Influence and Evolution: The Catalog is Now Available

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Basketry, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Installations, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Tapestry on May 20th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture...then and now catalog cover artwork by Federica Luzzi

Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now
catalog cover artwork by Federica Luzzi

Our Spring exhibition Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now explored the impact of artists – Sheila Hicks, Ritzi Jacobi, Lenore Tawney, Ed Rossbach and others – who took textiles off the wall in the 60s and 70s to create three-dimensional fiber sculpture. In Influence and Evolution, we paired early works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lia Cook, Kay Sekimachi and Françoise Grossen — artists who rebelled against tapestry tradition — with works from a later generation of artists, all born in 1960 or after. Fiber sculpture continues to evolve through this second group of artists, including María Eugenia Dávila and Eduardo Portillo of Venezuela,

Influencers Title page  Influence and Evolution catalog

Influencers Title page Influence and Evolution catalog

Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium, Naoko Serino of Japan and Anda Klancic of Slovenia. In our 160-page color exhibition catalog, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, you can see the works in the exhibition. Each artist is represented by at least two works; images of details are included so that readers can experience the works fully. The catalog also includes an insightful essay, Bundling Time and Avant-garde Threadwork by Ezra Shales, PhD, Associate Professor, History of Art Department, Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Influence and EvolutionShales write in his essay, “poses rich comparisons and asks the mind to sustain historical linkages. We feel the uneven texture of time, luring us into a multiplicity of artistic pasts and an open road of varied fibrous futures. An emphasis on plural possibilities makes this exhibition quite distinct from a tidy biblical story of genesis or masters and apprentices. We witness multiple intra-generational passing of batons as well as many artists changing horses midstream, as well they often do.” The three works in Influence and Evolution by Adela Akers that traverse five decades provide a fascinating view of the artistic progression Shales refers to. The curvilinear, draped forms of Summer and Winter 

Influence and Evolution, Adela Akers spread

(1977; restored 2014), he notes, resemble “both a ruffle and a row of ancient mourners.” Midnight, from 1988, by contrast, is hard-edged, “a monumental window into an alternative architectural space.” And Akers recent work, Silver Waves, completed in 2014, is “an intimate surface with linear imagery” whose horsehair bristles “almost invite a caress if they did not seem to be a defensive adaptation.” Juxtapose Silver Waves with American Michael Radyk’s Swan Point (2013) and and Dutch artist, Marianne Kemp’s Red Fody (2013) that also features horsehair,  and catalog readers are likely to understand  Shales’ query: should we categorize woven forms as a logical temporal narrative or inevitable sequence of linked inquiries? Shales is a guest curator of Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and

Influence and Evolution, Sheila Hicks spread

Influence and Evolution, Sheila Hicks spread

Today currently at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York which features more than 100 works, by a core cadre of women—including Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks, Karen Karnes, Dorothy Liebes, Toshiko Takaezu, Lenore Tawney, and Eva Zeisel—who had impact and influence as designers, artists and teachers, using materials in innovative ways. To order a copy of Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and nowour 43rd catalog, visit browngrotta.com.

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Influence and Evolution, Stéphanie Jacques spread

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Art in the Mad Men Years — A Fond Farewell

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Fiber Sculpture, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Tapestry on May 17th, 2015 by arttextstyle

mad-men-mid-season-finale-megan-draper-going-die-plane-crashWe’ll be sad to see the last of Don Draper and Peggy Olson tonight (is it just me, or does anyone else think that Peggy and Jimmy Olsen could be related, except for the spelling, of course?). The series is set in between 1960 and 1970 — remember Pete’s father dying on American Airlines Flight #1 in 1962; Kennedy’s assaination the day before Roger’s daughter’s wedding in 1963; Don getting tickets to see the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965 and this season’s premier with Don watching Nixon announcing troops in Cambodia in 1970?. The series’ sets and costumes are carefully designed, to highlight the clothing, furniture and design of the period. That’s a period that we are nostalgic about. Happily, we live with some classic furniture from those years, including a desk, server and beds by the late Edgar Anderson, a couple of Kennedy rockers, Bertoia side chairs, a Saarinen table, re-issued Uten.silo Wall-Alls and an Arredoluce Monza Triennial floor lamp. We also have the good fortune to promote important artworks from that period, which was a seminal one for contemporary textile art. Here, in honor of Don, Joan, Peggy and rest of the guys, a gallery of fiber art from the Mad Men years.

