borderland of art

This is a term New Zealand philosopher of art Dennis Dutton used to refer to  the world of ‘craft art,’ and I love the term.  It reminds me of border regions where people speak two languages and everything from window displays to downtown parades bears the stamp of multiple cultures.   I know border areas in Europe better than I know the ones in the US and I think of the Pyrenees, where the French rolls their ‘r’ with the thunder of Spanish, or western Slovenia where the architecture is Austrian, the language Slavic and the dress Italian.
These days, I think of craft ~ from Peter Voulkos pulling off the potter’s wheel an expressionist abstract to Paul Stankard using the paperweight as a vehicle for mythology.  Looked at through one lens, their works belong squarely in the craft tradition; through another lens, they are sculptural art.
Examined through both, they are treasures of the borderland.

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