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Flora in White



ANAT SHIFTAN (Israeli-American, b.1955)

Flora in White, 2024

Glazed porcelain

10" H x 27" W x 24" D

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 Emerita in the Ceramics Department at SUNY New Paltz, where she held a teaching position from 2003 to 2023. She has a degree in English Literature and Philosophy from Hebrew University and an MA in Ceramics from Eastern Michigan University. From 1986 to 1999, she was an instructor, production manager, senior designer, and director of education at the historic Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, MI. 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. Shiftan has twice received the Michigan Grant for Individual Artists. In 2023, she had a retrospective exhibition, Life & Still at the Zillman Art Museum in Bangor, ME. She is currently preparing for a one-person show in the summer of 2024 in Beit Binyamini in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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