1962

52r WARP IKAT SPIRAL, Ed Rossbach, 3’ X 9’, 1962

52r WARP IKAT SPIRAL, Ed Rossbach, 3’ X 9’, 1962, photo by Tom Grotta

1964

1ma/r  Studium Faktur, Magdalena Abakanowicz sisal 54" x 43" x 9", 1964

1ma/r Studium Faktur, Magdalena Abakanowicz
sisal
54″ x 43″ x 9″, 1964, photo by Tom Grotta

1965-66

21t PATH II, Lenore Tawney, linen 74" x 30", ca. 1965-66, photo by tom grotta

21t PATH II, Lenore Tawney, linen
74″ x 30″, ca. 1965-66, photo by Tom Grotta

1966

146mr Eclate de Braise, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, wool, 33" x 24", 1966, photo by Tom Grotta

146mr Eclate de Braise, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, wool, 33″ x 24″, 1966, photo by Tom Grotta

1967

1jo/r WARSZAWA Jolanta Owidzka wool, linen and metallic thread 90" x 68",1967, photo by Tom Grotta

1jo/r WARSZAWA
Jolanta Owidzka
wool, linen and metallic thread
90″ x 68″,1967, photo by Tom Grotta

1968

2ws Untitled, Wojciech Sadley , mixed media, 32” x 24”, 1968, photo by Tom Grotta

2ws Untitled, Wojciech Sadley , mixed media, 32” x 24”, 1968, photo by Tom Grotta

1969

Talking Trudeau-Nixon by Helena Hernmarck shown at the Lausanne Biennial in 1969, 51" x 153", photo by Helena Hernmarck

Talking Trudeau-Nixon by Helena Hernmarck
shown at the Lausanne Biennial in 1969, 51″ x 153″, photo by Helena Hernmarck

1970’s

2lk Primitive Figures Bird and insects, Luba Krejci, knotted linen, 40.5" x 44.5" x 2", circa 1970s, photo by Tom grotta

2lk Primitive Figures Bird and insects, Luba Krejci, knotted linen, 40.5″ x 44.5″ x 2″, circa 1970s, photo by Tom Grotta

(For still more on mid-century design, there’s Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today currently at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, which considers the important contributions of women to modernism in postwar visual culture. In the 1950s and 60s, when painting, sculpture, and architecture were dominated by men, and women had considerable impact in alternative materials such as textiles, ceramics, and metals.)

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Influence and Evolution Update: More Innovators

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Basketry, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Installations, Japanese Art, Sculpture, Tapestry on April 23rd, 2015 by arttextstyle
Details of works by Anda Klancic, Stephanie Jacques, Naoko Serino, Susie Gillespie, photos by Tom Grotta

Details of works by Anda Klancic, Stephanie Jacques, Naoko Serino, Susie Gillespie, photos by Tom Grotta

This April’s exhibition at browngrotta arts, includes 15 artists whose work we believe shows the experimental approach to materials and methods that characterized the fiber art movement in its early days, in the the 1960s. Six of these 15, Anda Klancic, Stéphanie Jacques, Naoko Serino, Susie Gillespie, Carolina Yrarrázaval and Randy Walker are not new to browngrotta arts, but they do epitomize an approach that deftly combines exploration and technical mastery. Anda Klancic of Slovenia for example, has won awards and holds patent on the techniques she has developed to create lace-like works using a sewing machine. Naoko Serino of Japan blows air into jute to create surprisingly luminous, magical forms. Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium is an innovative sculptor in willow and clay, who also uses photography, video and performance to explore larger questions of identity. As one observer wrote “watch her voids and shadows carefully as they are rich with meaning.” Susie Gillespie of the UK combines natural materials, including hand-spun nettle, with a novel mix of techniques, broken borders, insets and slits and twining, to create works with a sense of earth, stone, vegetation and decomposition, that

15cy Mar Y Arena, Carolina Yrarrázaval, silk and linen 69” x 31, 2012. Photo by Tom Grotta

appear old, yet feel new. Throughout her career, Carolina Yrarrázaval of Chile has investigated and adapted traditional textile techniques from diverse cultures, especially Pre-Columbian techniques. Her highly accomplished, abstract weavings are austere and sensual at the the same time. American artist, Randy Walker, takes an architectural approach, creating interesting and elegant constructions that use fine threads, cords and ropes to re-envision humble found objects.

