MAD will be open on Mon, May 6.

Against the Grain

Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design

Mar 19–Sep 15, 2013

Ai Weiwei

Featuring nearly 90 installations, sculptures, furniture, and objects, Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design explores some of the most cutting-edge conceptual and technical trends in woodworking today. The exhibition emphasizes the way artists, designers, and craftspeople have incorporated postmodernist approaches and strategies into woodworking—deconstructing vessel shapes, playing on the relationship between function and form, and utilizing woodturning and furniture techniques in the creation of sculpture and demonstrating exciting possibilities through the use of technology.

Against the Grain is part of MAD’s ongoing “Materials & Process” series, dedicated to exploring contemporary innovations in traditional techniques and materials, and highlights the tremendous creative energy and fresh thinking that creators are bringing to wood today. The exhibition features 57 artists and designers from around the world, including influential sculptors Ursula von Rydingsvard, Courtney Smith, and Martin Puryear (who will display a furniture-based piece for the first time); installation artists Gary Carsley, Sarah Oppenheimer and Alison Elizabeth Taylor; designers Maarten Baas, Sebastian Errazuriz, and Pablo Reinoso; and studio wood artists Wendell Castle, Bud Latven, Andrew Early, and Hunt Clark, among others.

Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design is organized the Museum of Arts and Design and curated by Lowery Stokes Sims, Charles Bronfman International Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, assisted by Elizabeth Edwards Kirrane, Assistant Curator at MAD and project manager for the exhibition.

The exhibition tour includes the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC (September 1, 2012—January 27, 2013), Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY (March 19—September 15, 2013).


Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design is made possible through the support of the Windgate Charitable Foundation and, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from Larry and Madeline Mohr.

Additional support is provided by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the Official Airline of MAD.

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