Dear Material Things
curated by Claire Shea
Curated by Claire Shea, Director of the Cass Sculpture Foundation in West Sussex, UK, the exhibition will take place in the old apartment of Contessa Lene Thun, the mind and heart behind the first THUN ceramics. Left untouched since her passing in 2004, the apartment is home to some of the earliest ceramics Lene worked on as well as the last prototypes she experimented with, that still sit on her desk in the position in which she left them.
The exhibition takes its title from an essay entitled ‘The Redemption of Objects’ by Italian writer, Italo Calvino. In it, Calvino looks closely at the life and work of Mario Praz, an Italian critic of art and literature and scholar of English Literature. Praz considered himself a materialist and defended the importance of the sensual presence that ‘things’ held for him. In an argument cited by Calvino, Praz wrote, ‘Because such is the nature of these dear material things amidst which we live our lives that you can’t deny one of them without denying all of them at the same time.’ This resonates through the exhibition as it looks at the dialogue created between the personal objects in Lene Thun’s home and the new works produced in residence this summer by Cassie Griffin, Matthew Lutz-Kinoy and Jesse Wine.