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Anat Shiftan

Flora with Rectangular Base



ANAT SHIFTAN (Israeli – American, b.1955)

Flora with Rectangular Base, 2020

Glazed porcelain

17" L x 10.5" D x 10" H

Anat Shiftan (b. 1955, Israel) is a ceramic artist based in New York. She uses artistic and decorative motifs found throughout western art history—floral centerpieces and arranged still life vignettes—to explore her relationship to nature both as a human being and as an artist. In her own words, “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 … Nature embodies the texture of sexuality, life and death, of power and subversion, and is very similar to complex political and social phenomena.”

Shiftan earned an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and Design in 1986 and is a professor in the ceramics department at SUNY New Paltz where she has held a teaching position since 2003. Previously, she studied English literature and philosophy at the Hebrew University and has also studied ceramics at Eastern Michigan University. She worked at Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, MI as an instructor, production manager, senior designer, and director of education. Her work has been exhibited extensively; she collaboratively organized Contemporary Issues in Clay: A British Perspective in 2006 and Why Clay in 2008 as well as Beyond Hand Made in 2008—all symposia that examined theoretical, social, and economic trends as the context in which creative practice in visual arts occurs today. Shiftan has twice received the Michigan Grant for Individual Artists.  

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