Celia Pym Lets Her Craft Get Ugly and Crude–and Meaningful

THE DAILY PIC: In the Chamber show of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize, Pym's needlework gives CPR to a dead sweater.

THE DAILY PIC (#1803): This is my favorite work in the show of nominees for the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize, on view for a few more days at Chamber gallery in New York. The British artist Celia Pym has taken a decrepit old Norwegian sweater and darned it back into useable shape. It escapes the tired old idea that craft has to be about fancily made fancy things, which still governs a shocking number of objects in the Loewe show. Pym’s darning is indeed done by hand, so it speaks to the craft tradition, but it is more about function and meaning and feeling than technique.

Another Loewe piece that escapes craft’s pitfalls (below): A ring by the Dane Kim Buck, who literally inflates a fine sheet of gold to ring shape, only to watch it to deflate around a wearer’s finger. Inflation, deflation and the gold standard: It’s a one-object lesson in economics. (Images courtesy Chamber, New York, and the Loewe Foundation)

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.


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