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SAM Art: A Message (and a Lecture) from the Deep

Inspired by the artifacts excavated from Junk shipwrecks that brought “china” from Asia to Europe, Koi Junk alludes to the migration of culture through trade, and specifically the culture of tea. It also references the forms, techniques, and ornamentation that dominated the aesthetics in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century age of colonization. Thus, Koi Junk speaks in a contemporary voice to a long history of objects which bridge cultures and time.

Message from the Deep: Koi Junk, a Sculptural Teapot by Michelle Erickson with Julie Emerson
Members Art History Lecture Series: New Perspectives
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
7—9 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, first floor, SAM downtown
Open to SAM members and their guests only please.

Koi Junk Teapot, 2009, Michelle Erickson (American, born 1960), porcelain, colored earthenware agate, indigenous clays, 12 ½ x 11 in. overall, Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art, 2011.23. © Michelle Erickson. Currently on view in Here and Now, third floor, SAM downtown.

SAM Art: Brendan Tang’s “Manga Ormolu”

The new incarnation of Here and Now, the museum’s new acquisition space, focuses on recently acquired contemporary ceramics. The works now on view reveal their desire of bridging the past and present. These hybridized vessels express their synthesizing of visual histories from Eastern and Western cultures.

Focusing on the intermingling of stylistic traditions, Brendan Tang’s Manga Ormolu blends cultural references. Here, a dynamic robotic form seems to discard the skin of its prior form as a Chinese Ming dynasty vessel. The artist has said, “this narrative is personal: the hybridization of cultures mirrors my identity as an ethnically-mixed Asian Canadian. My family history is one of successive generations shedding the markers of ethnic identity in order to succeed in an adopted country—within a few generations this cultural filtration has spanned China, India, Trinidad, Ireland and Canada.”

Manga Ormolu version 5.0-h, 2010, Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Canadian, born in Ireland, 1975, ceramics, mixed media, 16 1/4 x 11 x 7 1/2 in., Margaret E. Fuller Purchase Fund, 2011.27, © Brendan Lee Satish Tang. Now on view in Here and Now, new acquisition gallery, third floor, SAM downtown.

SAM Art: A new acquisition, all about place

Location, Location, Location

My tea and coffee sets relate to the place they are going.
—John Marshall

Destined for an art museum, a home in the San Juan Islands, and a 1950s Seattle residence, a trio of recently installed tea and coffee services glory in their sculptural delight, technical virtuosity, and the promise of a festive gathering around warm stimulating beverages. Each piece, while an exquisite work of art, was designed to be used and pours properly without a drip—the artist’s impeccable touch.

Tea and coffee pots rank as seminal works in the annals of silver production— in fact, teapots are considered a benchmark for the silversmith. Representing three decades of master silversmith John Marshall’s career, these services blend traditional vocabulary—such as towering, vertical coffeepots and shorter, more horizontal teapots—with his evolution of individual expression. The service shown here was produced as a commission for the Seattle Art Museum.

In this video, Marshall talks about his work and demonstrates metalworking techniques.

“Tea and Coffee Service,” 2008-09, John Marshall, American, born 1936, sterling silver, rosewood, Argentium sterling silver (an amalgam of fine silver and germanium), and acrylic, overall: 15 ¾ x 25 x 26 in., The Guendolen Carkeek Plestcheeff Endowment for the Decorative Arts, 2009.27.1-5, Photo: jerrydavisphoto.com. Currently on view in “Here and Now,” the new acquisitions exhibition space, third floor, SAM downtown.