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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Art Event: browngrotta arts at art on paper in New York City, March 5 – 8, 2015

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Basketry, Collage, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Mixed Media, Paper, Sculpture on February 19th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Karyl Sisson, Straw Skyline vintage paper drinking straws and polymer, 14.375” x 32.5” x 3”; 2013, Tom Grotta

Karyl Sisson, Straw Skyline
vintage paper drinking straws and polymer,
14.375” x 32.5” x 3”; 2013, Tom Grotta

For three days this March, browngrotta arts will present inventive works made of handmade, recycled and commercial paper by artists from North America, Europe and Asia at art on paper, Pier 36, 299 South Street, in New York City. Many artists cut, fold or print on paper. The international contemporary artists whose work browngrotta arts will exhibit at art on paper take a more immersive approach to the medium, treating it as material – stacking, molding, carving and weaving it, as others would wood, linen, clay or marble.

Mary Merkel-Hess Basket

Llano (Deep orange )
23″H x 25 x 15
Reed and paper, 2012, photo by Tom Grotta

Toshio Seikiji of Japan and Chris Drury of the UK, for example, use paper like fabric — weaving, stitching and etching on newspapers, maps and other paper to create arresting assemblages. Others of the artists featured by browngrotta arts recycle to create their works, including Kazue Honma who creates object of Japanese telephone books, Dona Anderson who creates vessels of dress pattern paper and Korean artist, Jin-Sook So who creates collages using old Korean texts. Karyl Sisson’s striking New York skyline is composed of re-purposed paper straws. Hisako Sekijima of Japan and Sylvia Seventy from the US, mold paper pulp – in Seventy’s case, to create paper bowls populated with found and other objects. Scandinavians, Jane Balsgaard of Denmark and Merja Winquist of Finland, create three-dimensional sculptures. In Balsgaard’s case, she makes the paper she uses from materials gathered near her summer home in Sweden. American Mary Merkel-Hess uses gampi paper, papier-maiche and reed to create sculptural baskets forms and bas relief wall works.

Old Paperwork Untitled, Jin-Sook So Korean schoolbook pages burnt, handmade wooden platter, gold leaf, silver leaf, painted acrylic color, 35.5” x 43.25” x .75”, 2014, Photo by tom grotta

Old Paperwork Untitled, Jin-Sook So
Korean schoolbook pages burnt, handmade wooden platter, gold leaf, silver leaf, painted acrylic color, 35.5” x 43.25” x .75”, 2014, Photo by tom grotta

Working alongside its Beneficiary Partner, The Brooklyn Museum, and its Presenting Partner, The Wall Street Journal, art on paper will focus on “the notion of what a work on paper can be”, says its director, Max Fishko. The fair, art on paper, is at Pier 36, 299 South Street, New York, New York. There is a preview on Thursday, March 5th from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a VIP party that night from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Fair opens at 11; Friday and Saturday it closes at 7 p.m.; Sunday at 6 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets to the preview and party, visit: http://thepaperfair.com/about/art-on-paper/. For more information on browngrotta arts’ exhibition, call Tom Grotta at browngrotta arts: 203-834-0623 or visit browngrotta.com: http://browngrotta.com/Pages/calendar.php.

Sylvia Seventy Basket

18ss PUZZLES, Syllvia Seventy
molded recycled paper, wax, jigsaw puzzle pieces, waxed shaped paper pieces, wire, beads, thread, 3.25″ x 11″ x 9.75″, 2011, photo by tom grotta

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John McQueen: Established Artist Award Exhibition Opens in New York

Posted in Art, Basketry, Eco-Art, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, Installations, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Wood on February 2nd, 2015 by arttextstyle
John McQueen talking about his piece Teeter at the opening of TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen, the exhibition opening

John McQueen talking about his piece “Teeter” at the opening of TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen, the exhibition opening

