Earlier I posted about Erin M. Riley’s show that I had seen at PPOW gallery this past May. I was thrilled to learn that Ann Agee would be having a show at PPOW this summer. Agee’s Madonnas and Hand Warmers was excellent. This article is worth a read, to better understand the show.
“The exhibition includes over 100 unique works that form two elaborate series of aesthetically and materially diverse sculptures, all made from ceramics inspired by Italian folk pottery. Agee’s practice focuses on replicating objects by hand, a process that emulates mass production and is a delineation between fine art, design, and craft, histories of cultural appropriation and exchange, and women’s lived experiences.
Inspired by late-17th and early-18th century Italian folk salt cellars, Agee’s series “Madonnas of the Girl Child” depicts women and girls. Made from a variety of clays, modeled in myriad sizes, glazed in numerous patterns, and fired in multiple kilns and at various temperatures, these sculptures realistically or abstractly engage motifs of the divine infant. Each is accompanied by labels of “Agee Manufacturing Co.,” “Agee MFG,” or “Ann’s” which is a signature logo that dates to Agee’s earliest works.” (Whitewaller)
I spent so much time looking at each and every Madonna. Fortunately, I was the only one there, which made it easy to walk around and around the display.
I love how Agee uses a variety of clay bodies, and that she creates her designs by using various oxides, underglaze, glaze, colored clay, etc. I walked around with the gallery paper catalogue, and tested myself to see whether I figured out each piece correctly. I did pretty well, if I have to say so myself. I can entertain myself for hours, and this work was so up my alley. By the time I got to the back room to see the hand warmers, my brain was in overload. I absolutely loved this show and found it very hard to leave, knowing that the day of my visit was it’s last day. I definitely would have gone back if I could have.