Promoting Contemporary Art Jewelry since 2009

After & first stop at the SNAG and a second in the Turkish gallery Aise Taki, the exhibition « Pewter jewelry« , curated by Teresa Faris & James Thuman stops at Alliages for its final destination. The exhibition will be visible from Sept 21st to Dec 7th 2019. Opening will take place on Friday Sept 20th 2019 at 6PM.

Wearable Pewter – « Behind glass, on a shelf, in a drawer, the pewter serving set sits, patiently awaiting a dinner party when it can be called forth and put on displayed. This is the musty image most of us have of pewter: a less expensive, less fashionable, somewhat utilitarian (if not maligned) metal used by past generations to entertain guests at the dinner table. Often camouflaged to look like silver, its identity has been “polished” away, reducing it to a cheap imitation of its more prized cousin. Or its unfortunate historical relationship with lead has “tarnished” pewter’s reputation, often calling into question its health and safety. Perhaps it is best to keep it in that drawer or cabinet?

If there is a metal in need of a facelift, pewter is perhaps at the front of the line. Its potentialities have been long neglected, at least until now. With “Wearable Pewter,” we get a new look at an old medium. Curated by Teresa Faris and James Thurman, the exhibit features twelve jewelry smiths who each explore the unique properties of pewter through a wide range of artistic experiments. Taking advantage of pewter’s low melting temperature, artists play with the elasticity, pliability, and fluidity of the metal, fusing it with unlikely partners such as wood and sterling silver. And as pewter couples, merges, and blends with other media, it becomes a complex metaphor for cultural hybridization, evolutionary mutations, queerness, and translation. Thus, pewter’s material properties become vehicles for cultural, social, and sexual processes that speak to contemporary issues.

As noted French philosopher Jacques Rancière might argue, an aesthetic experience is a repartitioning of the sensible. By this, he means that sensation abides by its own hierarchies, which are habituated through rituals of seeing, hearing, tasting, and touching. Yet in aesthetic moments, there is a shift in what can be sensed. Aesthetic moments are forged through displacements of expectations, disorientations of sensations, and affective disjunctions that open the body’s sensorium up to new configurations. Seemingly necessary connections between form and function are ruptured, producing unusual moments that grab the eye, snag the ear, and in turn, produce alternative sensorial partitions.

In Wearable Pewter, we have a collection of objects that, each in their own small yet powerful ways, offer up aesthetic events. Through displacements of the medium and experimentation with its plasticity, surface texture, and cultural meanings, pewter takes on new, dynamic possibilities above and beyond its traditional, utilitarian use as houseware. If pewter is the proletariat of the metals (a hard worker, given little credit for services rendered, and often dismissed by more nobler metals), then Wearable Pewter is nothing less than pewter’s revolution. Or if pewter traditionally stands for a certain notion of the bourgeois, nuclear family, then this is its (queer) coming out party. In either case, Wearable Pewter finally liberates the material from being “poor man’s silver,” and in turn, offers viewers an unbridled celebration of a metal capable of expressing 21st century ideas, techniques, and styles.

Dr. Tyson Lewis »

Re/collect – This two-person exhibition features the work of Teresa Faris and James Thurman. Both metalsmiths employ non-traditional materials and labor-intensive processes in the making of their pieces. Repetition and ritualized actions are essential aspects of their studio practices. Teresa’s ongoing CWaB series (Collaboration With a Bird) uses cast-off materials such as reclaimed perches and wood that have been altered and discarded by a captive bird and placed with sterling silver support structures. James’ current Vessel+Wearable series combines small handmade metal vessels with jewelry serving as lids, providing a home for the jewelry when not adorning the body. Exhibited together, the dialogs present in each individual piece combine to form larger connections between materials, processes, and function.

Artists showed for « re/collect » & « pewter jewelry » exhibitions

« re/collect » will show the works of Teresa Faris & James Thurman.

« wearable pewter » will show the works of Ana Lopez, Donna Mason Sweigart, Frankie Flood, James Thurman, Jennifer Wells, Juan Riusech, Kyle Patnaude, Michael Rybicki, Teresa Faris & Umut Demirgüç Thurman.

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