, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer/Robert Hensleigh, courtesy Heller Gallery, NY

viviano-lowell-plannedindustrialcommunity

Norwood Viviano, Mining Industries: Planned Industrial Community (Lowell), 2015, rapid prototyped pattern kilncast glass, mirrored glass, fabricated steel and transparency. Collection of Norwood Viviano, courtesy of Heller Gallery, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer/Robert Hensleigh, courtesy Heller Gallery, NY

viviano-miningindustries-downtownboston

Norwood Viviano, Mining Industries: Downtown Boston (Boston), 2015, rapid prototyped pattern kilncast glass, mirrored glass, fabricated steel and transparency. Collection of Norwood Viviano, courtesy of Heller Gallery, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer/Robert Hensleigh, courtesy Heller Gallery, NY

viviano-miningindustries-prudentialcenter

Norwood Viviano, Mining Industries: Prudential Center (Boston), 2015, rapid prototyped pattern kilncast glass, mirrored glass, fabricated steel and transparency. Collection of Norwood Viviano, courtesy of Heller Gallery, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer/Robert Hensleigh, courtesy Heller Gallery, NY

viviano-firstgenerationartifact-lacepillow

Norwood Viviano, First Generation Artifact: Lace Pillow, 2004-2008, cast bronze. Grand Valley State University Art Gallery. Image courtesy Heller Gallery, NY; Photo by Tim Thayer

Kristen Morgin

morgin-mightymouse

Kristen Morgin, Mighty Mouse, 2006, unfired clay, wood, wire and paint. Courtesy of the artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills

morgin-sweetandlowdown

Kristen Morgin, Sweet and Low Down, 2005, unfired clay, wood, wire, cement and glue. Collection of Kristen L. Morgin. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills

morgin-monopoly

Kristen Morgin, Monopoly, 2007, unfired clay, paint and ink. Collection Kristen L. Morgin. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills

morgin-greetingsfromthequeenmary

Kristen Morgin, Greetings from the Queen Mary, 2006, unfired clay, paint, ink. Collection of Kristen L. Morgin. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills

morgin-thirdofmayplayset

Kristen Morgin, Third of May Playset, 2006, glazed ceramic. Collection of Kristen L. Morgin. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills

morgin-150waystoplaysolitaire

Kristen Morgin, 150 Ways to Play Solitaire, 2010, wood, wire, unfired painted clay. Collection of Akemi Maegawa. Image courtesy of the artist and Feuer/Mesler, New York

morgin-pianoforte

Kristen Morgin, Piano Forte, 2004, unfired clay, wood, wire, salt, cement, glue. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Purchase

Nora Atkinson, the museum’s Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, organized the exhibition. The artists were selected by Atkinson; Suzanne Ramljak, curator of exhibitions at the American Federation of Arts and editor at Metalsmith; and Anna Walker, the Windgate Foundation Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Craft at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Images courtesy Renwick Gallery.