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 Musuem in New York. Her work illustrates how timeless these artists’ explorations have been. “Contextualizing Adela Akers,” writes Ezra Shales, in the catalog ro 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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Influence and Evolution Introduction: Gizella K Warburton

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Basketry, Collage, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Installations, Mixed Media, Wood on April 1st, 2015 by arttextstyle
Gizella K Warburton Basket

Gizella K Warburton, Corpus Vessel IV, textile, mixed media, stitch, 5” x 14” x 14”, 2015. Photo by Tom Grotta

Gizella K Warburton is another of the artists whose work will be included in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Scuplture…Then and Now at browngrotta arts in Wilton, Connecticut from April 24th – May 3rd. Warburton creates unique objects — framed, hanging and sculptural artworks and installations, including works on slate and weathered wood grounds, printed and woven elements, and sculptural forms and vessels. She has a BA Hons (First Class), Printed, Woven & Constructed Textiles from Manchester School of Art and a Postgraduate Certificate in Arts Practice with the University of Derby. In addition to making exhibition work, Warburton has been commissioned to deliver numerous creative learning projects in partnership with Galleries and Museums and Heritage organizations. This includes roles as both practicing artist and Creative Agent with government- led initiatives such as Creative Partnerships. She has undertaken the “Artists Professional Development Programme: Developing Arts for Health” at Staffordshire University, which she credits with enriching her insight and understanding of the creative process, and its connections and impacts on human health and wellbeing.

Gizella Warburton Basket Detail

Gizella Warburton,
Corpus Vessel VI, textile, mixed media, stitch, 6” x 13.5” x 13.5”, 2015. Photo by Tom Grotta

Mark making is an intrinsic part of Gizella K Warburton’s practice: shadowed, scratched, stained, scarred, pierced, wrapped and stitched. The materiality of cloth, paper, thread, wood and paint connects her work to an innate human urge to make marks, to decipher the meaning of our physical and emotional landscapes, and the transient nature of the warp and weft of our lives. She describes the slow tactile intimacy of stitching as “a mantra.” Warburton has always found ancient and humble textiles and primitive vessel forms particularly compelling; the raw and worn simplicity of the weaving, stitching, binding and repairing bearing the patina of our human histories. She is drawn to materials that suggest a fragile balance; strength and legacy, yet with susceptibility to wear and tear, which she permeates with their own intrinsic tactile qualities. A

Gizella K Warburton Installation

Gizella K Warburton, Notes on Pale Board I-VI, textile, mixed media, stitch, weathered board, 19.5” x 81.5” x 2.25”, 2013
Ritual Form III, textile, mixed media, stitch, weathered slate, 9.25” x 11.5” x 11.5”, 2013. Photo by Tom Grotta

series of Warburton’s fabric vessels and mixed media textiles on weathered board will be featured in 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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Influence and Evolution Introduction: Michael Radyk

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Tapestry on March 28th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Michael Radyk Flocked

Swan Point (Flocked Again) Jacquard, woven of wool, recycled vinyl coated polyester, cotton and linen, photo by Tom Grotta

Dimensional weavings by Philadelphia artist, Michael Radyk, will be on display in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture then and now, opening April 24th at browngrotta arts in Wilton, Connecticut and continuing until May 3rd. Radyk has a BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia and an MFA in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. He has been awarded residencies from the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences in Rabun Gap, Georgia and the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland. Radyk has also

Detail of Swan Point (Flocked Again), photo by Tom Grotta

Detail of Swan Point (Flocked Again), photo by Tom Grotta

received a Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant and been awarded the Presidents Prize at the exhibition FOCUS: Fiber 2014, held at the Erie Art Museum and sponsored by the Textile Art Alliance, Cleveland Museum of Art. Among the works we will feature in Influence and Evolution will be weavings from Radyk’s Swan Point series. Swan Point was inspired by research, drawings, photographs done at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, Rhode Island. For Radyk, Swan Point holds an important place in textile history. Lucy Truman Aldrich, the greatest single donor to the RISD Museum’s textile collection is buried there, along with other notables including early textile manufacturers and industrialists. Aldrich, who was one of the first western women to travel to Japan and China,

Michael Radyk Swan Point Swan Point (Flocked) Jacquard,  woven of wool, recycled vinyl coated polyester, cotton and linen. Each work varies depending on the size, cutting, flocking. The woven structure is related to quadruple cloth. photo by Tom Grotta

Michael Radyk, Swan Point (Flocked)
Jacquard, woven of wool, recycled vinyl coated polyester, cotton and linen. Each work varies depending on the size, cutting, flocking. The woven structure is related to quadruple cloth. photo by Tom Grotta

donated a beautiful and inspirational collection of Japanese Noh and Buddhist priest robes to RISD. The color and flocking in the works in the Swan Point series comes from the off-white monuments there that are covered in a kind of slow dust. The works in the Swan Point series are Jacquard textiles created to be cut and manipulated after being taken off the loom. “I was trying to bring the artist’s hand back into the industrial Jacquard weaving process,” Radyk 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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Influence and Evolution Introduction: Tim Johnson

Posted in Art, Basketry, Book Recommendations, Eco-Art, Exhibitions, Sculpture, Wood on March 25th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Tim Johnson Butterbur baskets. Photo by Tom Grotta

Tim Johnson Butterbur baskets. Photo by Tom Grotta

Tim Johnson, a sculptor of natural materials, is among the artists included featured in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture then and now, opening April 24th at browngrotta arts in Wilton, Connecticut and continuing until May 3rd. Like pioneer fiber artist Ed Rossbach, Johnson is an incessant experimenter — with material, technique, venue. Last November, for example, he spent several weeks exploring the pastures, cow tracks, streams and pathways that make up Briddlesford Lodge Farm

