New York

New York

Betty Woodman

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
April 25–July 30, 2006

Curated by Jane Adlin

Ancient as culture itself, the clay vessel is a simple but endlessly mutable form, which New York– and Italy-based painter and sculptor Betty Woodman has explored in ways that fuse its various historical incarnations—from the utilitarian to the art-historical—referencing Tang Dynasty objects, Sèvres porcelains, Greek sculpture, Japanese kimono patterns, and paintings by Matisse and Picasso. This exhibition, her first retrospective in the United States, spans Woodman’s fifty-year career by way of some seventy drawings, paintings, wall reliefs, and ceramics—like usable (albeit fantastical) teacups, “Pillow Pitchers” (two fused cylinders with pinched ends), and five large urns commissioned for the Metropolitan’s Great Hall. The show is accompanied by a monograph on the artist, with essays by critics Arthur Danto, Janet Koplos, and Barry Schwabsky.