Iridescent Sculpture Installations, Ambiguous Ceramic Forms On View In New Exhibitions at Hunterdon Art Museum

  • CLINTON, New Jersey
  • /
  • May 11, 2022

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Rina Banerjee, "Upon first myth and empirical observation the hero, her angel leaps in cry, opens the moon to urge on rain that may cleanse all the sweat of her jealous man," 2013, Acrylic, gold leaf, ink on wood panel Collection of the artist, Courtesy of AICON Gallery

Hunterdon Art Museum presents two new exhibitions opening Sunday, May 15, 2022. “Rina Banerjee: Blemish, In Deep Pink Everyplace Begins” and “Maxwell Mustardo: Dish-Oriented” will be on view through Sept. 4, 2022. 

Drawing on her multinational background and personal history as an immigrant, Rina Banerjee’s work focuses on ethnicity, race, migration, and American Diasporic histories. The artist’s sculptures feature a wide range of globally sourced materials, textiles, colonial/historical and domestic objects while her drawings are inspired by Indian miniature and Chinese silk paintings, and Aztec drawings.

Rina Banerjee is an Indian-American artist and sculptor. She was born in Kolkata, India, and lived briefly in Manchester and London before arriving in Queens, N.Y.. Although Banerjee has been living in the United States for over 50 years, she still draws the perception that she is foreign and other. Countless audiences have been introduced to her vibrant, cacophonous paintings, drawings, and installations with exhibitions in France, Japan, Singapore, Norway, Italy, India, and New Zealand, to mention a few. 

Maxwell Mustardo’s unconventional approach to ceramics can be found in the title of his show, “Dish-oriented,” as well as in the work itself. Leaving traditional glazes and forms to others, Mustardo’s work is truly his own.  Glorious colors, bubbled glazes, and anthropomorphic forms create a dazzling array of pieces that exploit unctuous ambiguities to generate an empathetic and autotelic encounter of the work.

According to Mustardo, he approaches making as a vital opportunity to examine perception and signification, and his work engages with ceramics as a polyphonic medium: one that speaks in multiple voices simultaneously. 

“By working within simple constraints, such as the format of the mug, vase, or torus, I explore orchestrating elements of surface, form, materiality, and function,” says Mustardo. “Many projects revolve around broad, reverential notions of the vessel, the body, and language. Attempts are made to continually dissect processes, revisit forms, and reframe themes to agitate evolution and antagonize static thinking.”

Maxwell Mustardo, Anthropophora

Mustardo was born in 1993 in rural New Jersey. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science in Art History and Theory from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2017. During his time at Alfred, Max earned multiple awards that include an ARGUS grant for materials research, a Levine Endowment grant to study in Japan, and a nomination for the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts/Patricia Kerr Ross Award as the SUNY finalist in the visual arts category. He is currently working as a resident artist at the studio of Toshiko Takaezu in Quakertown, New Jersey. He was recently named a 2022 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly.

Learn more about these and other upcoming exhibitions at

Brian Kearney
Hunterdon Art Museum

Hunterdon Art Museum
7 Lower Center Street
Clinton, New Jersey
About Hunterdon Art Museum

The Hunterdon Art Museum presents changing exhibitions of contemporary art, craft, and design in a 19th century stone mill listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Founded in 1952, the Museum is a landmark regional art center showcasing works by established and emerging contemporary artists. It also offers a dynamic schedule of art classes and workshops for children and adults. Print+ is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of the International Fine Print Dealer’s Association. Programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund; Hunterdon County Board of County Commissioners, through funds administered by the Cultural & Heritage Commission; Hyde and Watson Foundation; Investors Foundation; The Large Foundation, and additional support provided by the IFPDA Foundation along with other corporations, foundations, and individuals.

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