“White gold” was a name given to porcelain wares centuries ago in Western Europe, inspired by the value placed on both the objects produced and the perceived preciousness of the processes of their manufacture. Playing on that name, this exhibition features the work of contemporary artists who—in one form or another—utilize shiny materials, such as lustre glazes and gold, often in combination with more earthy media, like clay.
From the 1500s through the 1700s, demand for porcelain wares—primarily put in service as luxury items—and competition among makers became so important that the worth of the porcelain was compared to other valuable goods, including gold. These determinations set the stage for how we understand certain kinds of materials today.
Combining works on loan with works from RAM’s collection, White Gold is not as concerned with historical wares as it is with the way materials can become metaphors for relationships between societies and objects. This exhibition offers a context for exploring how metals and lustre glazes can be visually compelling while raising questions about their economic, sentimental, and cultural significance.
Artists in the Exhibition
Ralph Bacerra, Bennett Bean, A. Blair Clemo, Philip Cornelius, Megan Corwin, Leopold Foulem, Keiko Fukazawa, John Glick, Rain Harris, Rian de Jong, Cindy Kolodziejski, Tara Locklear, Philip Maberry, Ruta Reifen, Adrian Saxe, Yoko Sekino-Bove, Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Jason Walker, Beatrice Wood, Irina Zatceyva, and Silvia Zampa