Monthly archives: November, 2011

Guest Post Alert

Fiber Futures: Japan’s Textile Pioneers

Carol Westfall first Guest Post is up. To Read FibernFutures: Japan’s Textile Pioneers, click Guest Post Above;

Hitomi Nagai (1954- ). Birth, 2011. Cotton; waffle weave. 79 x— 43 x— 11 in. (200 x— 110 x 28 cm). Photo: Mareo Suemasa.

 

 


Guest Post Alert: Carol Westfall’s First Guest Post This Monday

Kazuyo Onoyama, Orikata (Folded Form), 2006. Kyôko Ibe, Screen from the Hogosho series, 2009. Fuminori Ono, Feel the Wind, 2010. Hisako Sekijima, Kôzô o motsu ryô II (Volume That Has Structure II), #546, 2009. Hisako Sekijima, Renzoku suru sen (Continuous Lines), #559, 2010. Hisako Sekijima, Jûsan’yô no satsu (A Book with Thirteen Leaves), #553, 2009. Installation photo by Richard Goodbody.

Over the next few months, we’ll be featuring Guest Posts by artist, educator, collector and friend, Carol Westfall.  Westfall’s work has been exhibited extensively in Japan, Europe, South America and the US. She has taught at both Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in New York City and in the Fine Arts Department at Montclair State University in New Jersey  and is one of the artists included in the upcoming exhibition, Distinguished Educators, at the Crane Arts Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next March. We worked with Westfall when she was at Montclair state University to produce the Art of Substance  exhibition in the gallery there.

In her first post, up Monday, November 28th, she takes a comprehensive look at the Fiber Futures: Japan’s Textile Pioneers exhibition, open through December 18th, which is still being talked up in New York City (including in a segment on Sunday Arts NY on PBS, Channel 13). In December, she’ll review Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design, at the Museum of Arts and Design, in New York through January 15th. Kazuyo Onoyama, Orikata (Folded Form), 2006. Kyôko Ibe, Screen from the Hogosho series, 2009. Fuminori Ono, Feel the Wind, 2010. Hisako Sekijima, Kôzô o motsu ryô II (Volume That Has Structure II), #546, 2009. Hisako Sekijima, Renzoku suru sen (Continuous Lines), #559, 2010. Hisako Sekijima, Jûsan’yô no satsu (A Book with Thirteen Leaves), #553, 2009. Installation photo by Richard Goodbody.


Artful Gift Giving Made Easy: Visit our Online Gift Gallery for suggestions from $14 to $1200

Jiro Yonezawa bamboo vase $380, photo by Tom Grotta

Our Online Gift Gallery link makes it easy to surprise the special people on your gift list — and maybe even yourself — with a memorable, one-off gift of art. Art is often among the items people choose to forego in trying economic times. By choosing an artful gift, you can offer your family and friends something they might not be willing to buy for themselves, but something they’d love to own. You’ll have chosen a truly one-of-a-kind, individually selected gift, and that’s an art in itself.

Rebecca Medel TWO PATHS $650 photo by Sam Fritch

The Online Gift Gallery at browngrotta arts makes choosing art gifts simple by featuring three price tiers. In tier one are works $500 and under, which includes catalogs, books and videos starting $14, raw silk scarves made in India by Japanese artists Chiaki and Kaori Maki starting at $380, a whimsical lidded bowl made of measuring tapes by Karyl Sisson for $160 and an elegant bamboo vase, complete with presentation box, by Jiro Yonezawa for $380. In tier two are works from $501 to $1000, including delicate black baskets of waxed linen, thorns and porcupine quills by Birgit Birkkjaer of Denmark, a surprising geometric sculpture of safety pins by Tamiko Kawata, and a sculptural piece by Rebecca Medel. In tier three are works from $1001 to $1200, including a small embroidered drawing by Russian artist Irina Kolesnikova, an indigo banner by Hiroyuki Shindo and a wall sculpture made of newspaper and saw blades by Kate Hunt.

Irina Kolesnikova, BALANCING II $650

Purchase any item from the Online Gift Gallery before December 1st and your shipping, anywhere in the US, will be free.  (If you purchase videos, books or catalogs from the Online Gift Gallery through our website before December 1st, we’ll send you a refund for the shipping.) And, for every item we sell from the Online Gift Gallery by the end of the year, we’ll donate $5 to the International Child Art Foundation http://www.icaf.org.

browngrotta arts will also participate in Small Business Saturday on November 26th. American Express cardholders who register their cards before that date and then make a purchase at a participating member on the 26th will receive an American Express gift card worth $25. Register here.


