New Exhibition at SAAM’s Renwick Gallery Features Works by Bisa Butler, Nick Cave, Sonya Clark and More

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BISA BUTLER, “Don’t Tread On Me, God Damn, Let’s Go!—The Harlem Hellfighters”, 2021 (bonded, appliquéd and quilted cottons, silk, wool and velvet). | Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of David Bonderman.
Photo by Lee Stalsworth

THIS PRESENT MOMENT: CRAFTING A BETTER WORLD, a new exhibition presented at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), presents the dynamic landscape of American craftsmanship.

The exhibition highlights the role artists play in our world in sparking essential conversations by asking two questions: How have you reinvented your idea of ​​home during the global pandemic? How is craftsmanship relevant in your life?

The exhibition highlights 171 works of art from SAAM’s extensive modern and contemporary craft collections in a range of craft mediums from fiber and ceramics to glass and mixed media. These objects delve into the history of the studio craft movement while introducing contemporary works of art that push the boundaries of what we interpret as handmade in the 21st century.

“The works of art being created and collected are shaping an even bolder future that will help us better understand ourselves, each other, and the world around us,” said Stephanie Stebich. , director Margaret and Terry Stent of SAAM.

This present moment celebrates the 50th anniversary of SAAM’s Renwick Gallery as the nation’s premier museum dedicated to American craftsmanship. An anniversary acquisition campaign, launched in 2020, focused on artwork by a broadly representative and diverse group of American artists and increased the number of Black, Latino, Asian American, LGBTQ+, Indigenous and women artists , among others, represented in the national collection. . This Present Moment presents 135 of these objects, exhibited for the first time at the Renwick Gallery.

Featured artists include Tanya Aguiñiga, Bisa Butler, Nick Cave, David Chatt, Sonya Clark, Alicia Eggert, Aram Han Sifuentes, Carla Hemlock (Kanienkeháka), Sharon Kerry-Harlan, Ron Ho, Steven Young Lee, Linda Lopez, Roberto Lugo , George Nakashima, LJ Roberts, Judith Schaechter, Preston Singletary (Tlingit), Toshiko Takaezu, Gail Tremblay (Mi’kmaq and Onondaga), Nancy Worden, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Wanxin Zhang and many more.

This Present Moment will be on view in Washington, DC, at the Renwick Gallery through April 2, 2023. A range of public programs will accompany the exhibition.

Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW), open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

This article is sponsored by the Smithsonian American Art Museum

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