Last May, John McQueen was surprised to learn he had been awarded the second annual Established Artist award (for artists over 40 years old) from the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York. McQueen, who has lived in the area for more than a dozen years, was pleased, telling Amy Biancolli of The Time Union, “You don’t know you’re up for it, so [it’s] the idea that I’m just here by myself, making stuff, and no one else in the Capital Region would even know – and suddenly I’m recognized.” Recognition has come from elsewhere before now, however. McQueen’s work is found in dozens of museums and private collections, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Racine Museum of Art in Wisconsin and the Philadelphia Art Museum in Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the the American Craft Council and a winner of the Master of the Medium award from the James Renwick Alliance, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.

attendees viewing "Same Difference" by John McQueen

attendees viewing “Same Difference” by John McQueen

TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen, the exhibition that accompanies the award, opened on Friday, January 30th at the Arts Center. McDaniel is the winner of the companion Emerging Arist award for 2014. In TOO, the two artists work in repetition within their chosen materials, meticulously creating pieces that concentrate on form and texture. McQueen’s three-dimensional works are made of natural

John McQueen Reading from his piece "Bird Brain" at TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen

John McQueen Reading from his piece “Bird Brain” at TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen

materials — twigs, bark, cardboard — he prides himself on not needing to go the arts supply store. In Too, his several-part sculpture, Teeter, includes shingles from a lake house and a hand, originally created as the mold for another project. Raillery is made of the corrugated cardboard that surrounded a Murphy bed. McQueen’s works invoke word and world associations. Some of these are made by the viewer, others are there in the artist’s intent. In Same Difference, for example, the juxtaposition of detailed sculptures of the Hindu god, Ganesh, a bonsai and a sump pump is visually engaging. When McQueen explains the simple and smart connection amongst the three —all soak up water, through a trunk, root system or a pump — the work can be appreciated on additional level. For Bird Brain, one is initially awed by the form — a book of cursive words created of tiny willow twigs tied with waxed linen — then challenged to decipher the names, like “Frogmouth,” and “Lyre bird.”

You have until March 31st to see TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen, http://www.artscenteronline.org/too-melinda-r-mcdaniel-john-mcqueen/13161/. Or see browngrotta arts’ online folio of the John McQueen works in the exhibition at: http://www.browngrotta.com/digitalfolios/McQueen.Digital%20Folio.2015/FLASH/index.html

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The Resurgence of Interest in Fiber Sculpture and Art Textiles Will Continue in 2015

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Commentary, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Galleries, In the News, Installations, Museums, Press, Sculpture, Tapestry on January 20th, 2015 by arttextstyle

Last year was an extraordinary one for those of us who appreciate contemporary art fiber and art textiles. More than 10 exhibitions opened in the US and abroad. In October, the art newspaper reported that “textiles are gaining international stature in art museums” and further that “[c]ommercial interest is on the rise,” quoting art advisor Emily Tsingou: “Textile [art] has entered the mainstream.” Soft Fabrics-Have Solid Appeal. Below is a roundup of exhibitions and reviews from last year and a guide to what to expect in 2015.

Mainstream attention began with the coverage of Sheila Hicks‘ inclusion

Sheila Hicks, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14 (installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York). Photograph by Bill Orcutt

in the Whitney Biennial in March and was followed by coverage of the restoration of her remarkable 1960s tapestries at the Ford Foundation in New York Sheila Hicks Tapestries to Again Hang at Ford Foundation. In June, the Art Institute of Chicago’s textile galleries reopened, featuring 96-year-old Ethel Stein’s work, in Ethel Stein, Master Weaver.art institute of Chicago logo

September saw three fiber-related exhibitions; the Museum of Arts and Design opened What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founder’s Vision (closes

Kay Sekimachi, Ed Rossbach, Françoise Grossen, Katherine Westphal and others Museum of Art Design installation of What Would Mrs Webb Do?, Photo by Tom grotta


February 8, 2015),Kay Sekimachi, Ed Rossbach, Françoise Grossen, Katherine Westphal and others Museum of Art Design installation of What Would Mrs Webb Do?, Photo by Tom grotta

February 8, 2015), which featured significant textiles from the permanent collection by Anni Albers, Kay Sekimachi, Katherine Westphal, Ed Rossbach, Françoise Grossen and Trude Guermonprez, while The Drawing Center’s: Thread-Lines offered Anne Wilson creating fiber art in situ