8rw Collider Randy Walker steel, nylon 29.75” x 31.5” x 12”, 2015. Photo by Tom Grotta

Recent works by this diverse group of artists will be featured in Influence and Evolution, Fiber sculpture…then and now, at browngrotta arts, 276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, Connecticut from April 24th – May 3rd. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 1pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 27th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier than 10am or later than 5pm, call: 203-834-0623.

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Influence and Evolution Update: The Influencers – Japan

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Installations, Japanese Art, Paper, Sculpture, Tapestry on April 22nd, 2015 by arttextstyle
Masakazu and Naomi Kobayashi 1999 browngrotta arts installation. Photo © Tom Grotta

Masakazu and Naomi Kobayashi 1999 browngrotta arts installation. Photo © Tom Grotta

The role of Eastern European and US artists in challenging tapestry traditions in the 1960s is well documented. By the mid-70s, however, artists from in Japan were gaining attention for own fiber experiments. Among the most prominent, a Kyoto couple, Masakazu and Naomi Kobayashi. Both were invited to the prestigious 7th Lausanne Biennial of International in 1975. In her historical essay, “The Lausanne Tapestry Biennials,” (16th Lausanne International Biennial: Criss-Crossings, 1995, pp. 36-53), Erika Billeter says Masakazu’s work of wires undulating like

Detail of Masakazu Kobayashi, Space Ship 2000, photo by Tom Grotta

Detail of Masakazu Kobayashi, Space Ship 2000, photo by Tom Grotta

waves was “ particularly noticeable.” This she describes as “neither a mural tapestry, nor a sculpture, nor an an object. It is simply textile.” She describes Naomi’s work at the Biennial as similarly thought provoking — a piece laid on the ground made of white juxtaposed pyramids. “[J]ust how dominant the Japanese were in producing thread structures is apparent in the works by Masakazu Kobayashi. “ Billeter has written elsewhere. His woven Waves in dyed threads rank[s] among the most perfect in aesthetic effectiveness ever produced by contemporary weaving….This Japanese way of conjuring up such transparency with threads, of perceiving the thread itself as something creative is highly artistic. They celebrate aesthetic beauty in a way no one can elude.” From “Textile Art and the Avant-garde,” Erika Billeter (Contemporary Textile Art: the Collection of the Pierre Pauli Association, Benteli, Bern / Fondation Toms Pauli, Lausanne, 2000, pp. 52-65.)

Naomi Kobayashi 2000 paper and thread detail, photo by tom Grotta

Naomi Kobayashi 2000 paper and thread detail, photo by Tom Grotta

Works by Naomi Kobayahsi and Masakazu Kobayashi (who died in 2004) will be included in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now at browngrotta arts, Wilton, Connecticut from April 24th through May 3rd. They include a wave work by Masakazu, and two small pyramids by Naomi. These works will be joined by another four dozen works, some by artists prominent in the 60s and 70s and others by artists born in 1960 or after, who have continued experiments in fiber. Influence and Evolution, which opens at 1pm on April 24th. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 1pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 27th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier or later, call: 203-834-0623.

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Make a Day of It: Influence and Evolution and Activities in the Area

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Books, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Museums on April 20th, 2015 by arttextstyle

Influence and Evolution installation: Adela Akers, Sheila Hicks, Stephanie Jacques, Tim Johnson

We hope you are planning a trip to browngrotta arts in Wilton, Connecticut to visit Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now between April 24 and May 3rd. If you have the time and inclination here are a few other activities you might find of interest.

Denyse Schmidt: In The Making Historic Inspirations/New Quilts at the Wilton Historical Society

Denyse Schmidt: In The Making Historic Inspirations/New Quilts at the Wilton Historical Society. Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein

Denyse Schmidt: In The Making
Historic Inspirations/New Quilts
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
203.762.7257
The creations in Denyse Schmidt: In The Making Historic Inspirations/New Quilts are modern interpretations of classic quilt designs – contemporary, functional textile art with deep historic roots. Schmidt’s quilts, with their quirky style and fearless use of color, are fresh and unexpected interpretations of traditional patterns like Rail Fence, Lafayette Orange Peel, Ocean Waves, Mariner’s Compass, Streak of Lightning, Wagon Wheel, Snake Trail, and Churn Dash. Many resemble abstract collage paintings, and all share their maker’s unselfconscious directness. Also at the Society, One Loop at a Time: June Myles’ Hooked Art, hooked works, “painted in wool” in a style that finds its origins in folk art.

Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT 06897
203.762.3950
April 25th 9-5
April 26th 12-5
April 27th and 28th, 10-5 (prices reduced)
The Wilton Library sale wilton-library’s-annual-gigantic-book-sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in more than 50 categories – mysteries, gardening, travel, and science fiction; gently used, collectible, rare books, DVD’s, CD’s, books on CD and a building by architect and designer Eliot Noyes. Notes was head of Industrial Design at MoMA and worked as consultant design director for IBM for 21 years collaborating with Paul Rand and Charles Eames in the first comprehensive corporate design program in America. Homes by Notes can also be found in nearby New Canaan. Learn more specifics in Eliot Noyes by Gordon Bruce.

Marines_SQ_Retreat_2

Harvey Kurtzman & John Severin Marines Retreat!, Frontline Combat #1, 1951 Pen and Ink on Bristol Board 15″ x 22″ ©William M. Gaines, Agent, Inc. Collection of Robert Reiner

A little farther afield:

KA-POW! When Comics Imperiled America
Flinn Gallery
Greenwich Library
Second Floor
101 West Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830
“The idea here is to look at a period in American history where we were fearful that comic books were creating juvenile delinquents,” says Rob Reiner, the owner of the 74 panels of coveted comic art that makes up the exhibit. The crime and horror titles were considering so dangerous, the U.S. Senate launched a formal investigation into comic books during that virtually closed down the comic industry. http://flinngallery.com/onview.php
Through April 29th only
Hours:
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Chris Larson The Katonah Relocation Project exhibition poster

Chris Larson The Katonah Relocation Project exhibition poster

Chris Larson: The Katonah Relocation Project and A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and KMA
Katonah Museum of Art

134 Jay Street – Route 22
Katonah, NY 10536
914.232.9555

Chris Larson: The Katonah Relocation Project, the Museum explores the literal relocation of Katonah 122 years ago. By the late 1800s, New York City’s need for more drinking water necessitated the creation of a new fresh water reservoir in Westchester. The site selected for the reservoir included three towns, including Katonah, condemning them to be flooded. As reported on April 8, 1893 in The New York Times, “The doom of Katonah is sealed, and in two months the picturesque village will be barely more than a memory conjured up in the mind at the sound of its quaint old Indian name.” The residents lifted their homes onto logs to be pulled by horses along soap-slicked timbers, re-siting their town to present-day Katonah. With a nod to the Katonah narrative,Larson constructs a replica of the Mt. Kisco home of the KMA’s architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, as if it were dragged in on logs, elevated on timber cribbing, and pierced through by the Norway spruce trees.

A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and KMA celebrates the architect who designed the KMA. Trained by legendary architects at Harvard University, Edward Larrabee Barnes strove for simplicity and functionality in his designs for skyscrapers, museums, schools, botanical gardens, and private homes. The Katonah Museum project was unique in design—an intimate, light-filled space surrounded by the natural beauty of this idyllic hamlet located just 45 minutes from New York City. Unlike many large projects Barnes was to undertake, this one was as much a form of personal expression as architectural design, with the informal feel of a domestic space for art, as he worked in Manhattan but lived within family in nearby Mt. Kisco. http://www.katonahmuseum.org/exhibitions/.
Hours:
Tuesday through Saturday: 10-5
Closed Monday

aldrich.logoThe Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, just up the street from browngrotta arts at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, Connecticut, is between exhibitions between exhibitions, re-opening on May 3rd. However, staff there have told us they expect to have some of the galleries will be open, including possibly, Nancy Shaver’s Reconciliation, in which the artist will juxtapose recent sculpture made from women’s clothing fabric and other materials and objects found in rural thrift stores with Depression-era photographs by Walker Evans (who was one of her teachers) and images of the artist, fabric, and clothing designer Sonia Delaunay. Call first to confirm: 203.438.4519. The Aldrich is just up the street from browngrotta arts at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.

