On Sunday July 21, renowned ceramicist and installation artist Ann Agee will present her work as part of the Artist Lectures series sponsored by the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts (Byrdcliffe). The presentation will take place at the Kleinert/James Center in Woodstock at 6:30 PM.
Agee began as a painter in the MFA program at the Yale School of Art, then made a shift to the polished, structural world of ceramics. Formally modeled on the delicate rococo figurines and decorative vernacular of Sèvres or Limoges porcelain, Agee’s objects (human and otherwise) at times burst with bawd and irreverence: white porcelain women stripping off their bras and spoofs on modern domestic life; simultaneously cute and unnerving statuettes with names like Baby Jello Mold. Her work confronts the centuries-old conflict between so-called fine and decorative art, between technique and craft, between intellectual finesse and manual labor — bringing a self-critical view to the divide separating painting and sculpture. To this end Agee creates compelling, wall-mounted abstractions built of ceramic saucers and platters, riffing on traditional patterns like Delft blue; the result is geometric abstractions that imitate painting while revelling in the ceramicist’s technique. Her work also challenges conventional notions of whether or not art can be called “feminine.”
Agee’s work can be found in the collections of The Brooklyn Museum of Art; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The RISD Art Museum; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and many other public and private collections. She has created installations at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2012) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2010), and received many prestigious awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. She received her MFA from the Yale School of Art and her BFA from the Cooper Union.
Her work has been seen in prominent clay exhibitions Dirt on Delight, Institute of Contemporary Art, PA (traveled to the Walker Art Center, MN); and Conversations in Clay, Katonah Art Museum, NY. Agee is represented by the Locks Gallery, Philadelphia.