Devotion/Destruction: Craft Inheritance exhibits artworks created as a result of formal investigations into the materials and methods historically affiliated with craft. Artists included in this exhibition Alexandra Ben-Abba, Alyssa Casey, Colby Claycomb, Crystal Gregory, Elana Herzog, Joan Lurie, Michael Milano, John Paul Morabito, Armita Raafat, and Cheryl Ann Thomas are those whose intense study of traditional means for producing functional objects, or whose extended relationship with such objects and ornamentation, has led them to a place of intimate inquiry into their chosen materials. The pieces presented—some built up through accumulation, others broken down to reveal or defy underlying construction—manifest as non-objective visualizations of the inherent materiality of each object. Including glass, wood, clay, paper, yarn, cloth, thread, metal, and mirror, the works in this exhibition transcend the form and function of their craft pedigree through a devotion to, and destruction of, inherited techniques.
Moving beyond the functional, each work in this exhibition takes shape as an abstract investigation into craft practices. Through prolonged relationships with material and process, the artists in Devotion/Destruction: Craft Inheritance make visible the physicality of de/construction and the visceral effects of their actions. Through their work, they also carve a space for the re/consideration of the socio-historical constructs of traditional craft production.
Rebecca Pristoop is a New York-based curator and art historian. Her recent exhibitions include To: Brooklyn, Sincerely: Soweto, Rabbithole; Fragile Territories, LaunchPad; and Traversing Tradition: Transformation in and of Contemporary Jewish Life, The Jewish Theological Seminary. She has worked in curatorial departments at the Jewish Museum and The Museum of Modern Art. At the Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, she organized Counter Pointe: Perceiving the Body in Ballet Photography. From 2010 to 2011, Pristoop ran the art and food salon flatbreadaffair from her Brooklyn apartment, where she curated site-specific installations, dinners, and panels. Pristoop is the recipient of a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and a research award from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Her exhibitions have been featured in Architect’s Newspaper and Yediot America. She received her MA in art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.