Biography

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Flora Series:
The format for Flora is that of a “center piece.” It echoes a long tradition of arranging a still life (bowl with fruit or floral arrangement) as a center presence on a table.  That arrangement is seemingly neutral but is actually symbolic*. When I make my floral piles, I explore the ambivalent condition of our relation with nature. As I attempt to look at nature I realize it is not there for me to view. Nature as an authentic, unpredictable, and uninterrupted phenomenon is not present in our world. Our “nature” is stylized and cultured. Further, nature as a cultural concept is placed in contrast to the mechanized world yet nature is in fact mechanical and predictable. Finally, nature is not neutral or objective but rather powerful and “opinionated.” Nature embodies the texture of sexuality, life and death, of power and subversion, and is very similar to complex political and social phenomena.

For these reasons the form of my flowers is an invented one rather than made through observation. In Flora, the floral objects are flower-like but are not attempting to represent any specific species. The stem has a geometric hexagon core that alludes to the mechanical way of making these flowers as well as the geometry and predictability of nature as witnessed.

In the end, Flora celebrates my fascination with nature. I capture nature as something that is ambivalent and get as close as possible to presenting nature the way it is in our world today.

*Virginia Woolf uses the bowl of fruit as a metaphor for harmony in To the Lighthouse, and in the history of painting there is a long tradition of the seemingly objective/natural still life to suggest a critical view of the human condition.


Born in Israel in 1955, Shiftan studied English Literature and Philosophy (BA 1980) at the Hebrew University, Ceramics at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, (1980 -1982), Eastern Michigan University (MA 1984), and Cranbrook Academy of Art and Design, (MFA 1986). She worked at Pewabic Pottery, Detroit Michigan (1986 to 1999) as Instructor, Production Manager - Senior Designer, and Director of Education. She taught at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (1999-2002) and is currently teaching ceramics at SUNY New Paltz since 2003, where she is head of the Ceramics Program.

Shiftan has twice received the Michigan Grant for Individual Artists and exhibited her work extensively. Shiftan has collaboratively organized: Contemporary Issues in Clay: A British Perspective, (2006) and Why Clay (2008), and organized Beyond Hand Made (2008), all symposiums examined theoretical, social, and economic trends that are the context in which creative practice in visual arts occurs today. Shiftan’s own work in clay explores the subject of ambivalence in floral and zoological imagery and the representation of nature in art.

CV

ANAT SHIFTAN
b. 1955, Israel

1980    BA English Literature and Philosophy, Hebrew University, Jerusalem,
                 Israel
1984    MA Eastern Michigan University
1986    MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art and Design, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1986 - 1999 Senior Designer and Director of Education, Pewabic Pottery,
​                 Detroit, MI
1999 - 2002 Teacher, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
2003 - Present Head of the Ceramics Program, SUNY New Paltz

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2020    Portchester Clay Art Center, Portchester, NY (forthcoming)
            Peka Gallery for Architecture and Experimental Art, Technion – Israel
​                 Institute of Technology and Town Planning, Haifa, Israel (forthcoming)
            University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, Maine (forthcoming)
2015    Anat Shiftan: Nature Reconsidered, Thomas Hunter Project Space,
​                 New York, NY
2014    Le Jardin: The Ceramics of Anat Shiftan, Vessels Gallery, Boston, MA.
2012    Anat Shiftan, Vessels Gallery, Boston, MA
2010    Anat Shiftan: Recent Work, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia PA
            Stilled Life, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY
2008    Anat Shiftan, Recent Works of Still Life, Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI
            Anat Shiftan, Digital Art, WAW Peekskill Extension Center Gallery,
​                 Peekskill, NY
2006    Contemporary Issues in Clay: A British Perspective, Greenwich House
​                 Pottery, New York, NY
            Lydia Zabetsky Gallery, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
            Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY
2004    Ceramics and Digital Drawings, Fine Arts Gallery, Mott Community
​                 College, Flint, MI
2003    Color Perception in Time: A Video of Digital Drawings, Union Media
​                 Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1988    Willis Gallery, Detroit, MI
1987    Artist Association, Ann Arbor, MI

