Acts of Nature: Contemporary Decorative Arts

May 11, 2011—November 25, 2012
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Location: Bloch Building, Gallery L7

Free admission

Nature surrounds us—sometimes imperceptibly. Every day, as we interact with the natural environment, we encounter its splendors, marvel at its strengths and explore its mysteries. Natural phenomena inspire artists to create and to pay homage. Raw materials taken from the earth serve as the basis of works in clay or silver, while plants and animals inspire forms and decoration.

This exhibition presents a wide variety of interpretations of nature. Some artists can be literal—such as the silver Nymphaea (Water lilies) Rattle by Robyn Nichols or the waving grasses on David Shaner’s Slab. Others recall nature through surfaces that evoke unpredictable accidents and textures, as in the skin-like exterior of Richard DeVore’s Pot R No. 401, or the rough glaze of Bowl by Gertrud and Otto Natzler, which resembles lava.

Linda Lighton marries nature and portraiture to create a whimsical image of one of Kansas City’s leading figures in Diva Laura, while Frank Fleming’s Hunter of the Pleasured Souls and Sacred Spirits confronts the viewer with a mysterious union of goat and man.

Image:  Victor Babu, American, b. 1936. Canister, 1983. Porcelain with glaze. 9 x 15 inches (22.9 x 38.1 cm). Gift of the Lennie and Jerry Berkowitz Collection, 2002.19.2.A,B.

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