The Next Big Thing: Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers

Jiro Yonezawa bamboo Bridge and Kay Sekimachi Leaf bowl. photo by Tom Grotta

We’ve had a busy fall season at browngrotta arts. First was Stimulus: art and its inception, which you can still see in the catalog http://www.
browngrotta.com/Pages/c36.php
 and online through the end of the month http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/StimulusOnlineExhibit.php. Next up, is Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers at the Wayne Art Center, Pennsylvania http://www.
wayneart.org/exhibition/green-from-the-get-go-international-contemporary-basketmakers
 which runs from December 2, 2011 to January 21, 2012.  Green from the Get Go is curated by Jane Milosch, former curator of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum in collaboration with browngrotta arts. The exhibition features an exciting compilation of more than 40 works by artists who take inspiration from nature and the history of basketry. Since prehistoric times artists and craftspeople have been highly attuned to the beauty and resources of the natural world, whether depicting a pristine landscape, untouched by man, or harvesting plants and minerals for pigments and brushes. Sustainability is part of the design and craft process, which requires a heightened sensitivity to materials, one that honors the caring for, replenishing and repurposing of materials. Artist Dorothy Gill Barnes captures this eco-friendly position well when she explains, “my intent is to construct a vessel or related object using materials respectfully harvested from nature.”

CROSSING OVER Dona Anderson bamboo kendo (martial art sticks), patterned paper, thread 15" x 94" x 30" 2008. photo by Richard Nicol

 

Some of the sculptural baskets in Green from the Get Go are made from both flora and fauna, from bamboo, pine, sea grass, and willow to emu feathers and bayberry thorns. The tactile nature of these fiberous works stimulates all of the senses—sight, smell, touch and even sound. Each maker brings his or her own conceptual approach and expression to the design and fabrication process. Some works are small enough to nestle in the hand or rest table-top, while others are monumental or hang on the wall. Green from the Get Go stretches our imagination in terms of what materials and forms constitute a basket and how art bespeaks the interconnected relationship of man and nature.

The exhibition includes artists from Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, Scandinavia and the US, featuring innovators in the genre of 20th-century art basketry as well as emerging talent: Dona AndersonJane Balsgaard, Dorothy Gill Barnes,Dail Behennah. Nancy Moore Bess, Birgit Birkkjaer, Jan Buckman, Chris Drury, Lizzie Farey, Ceca Georgieva, Marion Hildebrandt, Kiyomi Iwata, Christine JoyVirginia Kaiser, Markku Kosonen, Gyöngy Laky, Dawn MacNutt,  John McQueenMary Merkel-Hess, Norma Minkowitz, Valerie Pragnell, Ed Rossbach, Hisako Sekijima, Kay Sekimachi, Naoko SerinoKlaus Titze, Jiro Yonezawa and Masako Yoshido.

PILLOW, Norma Minkowitz, fiber, wood, paint, 2011

 

The preview party for Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers and Craftforms 2011, juried by Elisabeth Agros of the Philadelphia Art Museum, takes place on the evening of December 2nd and we’ll be there. For more in formation, contact the Wayne Art Center: http://www.wayneart.org/events/?id=48.


Art Within Reach: Mary Giles and Sue Lawty in the Latest DWR Catalog

photo by Carter Grotta, courtesy of cbgimages.com

November DWR catalog

The November Design Within Reach catalog, a primary source for modernist classics like the Freedom Task Chair by our friend Niels Differient and the Jen Chair by another friend, Jens Risom, was partially photographed in our house last August.

photo by Carter Grotta, courtesy of cbgimages.com

photo by Tom Grotta

Mary Giles‘ work Multiplicity and Sue Lawty’sLead III made it into the catalog — check out pages 34-35, 38 and 92 http://s7d3.scene7.com/
s7/brochure/flash_brochure.jsp?company=DWR&sku=2011_DWR_
NovCatalog&config=DWR/2010_1test&locale=en
.

photo by Tom Grotta

photo by Carter Grotta, courtesy of cbgimages.com

Watching the shoot was a treat for Tom and Carter, our then-soon-to-be photomajor.  Here’s a glimpse of the catalog and their behind-the-scenes shots.


Installation News: Randy Walker Completes Passage in Minnesota

Randy Walker, 1875 iron bridge, acrylic fiber 115' x 17 'x 15'

Randy Walker has turned the historic Shanaska Creek Bridge in Minnesota into an artwork, weaving strands of colored acrylic fiber from one to side of the structure to the other creating a large loom of sorts that will remain in place for 6 to 8 months.

Randy Walker, 1875 iron bridge, acrylic fiber 115' x 17 'x 15'

At the end of that time, Walker will remove the fibers and they’ll be transformed into a textile work by the St. Peter Weavers in St. Peters, Minnesota. Walker’s Passage project asks viewers and participants to recall a forgotten past by transforming a decaying artifact into a vibrant artwork through the combined efforts of the artist and the community.

“I want people to celebrate the history of the bridge as they walk across.” Walker told the Le Center Leader. “I am very thankful for the opportunity provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Le Sueur County Commissioners to give this bridge another chapter in life.”  http://lecenter.com/content/celebrating-bridge-art-history
You can also see Randy and his son discussing the bridge project in a video at:
http://www.keyc.tv/story/16012998/shanaska-creek-bridge-transformed-into-a-work-of-art

 

Randy Walker, 1875 iron bridge, acrylic fiber 115' x 17 'x 15'