Ann Wilson’s In Situ Performance at the Drawing Center, photo by tom Grotta

Ann Wilson’s In Situ Performance at the Drawing Center, photo by Tom Grotta

together with a collection of works by Lenore Tawney, Louise Bourgeois and others. Contemporary 108 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, featured a series of large photographic weavings by Aleksandra Stoyanov of the Ukraine

Aleksandra Stoyanov Tefen Open Museum exhibition traveled to Contemporary 108 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, photo copyright Tefen Open Museum

Contemporary 108 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, curated from the 2013 “Aleksandra Stoyanov” Tefen Open Museum, Israel exhibition. photo copyright Tefen Open Museum

and now Israel, described as “warp and weft paintings.”

In October, Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present, opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston with works by 34 artists including

Fiber: Sculpture 1960 — present opening, photo by Tom Grotta

Fiber: Sculpture 1960 — present opening, photo by Tom Grotta

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ritzi Jacobi and Naomi Kobayashi. The Boston Globe called the exhibition “[s]plendid, viscerally engaging…groundbreaking;” the exhibition catalog (available at browngrotta.com) was pronounced by Blouin art info, “an amazing resource for anyone interested in learning more about the medium.” Art Info – Art in the Air Fiber Sculpture 1960 Present October also saw a survey of the work of sculptor and poet, Richard Tuttle, at the Tate in London, Richard Tuttle: tuttle.tate.modern
I Don’t Know, Or The Weave of Textile Language in which Tuttle investigated the importance of textiles throughout history, across his remarkable body of work and into the latest developments in his practice. Tate Modern – Richard Tuttle I Don’t Know or Weave Textile Language

Throughout the year, Innovators and Legends, with work by 50 fiber
Innovators.Legends
artists, including Adela Akers, Nick Cave, Katherine Westphal and Sherri Smith toured the US, exhibiting at museums in Colorado, Iowa and Kentucky. The fiber fanfest culminated at Art Basel in Miami Beach in December, where Blouin’s Art Info identified a full complement of fiber works and textiles in its listing, “Definitive Top 11 Booths, “ including Alexandra da Cunha’s compositions of mass-produced beach towels and various colored fabrics at Thomas Dane Gallery, a Rosemarie Trockel embroidered work at Galerie 1900-2000, marble and dyed-fabric pieces by Sam Moyer at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen and woven paintings by Brent Wadden at Mitchell-Innes & Nash Blouin Art info – The Definitive Top-11 Booths at Art Basel Miami Beach.

And what’s ahead in 2015?

More auctions and exhibitions that include fiber sculpture and art textiles are scheduled for 2015. Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present will

wexner.center.logo
open at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio on February 7th and travel to the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa in May. BCA_color_studyInnovators and Legends will open at contemporary 108 in Tulsa, Oklahoma in February, as well. In April, the Tate in London will open The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay, which will show how the artist

Sonia Delaunay Tate Modern

Sonia Delaunay Prismes electriques 1914 Centre Pompidou Collection, Mnam / Cci, Paris © Pracusa 2013057

dedicated her life to experimenting with color and abstraction, bringing her ideas off the canvas and into the world through tapestry, textiles, mosaic and fashion.

Also in April, the Museum of Arts and Design will host Pathmakers:

Lenore Tawney in her Coenties Slip studio, New York, 1958. Courtesy of Lenore G. Tawney Foundation; Photo by David Attie

Lenore Tawney in her Coenties Slip studio, New York, 1958.
Courtesy of Lenore G. Tawney Foundation; Photo by David Attie

Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today, featuring work by Sheila Hicks,  Lenore Tawney and Dorothy Liebes http://madmuseum.org/exhibition/pathmakers.

In June, the Toms Pauli Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland will celebrate the International Tapestry Biennials held there from 1962 to toms.pauli.logo1995 and display work by the Polish textile artist and sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz, in an exhibition entitled, Objective Station.

Also this summer, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Baie St Paul in Musée.d'Art.ContemporaindeBaie.StPaul

Mariette Rousseau Vermette Portrait by Tom Grotta

Mariette Rousseau Vermette Portrait by Tom Grotta

Quebec, Canada will examine the work of Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, who participated in five of the Lausanne Biennials.

From April 24 – May 3, 2015, browngrotta arts will host Influence and Evolution, Fiber Sculpture then and now at our barn/home/gallery space in Wilton, Connecticut. In its 27-year history, browngrotta arts

InfluenceandEvolutionAdhas highlighted a group 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. The influence of their experiments has been felt for decades. Influence and Evolution, Fiber Sculpture then and now, will explore that impact and examine how artists have used textile materials and techniques in the decades since, by juxtaposing works by artists who rebelled against tapestry tradition in the 60s, 70s and 80s,

Françoise Grossen, From the Mermaid Series IV, 1983, photo by Tom Grotta

Françoise Grossen, From the Mermaid Series IV, 1983, photo by Tom Grotta

including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lia Cook, Kay Sekimachi and Françoise Grossen, with works from a later generation of artists, all born after 1960, through whom fiber sculpture continues to evolve. These artists, including María Eugenia Dávila and Eduardo Portillo of Venezuela, Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium and Naoko Serino of Japan, work in a time when classification of medium and material presents less of a constraint and fiber and fiber techniques can be more readily explored for their expressive potential alone.

“It is rare to find so many inventive, compelling works in one show, and it astounds that many are so little known,” wrote Kirsten Swenson in Art in America, about Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present, in October 2014. Art in America Magazine – reviews: Fiber Sculpture 1960-present. This spring, in Influence and Evolutionbrowngrotta arts will offer dozens more significant works of fiber art for collectors to appreciate and new audiences to discover — more than two dozen works by fiber pioneers and another 30 more recent fiber explorations. We hope you will visit the exhibition, order the catalog or both. Please contact us for more information about what’s in store. art@browngrotta.com

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Art/Text Events: Helena Hernmarck and Norma Minkowitz at Connecticut Libraries

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Collage, Exhibitions, Installations, Lectures, Sculpture, Tapestry on January 18th, 2015 by arttextstyle
Helena Hernmarck Portrait, photo by Tom Grotta

Helena Hernmarck Portrait, photo by Tom Grotta

This Sunday, January 25, 2015, award-winning artist Helena Hernmarck will speak at the Ridgefield Library, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877 from 2-3:30 p.m. A longtime resident of Ridgefield, Hernmarck was born in Sweden and educated at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Hernmarck is known for her monumental tapestries, found in numerous corporate and museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Arts and Design, the Detroit Art Institute, Time-Warner, Kellogg, Pitney Bowes and Newsday, which are based on photographs, rephotographed collages and her own watercolors. “It is easy to affix the label photo-realism or trompe l’oeil to her work, but the medium itself, full of surprising surface effects, rejects such classifications,” according to Sigrid Wortmann Weltge, professor emeritus, history of art and design, Philadelphia University. “Hernmarck is thoroughly modern and asserts her rights as an artist by defying all rules. Ignoring that a weaving should be flat, for example, she superbly manipulates not only the textile but the viewer as well. Through the use of perspective and shading, her iconography appears dimensional while it is in effect flat. Yet the surface, as a result of deftly combined yarns of varying density, is dimensional. Hernmarck draws on various sources for her subject matter, nature as well as mundane objects. Though unideological, her imagery is, nevertheless, entirely in tune with contemporary life, immediately understood yet unexpected and mysterious.” (“Helena Hernmarck,” American Craft magazine, Sigrid Wortmann Weltge, Dec 1999/Jan 2000). SNOW DATE: Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 2p.m. The Library encourages registration as the talk is likely to fill up quickly. For more information: tel: 203.438.2282; http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=RDGFLD#3838996.

