Blending past and present day concerns, notions of Americana, and personal experience, Mara Superior playfully both challenges and adds to a history of porcelain decorative objects and tableware. With a singular aesthetic that feels reverent yet unique, Superior builds narratives that unfold through images, words, and form.
Comprised entirely of work from RAM’s collection that span over three decades, this exhibition showcases several of the artist’s core interests. They emphasize Superior’s personal history—her connection to art and ceramic history, her appreciation for “home” and ideas about the domestic, and her love of travel. While these are not the only topics she addresses in her work, they are foundational ones and provide a layered and nuanced accounting of the artist’s approach to working with porcelain. Engaging scenes play out across a range of objects, including platters, teapots, vessels, and a collaborative piece with the artist’s late husband, sculptor and furniture maker, Roy Superior.
Significantly, this exhibition debuts a multi-piece gift from the Kohler Foundation, Inc., that catapults RAM’s holdings of work by Superior from two pieces, already gifted by other donors, to 33. In doing so, this gift establishes several milestones for Superior at RAM—making her an archive artist as well as the most collected female ceramic artist and the second most collected ceramic artist regardless of gender.