03 Dec

Clay: Medium Not Specific- Katie Geha

under the table overview- Thomas Müller and Akio Takamori

I’ve long thought of clay as a very specific medium. By “medium specific” I’m recalling the critic Clement Greenberg’s term as he defined it in his 1961 essay Modernist Painting. According to Greenberg, what defined modernist abstract painting was its ability to criticize itself, therefore  “to entrench it more firmly in its area of competence.” Each art has to “determine through its own operations and works, the effects exclusive to it.” Abstract painting was in conversation with itself—paint on canvas, the flatness of the support. Painting was not an illusion but, instead, a fact specific to its very components. If we relate this argument to clay, the medium is tied to what it can do as a durable yet flexible material–the creation of vessels, beautiful utilitarian objects as old as the birth of civilization, or bowls and mugs I’ve bought at craft fairs. READ MORE…