25. Tim Johnson Invisible Pathways Briddlesford Lodge Farm Residency. Photo by Tim Johnson

25. Tim Johnson Invisible Pathways Briddlesford Lodge Farm Residency. Photo by Tim Johnson

on the Isle of Wight. As the farm’s first Artist in Residence Johnson was invited to create the inaugural exhibition in the newly restored and architecturally re-designed Hop Kilns Heritage Center.Using a variety of materials gathered on the farm including Butcher’s Broom, Hazel, Honeysuckle, cow muck and bailer twine, he created a series of suspended panels that investigated the layered history of the land’s usage and geography. Black bailer twine is embroidered mapping out fields and pathways, twilled cane picks up patterns from an old winnowing fan in the heritage centre’s collection and Ash twigs reference the hedgerows, hurdles and coppiceing traditions of the island. “I am more than happy to admit the influence of makers such as Ed Rossbach, whose book, The New Basketry, I bought for the mighty sum of £1.50 when I was still a schoolboy in the 80s,” Johnson says. “While for many years the influence

Tim Johnson Rush Baskets

Tim Johnson-rush.baskets. Photo by Tom Grotta

did not emerge in my work and I did not understand how to work with basketry techniques and materials, when I eventually started making baskets it was like coming home to the work I had always wanted to make.” A series of Johnson’s vessels, made of rush and Butterbur, will be featured in 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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Influence and Evolution Introduction: Marianne Kemp

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Tapestry on March 20th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Marianne Kemp Red Fody cotton, horsehair, acrylic  53” x 20” x 3” 2013. Photo by Tom Grotta

Marianne Kemp, Red Fody, cotton, horsehair, acrylic, 53” x 20” x 3”
2013. Photo by Tom Grotta

Marianne Kemp of the Netherlands is another of the artists whose work will be included in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture then and now at browngrotta arts’ barn in Wilton, Connecticut from April 24th through May 3rd. Kemp uses unconventional weaving techniques to create works of character that combine texture, color and movement. She specializes in weaving with horsehair.

Marianne Kemp Raggiana cotton, linen with coloured horsehair 28” x 28” x 3” 2014 photo by tom Grotta

Marianne Kemp, Raggiana, cotton, linen with coloured horsehair, 28” x 28” x 3”
2014 photo by Tom Grotta

Her exclusive fabric designs feature serene recurring patterns that create an inner stillness. Other work is extroverted and playful, reflecting an exuberant cheerfulness. An expressive colorist, Kemp has collaborated with designers from different disciplines to develop new patterns and textures into woven textiles, three-dimensional objects and

Marianne Kemp Raggiana cotton, linen with coloured horsehair 28” x 28” x 3” 2014. Photo by tom Grotta

Marianne Kemp, Raggiana, cotton, linen with coloured horsehair, 28” x 28” x 3”, 2014.
Photo by tom Grotta

installations. Viewers want not only to see each work by Kemp, but also to touch them. Her woven upholstery fabric is also available as The Marianne Kemp range, mechanically woven at John Boyd Textiles, UK.

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Influence and Evolution Introduction: María Eugenia Dávila & Eduardo Portillo

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Installations, Museums, Sculpture, Tapestry on March 14th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Patina II byMaría Eugenia Dávila & Eduardo Portillo. Photo by Tom Grotta

Patina II by María Eugenia Dávila & Eduardo Portillo. Photo by Tom Grotta

We are in full preparation mode for our spring exhibition, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture then and now, April 24th – May 3rd. Among the artists whose work we will be featuring are María Eugenia Dávila & Eduardo Portillo of Venezuela. You can see the artists’ work in

Amanecer by María Eugenia Dávila & Eduardo Portillo. Photo by Tom Grotta

Amanecer by María Eugenia Dávila & Eduardo Portillo. Photo by Tom Grotta

New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City through April 6th. Featuring more than 75 designers, artists, craftspersons, and collectives, New Territories explores several key themes, including: the dialogue between contemporary trends and artistic legacies in Latin American art; the use of repurposed materials in strategies of upcycling; the blending of digital and traditional skills; and the reclamation of personal and public space. http://browngrotta.com/Pages/calendar.php

Venus I.Detail

Venus I detail (woven bronze) by Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, photo by tom Grotta

We are excited by the experimental approach Dávila and Portillo take to all aspects of their work — sourcing, technique and materials. They have spearheaded the techniques of rearing silk worms in Venezuela, weaving with locally sourced fibers and dyeing with natural dyes. They were inspired to work with natural indigo by visits to Orinoco and the Amazon.

Atardecer.Detail

Atardecer.Detail by Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, photo by tom Grotta

The artists spent several years in China and India studying sericulture, or silk farming, and since then their research has taken them worldwide. In Venezuela they established the entire process of silk manufacture: growing mulberry trees on the slopes of the Andes, rearing silkworms, obtaining the threads, coloring them with natural dyes, and designing and weaving innovative textiles. We will include an example of woven “mosaics” from their Indigo series—metaphors for moments of the day —

Encontrada by Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, photo by tom Grotta

Encontrada by Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, photo by tom Grotta

in Influence and Evolution. Recently, they have been working on incorporating copper and bronze into their work, and also using textiles as inspiration for works that are cast in bronze and that work will be represented in Influence and Evolution as well. You can learn more about the artists, their process, inspiration and exquisite work by watching them on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/102751766. For more information on our exhibition, Influence and Evolution, or the catalog that will accompany it, check: http://browngrotta.com/Pages/catalogs.php

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