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Seminar Series: Jenni Sorkin
Graduate Fine Arts Building (IFT)
3001 S. Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and The Rural Avant-Garde
Suggested reading list:
Garth Glark, "How Envy Killed the Crafts," The Craft Reader, 2010.
Jenni Sorkin, "The Pottery Happening: M.C. Richard's Clay Things to Touch..(1958)," Getty Research Journal, Number 5, 2013.
Ceramics has been a marginal consideration within the history of modern art. Yet it is a medium in which women artists flourished and pioneered a hands-on teaching participatory style, which steered the medium outward, reframing its object-only orientation toward an embrace of community engagement, personal enrichment, and social participation during the 1950s and 1960s. This seminar explores the process of working through an undertheorized medium, its attendant legacies and biases, and its placement in a contemporary moment that has largely eschewed medium specificity.
Jenni Sorkin is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History at University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently completing a book manuscript, titled Live Form: Ceramics as Participation, which examines the confluence of gender, artistic labor, and the history of post-war ceramics from 1945 to 1975. It will be published by The University of Chicago Press. She holds a PhD in the History of Art from Yale University, an MA in Curatorial Studies from The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From 2010-2011, she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in the Art Journal, Art Monthly, NU: The Nordic Art Review, Frieze, The Journal of Modern Craft, Modern Painters, Third Text, and Texte zur Kunst. From 2011-2013, she was an assistant professor of critical studies at the University of Houston.
The Seminar Series is programmed by the Contemporary Working Group, a newly inaugurated interdisciplinary research group, generously funded by a USC Research Collaboration Fund, for practitioners across the humanities and fine arts who are working on contemporary research topics or making creative work in relation to the contemporary field. For more information about The CWG, read more here.