Jill Bonovitz
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Seidel, Miriam. “’Anti-Lamps’ and bowls with words.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. Friday, November 10, 1989, 38.

The slippery terrain connecting craft and fine-arts concerns is negotiated by two artists in current shows: Jene Highstein at the Fabric Workshop and Jill Bonovitz at Helen Drutt. Both abandon functionalism in their craft-derived work but with widely different intents and effects.

Jill Bonovitz’s low, wide bowls are not intended to hold fruit, but they are influenced by years of making ceramic vessels. Her move toward more emotional content in this new show is given great weight by deep familiarity with her material.

The pieces are colored in matte grays and pinks; the lacy edges of the slabs from which they are constructed are often still visible. Their titles – Gentle hush, Secretly, Softly Sighting, Out of the Dark – suggest the mood of the show. For the first time, Bonovitz has included words on the pieces themselves.

This new series is unusual in the functional ceramic tradition. The pots, no longer strictly functional, are now vessels for inward-looking meaning.