Norma Minkowitz artist talk at Drawn to the Edge reception at the Westport Library. Photo by Tom Grotta

Norma Minkowitz artist talk at Drawn to the Edge reception at the Westport Library. Photo by Tom Grotta

Beginning this month, visitors to the library in Westport, Connecticut can view Drawn to the Edge, an exhibit of small sculptures and textured pen-and-ink drawings combined with collage and fiber by Westport resident, Norma Minkowitz, whose work is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) and Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Minkowitz has long used stiffened crochet to create airy, three-dimensional objects. In these, “[e]ach of the smallest elements — a crossing of threads, an individual knot, is essential to her realization of the final form, in a manner not unlike the complex assembling of individual cells to form a complete organism,” wrote David McFadden, former Chief Curator at the Museum of Arts & Design, New York of Minkowitz’s work. “This transformation is made possible only by cells held in genetically predetermined arrangements. By paying homage to the basic construction principles of the natural world, the artist achieves forms that appear to have been given the breath of life.” Minkowitz has been creating her intensely detailed pen-and-ink drawings for many years, but only recently begun to exhibit them. Like her sculptures, they are complex assemblages that include collage elements that the artist says, “interest, intrigue or scare me.” The artist spoke last week at the opening of Drawn to the Edge after being introduced by Chris Timmons, the Library exhibits coordinator, as a “treasure.” The cross-hatching in her drawings Minkowitz described as a link to stitching. She explains that she works spontaneously without a preplanned ending, letting the final work enfold on its own.

The Seekers collage/drawing by Norma Minkowitz. Photo by Tom Grotta

The Seekers collage/drawing by Norma Minkowitz. Photo by Tom Grotta

In The Seekers, for example, she had included cutouts of birds, but it was not until she came across an image of Picasso’s eyes, “so dark and piercing,” that “I knew how to finish the piece.” Minkowitz spoke some about the inspiration for her imagery, but added that she doesn’t wish to over explain her works. “I want them to be open to interpretation,” she says, “I like it when people see something else entirely.” Drawn to the Edge runs through March 25th in The Great Hall of the Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road, Westport, CT 06880 | 203.291.4800 | Hours: Mon-Thurs 9-9 , Fri 9-6 , Sat 9-5 , Sun 1-5; http://westportlibrary.org/services/art-exhibits.

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Last Minute Art Gift Ideas from browngrotta arts

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Basketry, Book Recommendations, Books, Gifts, Sculpture, Wood on December 20th, 2014 by arttextstyle

We’ve got lots of art-y gift ideas for all the Basket Cases, Paper Chasers, Metal Heads, Log Lovers and Soft Touches on your list.
Select something for more than $50 before January 15th and we’ll pay to upgrade your shipping and send a donation to the International Child Art Foundation!!

b53 Fiber Sculpture  1960 - Present 

Fiber Sculpture 1960 – Present By Jenelle Porter

119L Notes to Self

Notes to Self, Gyöngy Laky, wood and paint, 29.5” x 21.5”, 2012

Stephanie Jacques

Sauvages Dyptch, Stephanie Jacques willow, 51″ x 18″ x 12″, 2014

Eye

Eye, Jiro Yonezawa, bamboo, steel, urushi lacquer, 20” x 20” x 20”, 2014

Large Shallow Bowl

Large Shallow Bowl, Karyl Sisson, wood clothspins and wire, 5” x 21” x 21”, 1987

58mg Gathering

Gathering, Mary Giles, galvanized steel wire, paint, wood, 30” x 30″, 2012

60nk Cube Red

Cube Red, Naomi Kobayashi, Japanese paper, paper thread, mirror, 2.5” x 10.5” x 10.5”, 2014

In the Realm of Nature

In the Realm of Nature: Bob Stocksdale & Kay Sekimachi By Signe Mayfield

 

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Books Make Great Gifts: 2014 Edition

Posted in Book Recommendations, Books on December 17th, 2014 by arttextstyle

As in previous years, artists represented by browngrotta arts have an eclectic and interesting list of books to recommend, art-related and otherwise. Thanks to dozen-plus artists who made suggestions, 18 books in all.

Tamiko Kawata reports that she had the chance to read a few books while icing her injured shoulder after therapy, first three times a day, then two times. She enjoyedHaruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. She is now reading — and enjoying — Even Back.Then.the.Fox.Was.the.HunterHerta Muller, Even Back Then, the Fox Was the Hunter.

Mary Merkel-Hess recommends Pilgrim.on.the.Great.Bird.ContinentPilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. “It is the gracefully written account of how, during his five years on the Beagle, Charles Darwin became an accomplished naturalist who could discern scientific truths from the creatures he studied. “ she writes. “Haupt documents this transformation by concentrating on Darwin’s lesser-known writings, particularly his notebooks. At points it reads like a travelogue and a manual for bird watchers. I found it fascinating.”

“I do not get to read books as much as I like,” writes Kiyomi Iwata, ” but the best book I read this year wasThe.Grief.of.Others.Leah.Hager.Cohen The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen. Even though she is very young — my daughter’s age — I found her prose most sensitive, insightful and compassionate. Her most recent book is No.Book.but.the.World.A.NovelNo Book for the World, which I am still reading.”

The most inspirational book Toshio Sekiji read this year was Korea.Economic.drilled.throughKorean Economy Drilled Through by Lee Hong Chang, which was originally published in Korea by Bobmun-sha,1999, the Japanese translation was by Hosei University Press in 2004. The book illuminates the dramatic changes from the medieval age to the modern age. It was one of a number of related books Toshio has read over the last two years as he prepared a report, “Korean Lacquer Culture through Neolithic Age to Modern Age” for the Bulletin of the Lacquer Art Museum in Wajima, Japan.

Ulla-Maija Vikman most enjoyed Flayed.ThoughtsNyljettyjä ajatuksia (Flayed Thoughts) by Juha Hurme. In Finnish only at this point, it’s a story of a 700-mile, 20-day rowing journey in which the characters eat, camp on islets and beaches and discuss what is essential and how what’s essential is transmitted.

There are two recommendations from Ruth Malinowski: The.Hare.With.Amber.EyesThe Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal, recommended last year by Kay Sekimachi (and published by Rhonda’s other employer, FSG/Macmillan) and 1913: The Year Before the Storm1913.The.Year.Before.the.Storm by Florian Illies. The latter highlights developments in literature and art, as well as politics, covering the lives of Kafka, Rilke, Thomas Mann, Camille Claudel, Freud, Stalin, Hitler and some Royalty. Wars, love letters, art thefts and many more events from1913 are cleverly combined in 12 chapters, each reflecting a calendar month.

Ceca Georgieva rated ShantaramShantaram by Gregory David Roberts as her most inspirational read of the year. (Full disclosure, this one is also published by Rhonda’s other employer, St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan and a book she also quite enjoyed. It’s been optioned by Johnny Depp and the movie is currently in production.)

“Of the many inspiring reads this year,” writes Wendy Wahl, “two authors stand out who had an impact on my work as a visual artist interested in the potency of printed text on paper. I was given The.Size.of.ThoughtsNicholson Baker’s The Size of Thoughts, by my husband when I was trying to weave together seemingly disparate yet connected ideas that sometimes are considered mundane and should be thought of as blessed into a cohesive short story. Baker’s style reminded me to keep doing what I was doing. I went onto read his Double.Fold.Libraries.and.the.Assault.on.PaperDouble Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, which became the inspiration for a sculpture I made this year that shares its name. One of my favorite library activities is to stroll through the stacks with my head cocked to one side and my index finger underlining titles vertically to see what’s there. I was delighted to come upon On Paper,On.Paper.The.Everything.of.Its.2000.Year.History The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History by Nicholas Basbanes, ‘a self-confessed bibliophiliac.’ I’ve checked this book out several times, paid late fees and, since I can’t write in this copy, I realize I must own it.”

Five art books got the nod from our artist/correspondents including Iridescent.LightIridescent Light: The Emergence of Northwest Art by Deloris Tarzan Ament with photographs by Mary Randlett. Dona Anderson “enjoyed immensely” Ament’s profiles of 21 artists who lived and worked in Washington State during formative periods in their careers, profiles that blend discussion of their work and commentary on the obstacles they faced and the influences they brought to bear on one another.