If you’d like a list of restaurants in the area, contact us at art@browngrotta.com.

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Influence and Evolution Update: More Influencers, North America

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Installations, Sculpture, Tapestry on April 18th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Details of works by Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks, Françoise Grossen and Mariette-Rousseau-Vermette

Details of works by Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks, Françoise Grossen and Mariette-Rousseau-Vermette, Photos by tom grotta

Fiber art experimentation by artist in North America including Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks, Françoise Grossen (a Swiss living in the US) and Mariette Rousseau-Vermette in Canada was a feature of the 1960s. The Museum of Modern Art recognized this directional shift in the seminal 1969 Wall Hangings exhibition, curated by Jack Lenor Larsen and then-MOMA curator, Mildred Constantine. The last 10 years “have caused us to revise our concepts of this craft and view the work within the context of 20th century art,” the curators explained. The exhibition featured 13

Details of works by Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smithand Kay Sekimachi

Details of works by Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smithand Kay Sekimachi, Photos by Tom Grotta

artists from North American including Tawney, Hicks, Grossen, Rousseau-Vermette, Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smith and Kay Sekimachi. “The American works tend to be more exploratory and less monumental,” the curators noted, “as illustrated by the ‘sketchy’ and transparent quality of the free-hanging, gossamer piece of nylon monofilament by Kay Sekimachi.” Sherri Smith used gradated color to reinforce the three-dimensional effect of the expanded waffle weave that forms Volcano No. 10. Several of these American artists were featured in the 4th International Tapestry Biennial in Lausanne that the same year, across the Atlantic. “What an event!” writes Erika Billeter in her historical essay, “The Lausanne Tapestry Biennials,” (16th Lausanne International Biennial: Criss-Crossings, 1995, pp. 36-53). Sheila Hicks shows a free-hanging work inspired by ancient Peruvian techniques and Françoise Grossen approaches macrame, thought to be “old hat”, says Billeter, “with such freedom, she transforms it into a hitherto unexplored contribution to this avant-garde textile art.” By 1969, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette was already a “favorite” of the Biennials, getting noticed for her “abstract and highly pictorial pieces with their highly worked surfaces.” Lenore Tawney did not have work in the 4th Biennial, but she had an influence nonetheless, through Susan

Detail of Lia Cooks TRANSLUCENCE rayon, 56" x 40", 1978, photo by Tom Grotta

Detail of Lia Cooks TRANSLUCENCE rayon, 56″ x 40″, 1978, photo by Tom Grotta

Weitzman’s Homage to Lenore Tawney, a transparent mural leaf, made solely of warp yarn. Lia Cook would join this influential group a few years later, finishing her masters degree and gaining international recognition at the 6th Biennial in 1973, with a 10-foot by 12-foot black-and-white optic weaving entitled, Space Continuum. Also gaining recognition in the

Summer and Winter Detail by Adela Akers, Photo by Tom Grotta

Summer and Winter Detail by Adela Akers, Photo by Tom Grotta

1970s, was Adela Akers whose work was included in the Inaugural Exhibition of the American Craft Museum in New York. Her work illustrates how timeless these artists’ explorations have been. “Contextualizing Adela Akers,” writes Ezra Shales, in the catalog for Influence and and Evolution, “one could say that she was born in Spain and trained in Cuba as a pharmacist before she went to Cranbrook, or that she taught at Tyler for decades, but one could not, relying on eye and hand alone, place [her] works as a fixed chronology with any absolute surety.” Works by Tawney, Hicks, Grossen, Rousseau-Vermette, Rossbach, Smith, Cook, Sekimachi and Akers from the 1960s through the 2000s will be among those featured in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now at browngrotta arts, Wilton, Connecticut from April 24th through May 3rd. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 1pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 26th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier than 10am or later than 5pm, call: 203-834-0623.

