Friday, December 12, 2008

Chotsani Elaine Dean at the Hunterdon

CLINTON —This winter, the Hunterdon Art Museum will showcase ceramic artist Chotsani Elaine Dean. The exhibition, "Chotsani Elaine Dean: Clay Quilts/Post-Emancipation," opens with a reception on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009 from 2 to 4 p.m. The show will run through March 29.

Dean's bold, three-dimensional clay quilts consist of irregularly shaped ceramic tiles grouped as installations on a wall. The ceramic pieces are gathered into arrangements based on relationships of pattern, color, and meaning. Motifs include textile patterns, stripes, botanical forms, and a variety of symbols. Several of the tiles consist of colorful, loosely painted abstract compositions. Some have text embedded in the clay, a melding of the visual and historical traditions that have inspired the artist.
The exhibition title, "Clay Quilts/Post-Emancipation," reflects the artist's commitment to her African American heritage. She has studied the imagery and construction of African American quilts from the time of the Underground Railroad of the antebellum South to the quilts of today. She finds that such domestic, utilitarian arts often were, and are, records of personal and communal memory. "My intention is to salute and remember this powerful history and memory, to support and manifest the survival and legacy of my ancestry," said Dean. Chotsani Dean reconceives these traditions and their significance through the filter of her artistry, creating an unusual and highly personal body of ceramic art.
The artist studied at Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford (BFA) and at Washington University, St. Louis MO (MFA). She has received attention in a number of solo and group exhibitions, including mention in Ceramics Monthly, the major publication of the field.

No comments: