SAM Art: Tiger Lily

Shaping humble clay into transcendent forms fit for the divine is a tradition as old as ceramics themselves. Drawing inspiration from the ancient vernacular of forms and techniques, contemporary artists work with clay to create sculpture that, to our eyes, is simultaneously deeply familiar and startlingly fresh.

Central to all of the cultures represented in the Ancient Mediterranean art gallery, altars and shrines find their contemporary reflection in Tiger Lily. At the height of the Feminist Movement in the 1970s, artist Patti Warashina created altars such as this, offerings of feminine archetypes and stereotypes for consideration.

Tiger Lily is part of a new installation of contemporary ceramics in the Ancient Mediterranean art gallery starting on Wednesday, June 1.

 Tiger Lily, 1976, Patti Warashina, American, born 1940, low-fire ceramic with acrylic, 24 x 15 7/8 x 13 1/4 in., Gift of the artist, 89.78, © Patti Warashina. On view in the Ancient Mediterranean art gallery, fourth floor, SAM downtown, starting Wednesday, June 1.