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Influence and Evolution Update: The Influencers – Eastern Europe

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Installations, Sculpture, Tapestry on April 15th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Detail of Maria Laskiewicz, MASK, woo1, sisal ,wood sculpture, 72" x 53", 1968, photo by tom Grotta

Detail of Maria Laskiewicz, MASK, woo1, sisal ,wood sculpture, 72″ x 53″, 1968, photo by tom Grotta

A group of six influential artists from Eastern Europe, Maria Łaszkiewicz, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Luba Krejci, Ritzi Jacobi, Zofia Butrymowicz and Jolanta Owidzka will be among the 32 artists featured in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, at browngrotta arts in Wilton Connecticut. The oldest is Maria Łaszkiewicz of Poland, born in 1892 (died 1981). She encouraged a generation of textile artists, including

Magdalena Abakanowicz

5ma Montana del Fuego, Magdalena Abakanowicz, sisal
54” x 81”, 1986, photo by Tom Grotta

Magdalena Abakanowicz (born 1930). In the catalog essay for Influence and Evolution, Ezra Shales, PhD notes that even thought she was born in the 19th century, “…Laszkiewicz was probably less weighted down by the material traditions of fiber than we would expect – and more modern for her time than she might seem to us today. She speaks global folk idioms and traditions with ease.” Magdalena Abakanowicz, who worked in Laszkiewicz’s studio, is the most well-known artist of this group, as much for her monumental figures in bronze as for the enormous weavings she created in 1960s. In creating her rebellious Abakans works, “I did not want to relate to either tapestry or sculpture,” Abakanowicz has written. “Ultimately it is the total obliteration of the utilitarian function of tapestry that fascinates me.” Luba Krejci (1925-2005) of Czechoslovakia also forged a new direction, creating figures of thread by adapting needle and bobbin lace-making techniques to create “intake,” a technique of her own making. The figures in her work are not what one would encounter in American work according to critic Janet Koplos. They are, Koplos wrote in the New Examiner in 1970, “not organic, not playful, not color studies, not romantic. They share with Eastern European fiber art a somber mood, a predominance of dark colors, a look back to classic themes and

7rj Breeze, Ritzi Jacobi coconut fiber, sisal, cotton, 49” x 49” x 8”, 2000, photo by Tom Grotta

7rj Breeze, Ritzi Jacobi
coconut fiber, sisal, cotton, 49” x 49” x 8”, 2000, photo by Tom Grotta

characters, and a great drama.” The youngest of this renown group, Ritzi Jacobi (born 1941), originally of Romania participated in 11 of the prestigious Lausanne Biennials and is represented in Influence and Evolution by a newer work, created in 2000. The exhibition will also include works from the 1960s by Polish artists Zofia Butrymowicz (1904 -1987) and Jolanta Owidzka (born 1927), a colleague of Abakanowicz in Warsaw. Influence and Evolution also features 15 artists, born after 1960, who approach materials, form and technique with a sense of exploration similar to that which characterized the 60s and 70s. The exhibition opens at 3pm on April 24th. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 1pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 27th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier or later, call: 203-834-0623.

4jo. Jolanta Owidska MARGARET VIII, flax, sisal and wool, 57" x 39", 1977, photo by Tom Grotta

4jo. Jolanta Owidska MARGARET VIII, flax, sisal and wool, 57″ x 39″, 1977, photo by Tom Grotta

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Influence and Evolution Introduction: Carole Frève

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Basketry, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Mixed Media, Sculpture on April 13th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Detail of Open Up to You by Carole Frève. Photo by tom Grotta

Detail of Open Up to You
by Carole Frève. Photo by Tom Grotta

Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, at browngrotta arts From April 24 – May 3, 2015 will include work by Canadian artist Carole Frève, who creates vessels of blown glass and knitted wire. “From 1995 until 1999 I worked with industrial wire nettings,” says Frève. “As I felt limited by these materials, I began to knit the wire. More or less at the same moment I began to explore the technique of electro-formed copper. In 2000, I had the idea of electroforming my copper knitting

Open Up to You by Carole Freve Process Shot by Carole Freve

Open Up to You by Carole Frève Process Photo by Carole Fréve

to stiffen it and so to obtain a three-dimensional shape. Since then, I have explored several combinations of techniques to develop a personal artistic language.” Carol Fréve’s grandfather was a blacksmith in Quebec in the early 1900s, forging shoes for the horses that pulled copper from the mines. As Heather Ritchie noted in a 2007 article, ”Carole Frève: Interstices,” in Glass Quarterly, Carole was the only one of his grandchildren who would follow in his footsteps, taking up “a manual trade and working with the fire,” mixing copper and fired glass. Frève first

Carole Freve Listen To Me. Photo by Tom Grotta

Carole Frève Listen To Me. Photo by Tom Grotta

studied Industrial Design and after graduating in 1992, she completed a three-year glass program and Espace Verre in Montreal. Each of Frève’s vessels conducts, “a converasation with a semblance of itself,“ in Ritchie’s terms, “a conversation between what is and what appears to be; between what we are and the image we project…” Freve’s vessels of glass and knitted copper will be featured in Influence and Evolution, which opens at 3pm on April 24th. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 12pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 27th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier or later, call: 203-834-0623.

