InCiteful Clay

One Opening Left on Tour

InCiteful Clay offers an unparalleled overview of an emergent movement in contemporary ceramics dedicated to social commentary. Artists have long used their creations as powerful vehicles to confront society with major problems of the day, expanding from paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs to installations and electronic media over the last century. Social concern has also become an area of increasing interest in contemporary craft.

Incorporating a broad range of work, this selection of 27 ceramics looks at artists who have mustered an age-old medium to issue provocative critiques of current social and political inequities. The premise of this exhibition is organized around five themes: war and politics; the social and human condition; gender issues; environmental concerns; and popular and material culture. The artists have conveyed their messages in styles that are aggressive, violent, disturbing, irreverent, and at times, humorous, but ever passionate.

They rely on figurative imagery, narrative content, and a range of expressive avenues, including caricature, parody, satire, obscenity, erotica, and the grotesque.

Featured artists in the exhibition include Akio Takemori, Toby Buonagurio, Nuala Creed, Michelle Erickson, Anne Drew Potter, Ehren Tool, Richard Shaw, and Paula Winokur. Among the specific topics they address are the social consequences of war, the impact of declining moral values on children, capital punishment, consumerism, and global warming.

Traditionally, ceramics have served functional and decorative purposes and have been associated with positive experiences. Visitors to this exhibition will come away with a new appreciation for the expressive capabilities of clay media to convey substantive content and to deliver the powerful critiques more routinely seen in painting and sculpture. They will also discover the distinctive avenues of expression associated with ceramics, arising from ironic adaptations of traditional forms and functions and the cultural meanings ceramics have acquired over time.

Artist Bonnie Seeman departs from the standards of embellishment traditionally associated with functional ceramics in Untitled (Bowl), where she juxtaposes botanical and anatomical images to convey the fragility and resiliency of life. Chad Curtis’s Cows uses sterile and homogenized materials to explore the ethics of the food production system, and Adrianne Crane’s eye-catching flower grenades in Artillery Field are a sinister representation of the destructive hand grenades used in war. InCiteful Clay affirms the significant contribution of ceramics to contemporary art of social concern.

InCiteful Clay is curated by Judith S. Schwartz, Ph.D., an internationally recognized specialist in contemporary ceramics. A professor and director of craft media in the Department of Art and Art Professions at New York University, Schwartz recently published a groundbreaking study on this movement in ceramic art titled Confrontational Ceramics: The Artist as Social Critic (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).

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InCiteful Clay is touring January 2014 through January 2017. The dates below reflect seven-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.

  • January 24–March 16, 2014 Foosner Art Museum, Florida Institute of Technology
    Melbourne, FL
  • June 4–January 29, 2014 Arkansas Arts Center
    Little Rock, AR
  • September 1–October 20, 2014 Woodbury Art Museum
    Orem, UT
  • January 28–March 16, 2015 Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
    Topeka, KS
  • September 1–October 20, 2015 California State University, Dominguez Hills
    Carson, CA
  • November 10, 2015–January 7, 2016 Northern State Univeristy
    Aberdeen, SD
  • January 28–March 19, 2016 The Culture Lab at Mid-America Arts Alliance
    Kansas City, MO
  • April 6–May 25, 2016 Oklahoma State University Museum of Art
    Stillwater, OK
  • September 1–October 20, 2016 Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery
    Keene, NH
  • November 10, 2016–January 7, 2017

Exhibition Details

27 works in various ceramic mediums

  • Content

    Fee Includes
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Gallery Guide
    Text Panels
    Narrative Labels
    Full Insurance
    Installation Instructions
    Custom-Designed and Built Crates

  • Curated By

    Judith S. Schwartz, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Art and Professions, New York University, New York, NY

  • Organized By

    ArtsWestchester, White Plains, NY

  • Out-of-Region Rental Fee


  • In-Region Rental Fee


  • Duration

    7-week display

  • Shipping

    Fine Art

  • Running Feet


  • Square Feet


  • Security


  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    7 crates, 1 box/2,400 pounds

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.