Scott Rothstein rates Bharany.CollectionsA Passionate Eye: Textiles, Paintings and Sculptures from the Bharany Collections, Giles Tillotson, ed. as a “great book.” Mr. Bharany is Scott’s “Indian Father.” He is very involved with textiles as well as paintings and other Indian art forms. Scott says, “I had tea with him three times a week when I lived there and we get back to India almost every year, mostly to spend time with him. He is around 88 years old, so we feel we need to be with him as much as we can.” The book on Judith Scott, Judith.Scott.Bound.UnboundJudith Scott, Bound and Unbound, he recommends, too — more for the photos than the text.

Nancy Koenigsberg found the volume created to accompany the traveling exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Fiber Sculpture 1960-presentFiber: Sculpture 1960 to the Present (available on our website, browngrotta.com), “a must read for fiber people,  makers and buyers — especially young artists who don’t know who some of these artists are. I was really surprised to discover that!!,” she says.

“My favorite book for this year,” writes Adela Akers, “is, without a doubt: In the Realm of NatureIn The Realm Of Nature: Bob Stocksdale & Kay Sekimachi (available on our website, browngrotta.com). A beautiful book, well conceived with excellent writing by Signe S. Mayfield. The life history of these two wonderful artists is beautifully intertwined with perfect images of their work. What a pleasure!”

Wishing you all new year that provides plenty of time for pleasure reading!

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Art News — Pulp Culture: Paper is the Medium

Posted in Art, Art Textiles, Basketry, Exhibitions, Fiber Sculpture, Installations, Museums, Paper, Sculpture on November 10th, 2014 by arttextstyle
Morris Museum, Morristown New Jersey, photo by Tom Grotta

Morris Museum, Morristown New Jersey, photo by Tom Grotta

Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey

Takaaki Tanaka work "A Harden Nest" in front of the Morris Museum's Pulp Culture exhibit. Photo by Tom Grotta

Takaaki Tanaka work “A Harden Nest” in front of the Morris Museum’s Pulp Culture exhibit. Photo by Tom Grotta

Through December 7th

More than 80 works are presented in the Morris Museum’s current exhibition of art by contemporary artists who have stretched the boundaries of paper as a creative medium and source of inspiration.

A Red Grethe Wittrock among the works at the  Morris Museum, Pulp Culture exhibit, Photo by Tom Grotta

A Red Grethe Wittrock among the works at the Morris Museum, “Pulp Culture” exhibit, Photo by Tom Grotta

The exhibition includes surprising objects made from paper ranging from life-size sculptures of human figures and whimsical figures to geometrically complex folded objects to jewelry and paper dresses. The “paper” includes dollar bills, book pages, florists’ wrapping, dress patterns and more. Included are papermakers, sculptors and engineers, whose methods and materials include handmade paper pulp, folded paper, molded paper, recycled paper and cut paper.

Richard Meier Collages among the artists exhibited in "Pulp Culture" at the Morris Museum. Photo by Tom Grotta

Richard Meier Collages among the artists exhibited in “Pulp Culture” at the Morris Museum. Photo by Tom Grotta

Among those featured in Pulp Culture are architect Richard Meier, designer Massimo Vignelli and jeweler Robert Ebendorf. Ten of the 46 featured artists are represented by browngrotta arts. Takaaki Tanaka’s several-part paper pulp piece appears at the entrance. Wendy Wahl’s works made of Encyclopedia Britannica pages are also included along with

Morris Museum, Pulp Culture, Wendy Wahl, Kazue Honma, Merja Winqvist. Photo by Tom Grotta

Morris Museum, Pulp Culture, Wendy Wahl, Kazue Honma, Merja Winqvist. Photo by Tom Grotta

work by Dona Anderson. Jennifer Falck Linssen, Grethe Wittrock, Kay Sekimachi, Toshio Sekiji, Merja Winqvuist, Mary Merkel-Hess and Kazue Honma. The Morris Museum is at 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, New Jersey and open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information: 973-971-3700 or www.morrismuseum.org.

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