Tuesday 24 January 2006

Damned with strong praise

There's been plenty written about the National Gallery of Australia exhibition Transformations in the press recently. Sebastian Smee (Question of taste 7/1/06 The Australian)complains that craft is more a matter of taste than art, so doesn't belong in the art gallery. By contrast, John McDonald ('Material possessions' The Sydney Morning Herald 21/1/06) sees in an exhibiton like Transformations a welcome acknowledgement of skill and materials, rather than obsession with theory. Meanwhile, in the untrammeled blog Craft Unbound there is discussion of Margot Osborne's review in the Adelaide Advertiser. It seems that craft is being damned and praised for its well-made beauty. Is this typical of all craft or more the kind of objects that find their way into state galleries? Might some of the more radical craft found in contemporary craft spaces be less concerned with pleasing the senses and more with making us think (sweetened by beauty, of course).

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