Knowledge is a Shifting Form: Japanese Craft at the Core of Modern Sculpture

Join us for a free, public lecture from writer, curator, and educator, Namita Wiggers, courtesy of Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Visiting Artist program. The museum galleries will be open free through 8pm.

Richard Serra’s iconic “Verb List,” 1967, now in MoMA’s collection, is a popular pedagogical tool to consider materials and process. Yuichiro Kojiro’s “Forms in Japan,” translated by Kenneth Yasuda, was published by East-West Center Press, Hawaii in 1965. The lists are strikingly similar. Sharing research-in-process from the past decade, Wiggers poses a critical question: what must shift to recognize that action-based sculpture is based on Japanese craft?

Namita Gupta Wiggers is a writer, educator, and curator based in Portland, OR. Wiggers is the founding director of the MA in Critical Craft Studies, Warren Wilson College, the first and only low-residency program focused on craft histories and theory. She co-founded and leads Critical Craft Forum since 2009, an online and onsite platform for dialogue and exchange about craft. From 2004-14, Wiggers served as the curator and then chief curator and director of the Museum of Contemporary Craft/PNCA. Prior experiences as a museum educator, design researcher, studio jewelry, and American of South Asian heritage shape her research and work on craft and culture.

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