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
2019    Design Miami / Basel, Hostler Burrows, Basel, Switzerland
2018    Garden Feast of Paradise, NCECA, Pittsburgh, PA
            Garden Feast of Paradise, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2017    The Salon Art + Design, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY
            Intimately Unfamiliar, Dorsky Museum, State University of New York at
​                 New Paltz, NY
            Our Flag: Design Stands Together, R & Company, New York, NY
            Small Favors: Think Inside the Box, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Winter Antiques Show, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY
2016    Design Miami, Hostler Burrows, Miami, FL
            Salon of Art + Design, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY
            Expo Chicago, Hostler Burrows, Chicago, IL
            Hot Pots, Port Chester Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY
2014    Floral panels by Nancy Lorenz and floral porcelains by Anat Shiftan: Old
​                 Westbury Gardens / Nassau County Museum, NY
            Anat Shiftan, Jenny Kemp, Noah Post, and Suzy Sureck: Tracery, Gallery
​                 PS 209, Stone Ridge, NY
2013    Naturally, Clay Art Center, Schacht Gallery, Saratoga, NY
            Dorsky Museum, State Univeristy of New York, New Paltz, NY
            Art Shanghai, Shanghai, China 
            Small Favors VIII, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Roos Art Exhibition, Bowls and Platters, WSW
2012    Tending toward the Untamed: Artists Respond to the Wild Garden,
​                 Glyndor Gallery, Wave Hill, NY
            Blue and White, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Faculty of Wayne State Ceramic Program: 1990 – 2012, Detroit, MI
            Small Favors VII, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Watersed Kiln God Show, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD
2011    Ceramics Material and Material Culture, Curated by Sin Ying Ho, Queens
​                 College, Queens, NY
            eARTh, curated by Leight Michelson, Westchester Art Center, NY
            Jingdezhen Contemporary International Exhibition, The 1st Kaolin Cup
​                 China International Ceramic Art Contest and Exhibition (Honorable
​                 Mention Award), Jingdezhen, China
            Mercurial Objects: Luxuriant Obsession, Schuck Art Gallery, Skidmore
​                 College, Saratoga Springs, NY
            Small Favors VI, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            The Gift of Art, Vessels Gallery, Boston, MA
            Teaching Artists, Peekskill Clay Studios, Peekskill, NY        
2010    Visual Translations, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Small Favors V, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Re-Objectification, Leslie Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
            The Things Themselves, Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY
            eARTh, Rockland Center for the Arts, Rockland, NY
            The 4th Annual Jingdezhen Contemporary International Ceramics
​                 Exhibition, Great China Museum, Jingdezhen, China
2009    University of Alaska, Anchorage, AK (Curated by Steve Godfrey)
            Jingdezhen Contemporary International Ceramics Exhibition,
​                 Jingdezhen, China
            2009 Sanbao International Printmaking Exhibition, Jingdezhen Ceramic
​                 Institute, University of Jingdezhen, China
            Made in Clay, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY
            Small Favors IV, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            2009 International Printmaking Exhibition, Sanbao, China
2008    Tercet, Anelie Gandellman Fine Art, Larchmont, NY
            All Fired Up, Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY
            Buckham Gallery, Flint, MI
            Made in Clay, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY
            Small Favors II, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Beyond Hand Made, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia PA
            Why Clay, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY
            Clay, Sensation: The 5th Biennale for Israeli Ceramics, Eretz-Israel
​                 Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel
2007    Craft Forms, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
            Mastery in Clay, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Visual Israeliness, The Open University of Israel, Ra’anana, Israel
            Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Art and Soul: Discovering the Artist Within, Art Center of the Capital
​                 Region, Troy, NY
            Made in Clay, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY
            Ceramic Abstraction: Exploration and Evidence in Contemporary
​                 Ceramics, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT
            Cups Coming Together, The Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY

2006    Craft Forms 2006, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
            The Fourth Biennale for Israeli Ceramics, Eretz Israel Museum,
​                 Tel Aviv, Israel
            Mastery in Clay, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Ceramic Regional: Down to Earth, The Art Center of the Capital Region,
​                 Troy, NY
            Two Dimensions / Three Dimensions, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            10 x 10 x 10, Ellenville, NY
            Jersey Shore Clay National, M.T. Burton Gallery, Surf City, NJ
            Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
            Second Nature, Dorsky Museum, State University of New York,
​                 New Paltz, NY
2005    Artist in Residence: The XII International Raku Symposium, Pleminitas,
​                 Zagreb, Croatia
            Five Israeli and Five American Ceramic Artists, Toby Rosenberg Gallery,
​                 Portland, ME
            The Third Biennale for Israeli Ceramics, Eretz Israel Museum,
​                 Tel Aviv, Israel
            Tile Matter and Motif, Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, MD
2004    Works by Art Faculty from SUNY Purchase and New Paltz, Dutchess
​                 Community College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY
2003    Regional Drawing Exhibition, Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Detroit, MI
2002    Center Gallery, Detroit, MI
1999    Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI
            University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1992    Habatat / Shaw, Southfield, MI
1991    Kresge Art Museum Biennial Exhibition, Michigan State Univeristy,
​                 East Lansing, MI
            Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI
1990    Great Lakes Gallery, Chicago, IL
            Ten Year Anniversary Show, Detroit Focus Gallery, Detroit, MI
1988    Chicago Fire 2: Contemporary Ceramics, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
1987    Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
            Detroit Focus Gallery, Detroit, MI
            Eye Media, Ann Arbor, MI
            All But Oil, Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI
            Outside, Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI
1986    Contemporary Ceramics, Saginaw Art Museum, Saginaw, MI
            Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI
            Michigan Gallery, Detroit, MI
            Lill Street Gallery, Chicago, IL
            Clay USA, Radford University, Radford, VA

