Against the Grain
Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design
By Lowery Sims
(The Monacelli Press, Hardcover, 9781580933445, 176pp.)
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
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Focusing on some of the most interesting conceptual technical trends in wood working today, Against the Grain includes approximately 65 vessels, sculptures, furniture, and installations, created since 2000, which provocatively defy categories and celebrate the visual dynamics of wood. The book demonstrates how contemporary creators have engaged the medium of wood in strategies that might be described as “postmodern,” employing mimicry, assemblage, virtuosity, and whimsy (with a serious purpose). Environmental issues also are prominently addressed. Artists represented include Derek Bencomo, Gary Carsley, Hunt Clark, Piet Hein Eek, David Ellsworth, Sebastian Errazuriz, Bud Latven, Mark Lindquist, Thomas Loeser, Sarah Oppenheimer, William Pope.L, Martin Puryear, Marc Andre Robinson, Laurel Roth, Betye Saar, Courtney Smith, Elisa Strozyk, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.
LOWERY STOKES SIMS is the Charles Bronfman International Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Former President of The Studio Museum in Harlem and a specialist in modern and contemporary art, she is known for her expertise in the work of African, Latino, Native, and Asian American artists.
SUZANNE RAMLJAK, a writer, art historian, and curator, is currently editor of Metalsmith magazine. She was formerly curator of exhibitions at the American Federation of Arts. Ramljak is the author of Crafting a Legacy: Contemporary American Crafts in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Elie Nadelman: Classical Folk.