Crafting Abstraction

March 10 - May 13, 2018

This exhibition was on view at the Asheville Art Museum On the Slope  (175 Biltmore Avenue)

Crafting Abstraction brings together a selection from the Museum’s Permanent Collection that highlights the importance of craft to the development of modernist abstraction in the United States. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, modernist artists have used abstract forms—geometric and organic—to express immaterial phenomena such as spirituality, gracefulness, vitality, speed, sensuality and emotion. In many of these artworks, the physical attributes of the materials and the processes of hand-making are integral to the ideas and experiences conveyed.

Crafting Abstraction proposes an alternative to histories of art that credit the development of modernist abstraction to only painters and sculptors. The exhibition presents works in a wide variety of media including weaving, ceramics, woodworking, assemblage, quilting and stained glass, among others. Featured artists include: Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Ruth Asawa, Sidney Buchanan, Bessie Harvey, William Albert Lanier, Beatrice Riese and Jerilyn Virden.

This exhibition was curated by Holly Gore, PhD candidate in art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara + the Museum’s Windgate Curatorial Intern 2017. This internship was supported by a Windgate Museum Internship Award administered by the Center for Craft.


As a complement to Crafting Abstraction, Turning Traditions is an installation of selected works by Ed, Philip and Matt Moulthrop. This family of Southern woodturners has created unique vessels for three generations.


Related Events

Class | March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17 + 24, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Art Break| April 13, 12:00 p.m.

Group Visits

Groups of 10 to 20 students or adults are invited to schedule a visit to Crafting Abstraction and Turning Traditions. Our inquiry-based group visits, led by volunteer docents or Museum staff, challenge visitors to hone their observation skills.

Read more and schedule your group visit.

View selected works in the exhibition »