Dialogue: Lindenfeld + Lindenfeld
Walking through ceramicist Naomi Lindenfeld’s home after completing a studio visit, I noticed a striking wall hanging. Textiles being a great love of mine, I asked Lindenfeld who created the stunning piece. She replied that the weaver was her mother, Lore Kadden Lindenfeld, a second-generation Bauhaus artist, who studied at the Black Mountain College with both Josef and Anni Albers. Kadden Lindenfeld went on to a successful career in industry as a textile designer, as well as maintaining a studio practice in which textiles formed the base of her wide-ranging experimental work.
I noted that mother and daughter shared a passion for making delicately articulated surfaces. Naomi was aware of the affinities between their work, but had never directly quoted from or interpreted Lore’s work. I immediately asked her to embark on a “dialogue” with her late mother through their work.
Continued growth is a necessary component in art making. Stretching yourself in order to investigate a new idea, in a medium over which you already have mastery, involves risk taking, alone in the studio. Accepting my invitation, Lindenfeld spent a year exploring and expanding her artistic practice, moving from a lifetime of making functional pottery to a new venture creating experimental pottery and pure sculpture. This exhibit traces the trajectory of her artistic growth.
The first segment of the exhibit — pairings of works made before the “dialogue” began — can be thought of as analogous to the imprinting of vocal tone or gesture that naturally occurs between mothers and daughters. The next group consists of Lindenfeld’s reinterpretations of her mother’s weavings and fabric collages as functional ceramic ware, based on formal design considerations. The final set comprises an intensive conversation between Lindenfeld’s and her mother’s works, involving two media with very different technical requirements. Here Lindenfeld seamlessly blends technical ingenuity with aesthetic considerations to striking effect. The resulting pieces move beyond homage. They are dynamic expressions with their own logic, mystery, and magic.
What began as a dialogue between two artists is now a conversation between art and viewer. I trust you will find the exchange stimulating!
— Mara Williams, Chief Curator