Recasting Colonialism: Michelle Erickson Ceramics
Contemporary ceramicist Michelle Erickson draws from historic ceramic techniques to create works that expose the persistence of racism and exploitation in post-colonial countries.
Erickson is a second-generation American and grew up near Colonial Williamsburg, where she studied the clay bodies and glaze formulas of ceramics imported to the American colonies. These works were integral to a vast network of investment, mercantile exchange, and material movement under English Colonial oppression.
For this exhibition of sixteen ceramic works, the artist recreates historic forms and palettes but alters the shape and decoration to present her viewpoints in ways that are both witty and jarring. Subjects addressed include the importation of Chinese goods, child soldiers, former U.S. President Donald Trump, police brutality, and the Second Amendment. These works are paired with 17th- through 19th-century Asian and European ceramics from the BMA’s collection that invite viewers to consider the continuation of colonialism in the present.
Organized by Brittany Luberda, Anne Stone Associate Curator of Decorative Arts