This week’s readings in Chapters 13 and 14, discuss the mediums of Sculpture and Crafts. Chapter 14 specifically notes the distinctions the art world struggles with in whether to consider crafts as fine art. The topic of craft as fine art, can be a controversial one. Artists who work in the medium of crafts today, are not necessarily creating work that is functional, which comes out of the tradition of crafts. One contemporary artist who utilizes and refers to the tradition of craft in his work to create sculptures and installations, is Martin Puryear. Please watch his Art 21 interview, and answer the discussion questions below.
Link to video: http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/martin-puryear (Links to an external site.)
Puryear talks about his respect for craft and the role of the craftsman in the creation of formal beauty rather than artistic beauty. Are there distinctions between art and craft? What are they?
Can an object created for a functional purpose achieve the status of art? Use an example from the text to support your answer. Please provide the full title, artist name and image number of the piece you are referring to.
Where do you stand on this issue of whether the crafts are fine art? Should crafts be considered a fine art, or in a category of its own? Please justify your answer with examples.