Of the 60 works in “Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design” Matthias Pliessnig’s work stands out. Pliessnig’s uses the traditional technique of coopering to steam bend thin strips of wood, creating furniture pieces attuned to form, function and physics. His work is representative of the exhibition’s emphasis on the ways contemporary artists, designers, and craftspeople have made innovations in traditional techniques. “Against the Grain” further explores the heated debate about the boundaries between art, craft and design, posing questions about the necessity of these categories and whether they should be redefined.
Organized by the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York (MAD), “Against the Grain,” is an exhibition at the Mint Museum Uptown (a Knight Arts grantee). Debuting on September 1, it will run through January 27, 2013.
Focusing on one medium, wood, “Against the Grain” features 57 artists and designers from around the world, including sculptors as well as furniture designers all working through this one medium. “Wood is a ubiquitous material and a medium of basic function as well as tremendous versatility. In the last several decades, artists have truly begun to test its creative boundaries, expressing and expanding wood’s aesthetic and conceptual possibilities,” said Lowery Stokes Sims, curator of the show from MAD. “The artists featured in ‘Against the Grain’ represent the forward-thinking approach that has spurred the medium’s renaissance.”
On Thursday September 20 from 7-8 p.m., Matthias Pliessnig will speak at the Mint Uptown as part of the CAD Series. Pliessnig will discuss his process and how he pushes the boundaries of wood and design. The lecture is $5 for members, $10 for non-members and students are free with a school ID.
Mint Museum Uptown: 500 South Tryon St., Charlotte; 704-337-2000; www.mintmuseum.org. Open Tues., 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; and Sun., 1 – 5 p.m. Admission: adults, $10; students/seniors, $8; children 5-17, $5; free to all on Sept. 3.