Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination and Michael Sherrill Retrospective at Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, June 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020

“This summer, the Smithsonian American Art Museum presents two exhibitions that highlight the beauty of nature through botanically inspired sculptures. Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination turns the Renwick Gallery into a post-apocalyptic scene where, upon viewing her hand-blown glass-stump sculptures through an augmented reality lens, holograms of fictional flora sprout and transform the space into a thriving oasis. Visitors can download the free app Reforestation on their phones or use the iPads in the gallery to bring this second reality to life.

Michael Sherrill Retrospective was organized by The Mint Museum. The presentation at SAAM’s Renwick Gallery includes more than seventy-five objects from Sherrill’s earliest teapots and functional clay vessels to his recent mixed-media sculptures inspired by the landscape outside his studio in the mountains of North Carolina. In his delicately rendered sculptures in clay, glass, and metal, he seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers, and to make them see the natural world anew. Sherrill’s most recent work reveals his naturalist’s sensitivity to botanical wonders.” — Renwick Gallery

Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination

“This is nature reimagining itself. The imagination can’t be exterminated. It just recreates itself.” — Ginny Ruffner

1.Flapping Tulip

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Liriodendrum plausus (Flapping tulip), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

5.Pear with Windows

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Pyrus fenestrata (Pear with windows), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

7.Magnolia Gondola

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Canna grandiflora (Magnolia gondola), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Musa saponifica (Soapy muse), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Musa saponifica (Soapy muse), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

12.Woodpecker Flower

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Picus germinabunt (Woodpecker flower), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

13.Morning Glory With Paul Klee Leaf

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Scandent vinea clayaria (Morning glory with Paul Klee leaf), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

14.Kandinsky Tulip

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Tulipia kandinskiana torquem (Kandinsky tulip), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

15.Hummingbird Flower

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Avem iridis illuricae (Hummingbird flower), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

16.Blue Purple Flowering Vine

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Astromaria zentada lillium (Blue/purple flowering vine), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

18.Rose with Eyelashes

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Rosa cilliabunda (Rose with eyelashes), 2017, holographic image. Courtesy Ruffner Studio.

ROTI_Ruffner_Studio_Shot

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Avem iridis illuricae (Hummingbird flower), 2017, sculpture (handblown glass with acrylic paint tree rings), island (plywood, low-density foam, fiberglass, epoxy, sand, pebbles, and acrylic paint), and holographic image. Sculpture: 15 x 12 x 6 ½ in. Installation view at MadArt Studio, 2018. Courtesy Ruffner Studio. Photo by Ruffner Studio.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Digitalis artherium (Double art flowers), 2017, sculpture (handblown glass with acrylic paint tree rings), island (plywood, low-density foam, fiberglass, epoxy, sand, pebbles, and acrylic paint), and holographic image. Sculpture: 9 x 13 x 11 ½ in. Installation view at MadArt Studio, 2018. Courtesy Ruffner Studio. Photo by Marge Levy.

Michael Sherrill Retrospective

TwoSidesofTea

Michael Sherrill. Two Sides of Tea, 1992, ceramic. Left: 16 1/8 x 18 ½ x 8 ¼ in. Right: 16 3/8 x 18 5/8 x 7 ½. Gift of MCI. 2001.89.5.1A-B and 2001.89.5.2A-B. Smithsonian American Art Museum.

StarBottles

Michael Sherrill, Star Bottles, 1997, white stoneware, barium glaze. Tallest: 29 x 9 x 6 in. Shortest: 19 ½ x 10 x 5in. Collection of the artist. Photo by Scott Allen

Sherrill 2005.34 002

Michael Sherrill, Yellowstone Rhododendron, 2000, porcelain, glaze, steel. 11.25 x 15 x 11 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of David and Clemmer Montague, in memory of her mother Beatrice Slaton and her brother Carson Slaton, Mississippi Gardeners, 2005.34.

Stormy Rhododendron

Michael Sherrill, Stormy Rhododendron, 2005, porcelain, abraded glaze, forged steel. 16 x 17 x 14 in. Collection of Larry Brady. Photo by Tim Barnwell.

Yucca Temple of the Cool Beauty

Michael Sherrill, Temple of the Cool Beauty (Yucca), 2005, porcelain, Moretti glass, silica bronze. 54 x 38 in. Gift of Ann and Tom Cousins. 2014.78a-b. Collection of The Mint Museum.

MaysApples

Michael Sherrill, May’s Apples, 2006, porcelain, abraded glaze, steel. Left: 16 x 15 x 8 in. Right: 16 x 11 x 5 in. Collection of the artist. Photo by Scott Allen

Julesvernium

Michael Sherrill, Julesvernium (Seaflower), 2008, colored laminated porcelain, silica bronze, Moretti glass. 43 x 20 x 11 ½ in. Collection of Mark Parker.

BlackMedicine

Michael Sherrill, Black Medicine, 2014, silica bronze, Moretti glass. 38 x 34 x 20 in. Collection of Fleur Bresler. Photo by Scott Allen.

Dutch Solomon

Michael Sherrill, Dutch Solomon, 2015, porcelain, silica bronze, glass. 12 x 27 x 8 in. John Michael Kohler Arts Center, gift of the artist, 2015.022.001. Photo by Scott Allen.

Remnant

Michael Sherrill, Remnant, 2016, porcelain, silica bronze. 48 x 34 x 12 in. Private collection. Photo by Scott Allen.

ABeautifulDeath

Michael Sherrill, A Beautiful Death, 2017, porcelain, silica bronze, Moretti glass. 47 x 25 x 22 in. Collection of the artist. Photo by Scott Allen.