NEW AMERICAN SCENERY | RISD Museum

September 13, 2019 - December 31, 2021

CURRENTLY ON VIEW

PAUL SCOTT’S NEW AMERICAN SCENERY

re-opening to the RISD community* March 1

*re-opening to public TBD at this time. Check HERE for updates.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

This installation juxtaposes early 19th-century Staffordshire ceramic transferwares drawn from the shelves of the RISD Museum storage with new Cumbrian Blue(s) artworks. Replacing the porcelain works typically on view in the Lucy Truman Aldrich gallery, New American Scenery melds historic printed tablewares, altered antique ceramics, and reclaimed Syracuse China plates with new screenprints to update early transferware subjects for the 21st century.

RISD installation photography by Erik Gould. All other photography by John Polak.

In the early nineteenth century, imported Staffordshire blue-and-white printed transferwares formed part of the new media of their age. Collected at the beginning of the twentieth century as iconic depictions of the early, independent United States, many were later donated to public art museums inspiring a new wave of pictorial wares.

Over the last five years, Paul Scott has been investigating these transferwares as well as the contemporary landscape of the United States. An ongoing dialogue between documentary, historical, travel and artistic research has led to the creation of a new substantive body of artwork, New American Scenery.

In it, Scott references archives, objects, the motives, and thinking of original collectors as well as the post-industrial landscapes of twenty-first century America. The new work deals with issues surrounding globalization, energy generation and consumption, capitalism and immigration, and other legacies of history. The artwork includes antique tablewares re-worked by selective erasure, re-glazing, and the addition of newly printed decals. Others involve the re-use of cut, broken fragments using collage and traditional restoration processes, as well as prints and other works on paper.

MORE ON PAUL SCOTT

Paul Scott is an English artist who lives and works in Cumbria, UK. He appropriates traditional blue and white transferwares to make contemporary artwork for 21st-century audiences. At the same time he commemorates and celebrates a rich, complex historical genre that is inextricably linked to wider visual and political cultures. Alturas Foundation supported the creation of New American Scenery as part of its Artist In Residence program. Other funders included Arts Council England, Ferrin Contemporary and RISD Museum.

PRESS & PUBLICATIONS

‘Raid the Ice Box Now’ Digital Catalog

Produced by the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, 2019

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its exhibition Raid the Icebox I with Andy Warhol, the RISD Museum is engaging contemporary artists and designers Pablo Bronstein, Nicole Eisenman, Pablo Helguera, Beth Katleman, Simone Leigh, Sebastian Ruth, Paul Scott, and Triple Canopy to create new bodies of work or create a unique curatorial project using the museum as a site for critical, creative production and presentation. Employing the galleries and digital platforms as well as spaces beyond the museum walls, these artists will question dominant narratives and highlight the strengths and idiosyncrasies of the museum’s collection, which includes more than 100,000 works spanning ancient times to the present. A landmark example of artist-curated museum exhibitions, Raid the Icebox I with Andy Warhol (1970) presented entire sections of objects as they appeared in storage, with little or no connoisseurial regard for their condition, authenticity, or art historical status. It remains one of the most celebrated and subversive exhibitions in contemporary art history.

Raid the Icebox Now is made possible by a lead grant from the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from the RISD Museum Associates, Judy and Robert Mann, Taylor Box Company, and a generous in-kind gift from Meyer Sound Laboratories.

Paul Scott: New American Scenery
Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, England

New American Scenery showcases the latest ceramic works by the contemporary Cumbrian artist Paul Scott, featuring works of historical transferwares that have been updated for today’s audience.

Scott spent five years investigating early blue and white transferwares that were shipped from Staffordshire to the United States in the 19th century. He works with familiar blue and white ceramics, which were available cheaply so more commonly used than collected, to tell modern stories based on his trips around America. He reworks antique wares, erasing, adding and recreating new patterns by reusing cut and broken fragments or adding newly printed decals.

The exhibition will allow visitors to see the contrasts between the old and new shapes and forms and think about decoration and what it means.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

August 28, 2021 – January 3, 2022. New Dates.
New American Scenery, will be presented in an expanded exhibition at Albany Institute of Art & History, Albany, NY.

PAST PROGRAMS

Lecture & Tour:
Paul Scott: New American Scenery
presented by The Pottery and Porcelain Club
at RISD, Providence, RI
November 14, 2019 from 10am-12pm.
Free and open to the public.
Link to recorded talk HERE.
More information HERE.

Lecture:
Paul Scott, Artist: New American Scenery, Transferwares for the 21st century
presented by American Ceramic Circle 2019 Symposium
at Old Salem Museum & Gardens/Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts
Winston-Salem, NC
Saturday, November 9, 2019. 9:30 a.m.
Registration required.
More information HERE.