Patrick Parrish Gallery is pleased to present Turning Still: Historical & Contemporary Ceramics by Ian McDonald and Maija Grotell, a celebration of the overlapping dialogue of patterns and textures found within the work of two of The Cranbrook Art Academy’s Artists-in-Residence. The work for Turning Still features all new work from McDonald and 11 of Grotell’s works on loan from the permanent collection of The Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Through the reference to the architectural details that are rooted in the Cranbrook campus, Ian McDonald finds his current body of work to be in direct conversation with Maija Grotell’s mid century vessels. While Grotell used these details to adorn her strong and monumental forms with surface pattern, McDonald takes these architectural elements to another level by allowing them to become a dimensional surface.
Ian McDonald (b.1975) McDonald currently holds the position of Artist-in-Residence and Area Head of Ceramics at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the same position Maija Grotell held from 1938-1966. He currently lives in an apartment that faces Maija Grotell’s former studio. He has shown throughout the U.S, Europe and Japan, including The Cranbrook Art Museum, Play Mountain and the Curators Cube in Tokyo, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco, The New Wight Gallery at UCLA in Los Angeles and Patrick Parrish Gallery in New York City. European venues include, Nieuwe Vide Gallery in Holland, Sophienholm Exhibition Hall in Copenhagen Denmark, and the Svendborg Kunstingbygning Museum in Svendborg Denmark. In 2007 he was awarded the "Premio Faenza" from the Museo Internazionale della Ceramiche in Faenza, Italy. He has completed residencies in Holland at the European Ceramic Workcenter, the Museum of International Ceramics in Denmark and the Museum of Fine Arts at the De Young Art Center in San Francisco. His work has appeared or been mentioned in numerous publications including Art Forum, Metropolis, Wallpaper Magazine, Ceramics Monthly, Dwell and The New York Times.
Maija Grotell (1889-1973) was the artist-in-residence and the head of the Cranbrook Academy of Art from, 1938-1966. Often described as the “Mother of American Ceramics”, she came to America from Finland in 1927 and went on to pursue a prolific career in the ceramic field. Maija's spent time at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, New York. Maija worked at Inwood Studios in Manhattan and went on to teach at Union Settlement and then at the Henry Street Settlement, while exhibiting and selling her own ceramics. From 1936 to 1938, she was first art instructor at the School of Ceramic Engineering at Rutgers University. A Diploma from the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition and a Silver Medal at the Paris International in 1937 were among the first of twenty-five major exhibition awards she was to receive over the next thirty years, including six from the Syracuse Ceramic National Exhibitions and the Charles Fergus Binns Medal from Alfred University in 196I. In 1938 she was invited to join the faculty at The Cranbrook Academy of Art, outside Detroit, Michigan. Her work has been purchased for twenty-one museum collections, including the American Craft Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Everson in Syracuse, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum.