Miriam Schapiro and the Line Between Art and Craft
This recent editorial in Artsy covers "Surface/Depth: The Decorative after Miriam Schapiro" at Museum of Arts and Design. The exhibition is on view now through September 9, 2018. Tracing the artists' oeuvre alongside work by Sanford Biggers and Ruth Root, MAD curator Elissa Auther hoped to emphasize Schapiro's transformative use of craft technique.
Schapiro moved from hard-edged abstractions in her early work to her "femmages" (feminist collages), challenging perceptions that decorative work doesn't have to be superficial. NY Gallerist Holly Solomon saw this potential, and pairing her with Joyce Kozloff, Robert Zakanitch, among others, the Pattern and Decoration movement was born.
Through politicizing their materials, the Pattern and Decoration artists pointed out the hierarchy between art and craft is paralleled to other social hierarchies of race and gender. Schapiro sought to eliminate this hierarchy between art and craft within her work, using fabric, glitter, and paint.
More on this exhibition and Elissa Auther's thoughts can be found here.