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  • Writer's pictureSim Luttin

New York TRIP #2: Museum of Arts and Design, Professional Development Research

Visiting The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) was such a good experience. Situated diagonally to Central Park and Trump Towers(!), MAD explores making across all fields of contemporary creative practice. Its main focus is on the ways in which "artists and designers transform the world around us, through processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. MAD’s exhibition program is dedicated to creativity and craftsmanship, and demonstrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists."

The collection includes international art, craft and design from 1950 to the present day, with a selection on display at any given time. It's renowned for its great programming and artists and craftspeople it exhibits and promotes. There are even artist studios that you can visit and talk to the makers.

I was particularly interested in seeing the work of Robert Baines, mostly because he was the head of the Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT when I was a student in the early 2000s and also because I've long admired Robert's incredible work and craftsmanship. I found his latest show very funny, however I was much more impressed with his earlier works that explored "fake news" through a historical lens. The earlier works and explorations were much more nuanced and sophisticated than this overall collection.

What I did love was Sterling Ruby's ceramics: the scale, materiality and depth of exploration were unexpected and fabulous. I spent a considerable amount of time in the space circling the sculptures, standing back, getting up close - they are truly stunning artworks. So do enjoy this selection of crafted objects, from the top floor ceramics at MAD to the bottom level revelling in fake news.

the eye’s level by Anne Lindberg

Verena Sieber-Fuchs ‘Garlic Collar’ 2012, garlic skins

El Anatsui 'Many Came Back' 2005, aluminum (liquor bottle tops) and copper wire

El Anatsui 'Many Came Back' (detail) 2005, aluminum (liquor bottle tops) and copper wire​

MAD install

Judy Chicago and Audrey Cowan ‘Would God Be Female? and Would There Be Equal Parenting?’ 2004 (detail)

Jordan Nassar 2018 cotton on cotton

Jordan Nassar 2018 cotton on cotton

Leonardo Benzant 'The Cameleon's Journey: Galveston' 2017, texts, string, monofilament, leather, acrylic, gel medium, glass seed beads, and miscellaneous


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