FELLOWSHIPS, GRANTS, AWARDS
2004 - 2017 Research and Creative Projects Award, SUNY New Paltz
2009 - 2010 UUP Professional development Award, SUNY New Paltz
2006    UUP/SUNY, Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Award
2006    UUP Professional Development Award, SUNY New Paltz
2004 - 2005 UUP Professional Development Award, SUNY New Paltz
1990    Michigan Council For The Arts, Grant for Individual Artist
1988    Michigan Council For The Arts, Grant for Individual Artist
1987    Arts Foundation of Michigan Award
1986    Cranbrook Academy of Art, Tuition Grant

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
2016    Laster, Paul. “18 Things We Want from Design Miami,” WhiteHot
​                 Magazine, December
2014    Thoughts on Authenticity & Interpretation: Volume 42 #2, Studio Potter
2012    Tending Towards the Untamed, Artists Respond to the Wild Garden,
​                 Glyndor Gallery, Wave Hill, NY
2011    The 1st. Kaolin Cup, China International Ceramic Art Contest and
​                 Exhibition
            Ceramics Art and Perception, Issue # 83: On Earth, pages 70 - 73
            Printers and Potters: Creative Exchange, 2nd. China Sanbao International
​                 Printmaking Exhibition, page 20
            Mercurial Objects, Schick Art Gallery, Skidmore College.
​                 Pages 21, 23, and 28
2010    International Contemporary Ceramic Exhibition, Jingdezhen China
​                 International Fair
            Ceramics Art and Perception: On Earth, Issue #83
2009    Printers and Potters: Creative Exchange, West Meets East @ Sanbao,
​                 International Contemporary Ceramic exhibition, Jingdezhen China
​                 International Fair
2008    The Fifth Ceramics Biennale, Eretz Israel, Museum, Tel Aviv: Design, Art,
​                 Design PP. Hagai Segev.
            Angelica Pozo, 500 Tiles, An Inspiring Collection of International Works,
​                 Lark Books, New York, NY
            Ceramics Technical, Porcelain Still Lifes
            “Enjoying the Still Life,” Ceramics Monthly, Volume 56 #7
2007    Elik Mishori, Visual Israeliness, catalogue, Exhibition in the Framework of
​                 the 23rd Annual Conference of The Association for Israel Studies,
​                 The Dorothy Rothschild Open University Campus, Raanana
​                 June - July 2007. The Open University of Israel, Dept. of Literature,
​                 Language and Arts
            American Craft, February / March issue
2006 – 2007 Knafo, David. Catalogue, Territory and Identity- Between Ceramics
​                 and Architecture, The Fourth Biennial for Israeli Ceramics, Eretz Israel,
​                 Museum, Tel Aviv: Design, Art, Design. Pages 214 - 215
2006    Pozo, Angelica. Hand Made Tiles, A Lark Ceramics Book, A Division
​                 of Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. New York, NY. Page 36
2004-2005 Cecula, Marek, The Third Biennial for Israeli Ceramics, Eretz Israel,
​                 Museum Tel Aviv: Design, Art, Design. Page 93
2004    Walt, Irene, Sera, Grace, Monogram, Art in the Stations, The Detroit
​                 People Mover. Detroit: Art in the stations. Art In The Stations.
​                 Pages 14, 15, and 72
            Clay Times, Volume 10 #5
            “One Person Art Exhibition,” Flint Journal, March 22
1991    Detroit Free Press, February 22
1987    Detroit Free Press, January 27
            Birmingham Eccentric, July 23
            Detroit Free Press, July 28
            Detroit Metropolitan, July
1986    Detroit Free Press, January 5

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