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Influence and Evolution Introduction: Federica Luzzi

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Installations, Sculpture, Tapestry on April 10th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Frederica Luzzi Black and Red Installation, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Art…then and now

Frederica Luzzi Black and Red Shell Installation, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Art…then and now. Photo by Tom Grotta

A series of Federica Luzzi’s intricate sculptures of linen rope will be featured in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Art…then and now. The Italian artist’s 2014 work, White Earth Shell, won the prestigious Montrouge Prize at the 10th annual Miniartetextil á Montrouge, produced by Arte&Arte in France ​​and was acquired by the city, becoming part of the

10th annual Miniartetextil á Montrouge poster. photo by Federica Luzzi

 

collections of the town hall, and, in 2015, gracing the invitations and posters for the 11th annual contemporary textile art event. Her work has also been exhibited at the Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland, the Jean Lurçat Museum of Contemporary Tapestry, Angers, France (comparing her work with that of Jagoda Buic), the Alvar Aalto Museum in Finland and the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels, Belgium. “My artistic research deals with nature,” the artist explains, “in particular leaves, barks, but above all seeds of plants, pods that give me great fascination and the reason I entitle my works Shell, the English equivalent for the Italian “conchiglia”, conch. The term “shell” is based on the linguistic valence of covering, when shapes shut themselves up:

Frederica Luzzi Black Shell Detail, photo by Tom Grotta

Frederica Luzzi Black Shell Detail, photo by Tom Grotta

carapace, cuirass, frame, carcass, skeleton, projectile, appearance, scale.” She uses a vertical loom which allows her to work thefibers from their frame to three-dimensions. She presents her works in a dimensional installation, “as if they were fragments of a galaxy: macrocosm and microcosm together; disseminations, sowing of fragile bodies aggregated magnetically and arranged in constellations or in an unknown writing.” A “constellation” of Luzzi’s black knot-like pieces is among the works by this artist that will be on display at Influence and Evolution, which opens at 3pm on April 24th. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 12pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 26th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier or later, call: 203-834-0623.

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Influence and Evolution Introduction: Rachel Max

Posted in Art, Basketry, Exhibitions, Sculpture on April 6th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Rachel Max After Haeckel II, detail plaited and twined cane, 9” x 9” x 10”, 2015, photo by Tom Grotta

Rachel Max, After Haeckel II, detail
plaited and twined cane, 9” x 9” x 10”, 2015, photo by Tom Grotta

Colorful vessels by UK artist Rachel Max will be among the works we will include in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture then and now, opening April 24th at browngrotta arts in Wilton, Connecticut and continuing until May 3rd. Max’s open weave structures of fine-center cane and wire in multiple layers involve an interesting interplay between line, shadow and color. “My interest in basketry grew out of experiments with the

Rachel Max, Orange Nest, dyed cane, plaited and twined, 8” x 12” x 11”, 2006, photo by Tom Grotta

tactile and textile properties of metals,” Max explains. “The materials and techniques used in basketweaving enable me to make my own fabric for sculptural forms. The fabric itself is a delicate grid structure forming an intricate network of lines that are interlinked.” The artist explores containment and concealment in her work, utilizing various materials in the process. “I have a particular penchant for fine cane, which has a delicacy that is pliable, with wire-like characteristics that suit the open weave compositions that I have been exploring.” Colour, is the

Rachel Max, 10 x 10, dyed cane, plaited and twined, 7.5” x 10” x 10.25”, 2015, photo by Tom Grotta

Rachel Max, 10 x 10, dyed cane, plaited and twined, 7.5” x 10” x 10.25”, 2015, photo by Tom Grotta

final, essential ingredient in Max’s process. “It is paramount to my work,” she says. Influence and Evolution opens at 1pm on April 24th. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 1pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 27th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier or later, call: 203-834-0623.

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