Monthly archives: December, 2013

The Year in Books: Art, Life and Learning — Part 1

World Book EncylopediaIt’s been a literary trip back in time for some of browngrotta arts’ artists this year. Every day since February, Wendy Wahl has chosen something at random to read from a well-preserved, slightly earthy smelling set of the 1957 World Book Encyclopaedia. “This pursuit began,” she explains, “when I brought the volumes into the house from the studio to use as a barricade on furniture for my then one-year old Labrador Retriever. It kept her off the sofa but when I wasn’t looking she decided to explore Volumes A and N-O to see how they tasted. Volume M stands out in my memory, the letter of moving water. Included on the glossy pages are mangoes, mathematics, music, Moscow, Mexico, Morocco, molybdenum, money, minerals, medicine, manuscripts, Magna Carta, Mozart, Mendelssohn, monotype, mimeograph, motion pictures, moons, meteors, Mary, Moses, Mohammed, Manet, Monet, Matisse, milk, meat, mushroom, Madison, Marx but no Mandela. It has been revealing to look at these entries through the lens of the editors writing fifty-six years ago; War& PeaceI’m interested in how and what is presented and this 40th edition’s place in the 20th century.” Mary Merkel-Hess spent the entire autumn of this year reading one book – War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. “My husband and I and a few others read it under the tutelage of an enthusiastic, young Russian professor,” she writes, “who served tea cakes and strong coffee during each of our discussions. Yes, it’s a great book and our study quickly led us to consider the history surrounding the book (Napoleonic wars), the complicated and fascinating Tolstoy family (especially the marriage of Leo and Sonya) and the use of the book and characters in other works of art – music and film. There is an American film version of the book starring Audrey Hepburn and a much better Russian film version which runs to 8 hours or so. We and our fellow classmates were captivated and the writing was, of course, superb. We read the new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. I am not exactly recommending War and Peace, but if you would like to be submersed for awhile, able to ignore the news and unable to engage in topical conversation, I do recommend choosing it or another of the ‘great books’ as a way to take the focus off your regular life. I am now considering TheIdiotDostoyevskiThe Idiot by Dostoyevski (the favorite book of Pope Francis) or Joseph and His Brothers by Thomas Mann, which my daughter gave me a few years ago. Either way, I know I am in for the perfect escape.” Look for more recommendations in our next post.


Objects of Desire Gift Guide: Part Four — The Concierge Collection

Are you looking for an overlooked, understated, exceptional gift? We’ve culled just such a selection for The Concierge Collection. Priced from $55 to $5000, in this grouping you’ll find good reads and items from our back room that we are surprised have not yet been acquired.

Conceirge Gifts
1) LITTLE RED, Grethe Wittrock
paper, aluminum, 69″ x 14″ x 9″, 2009

2) BALANCING II, Irina Kolesnikova
flax, silk, paper, hand woven, 21″ x 16″, 2009

3) TRACES 3 RELIEF, Mia Olsson
sisal and coconut fibers on blastered acrylic glass, 
14″ x 11.875″ x 1.25″, 2006

4)TRACES 4 RELIEF, Mia Olsson
sisal and coconut fibers on blastered acrylic glass, 
14″ x 11.875″ x 1.25″, 2006

5) TOURBILLIONSimone Pheulpincotton, slate, 7.75″ x 7.75 x 2.25″ , 2009

6) TOURBILLION, Simone Pheulpin, cotton, slate, 7.75″ x 7.75 x 2.25″ , 2009

7) TOURBILLION, Simone Pheulpin, cotton, slate, 7.75″ x 7.75 x 2.25″ , 2009

8) TERRA ALTERIUS I, Caroline Bartlett
dyed, discharged, foiled, stitched linen, 
37″ x 32″, 2005

9) SUSPENDED RED, Nancy Koenigsberg
polynylon coated copper wire, 16″ x 16″ x 16″, 1998

10) WALTZ, Jennifer Falck Linssen
archival cotton paper, waxed linen, coated copper wire, aluminum, stainless steel, seagrass, paint, and varnish
 

(katagami-style handcarved paper.), 16” x 14” x 4”, 2008

11) PAGODA P, Naomi Kobayashi
cotton and aluminum cast, 2.75” x 11.5” x 11.5”, each

12) PAGODA B, Naomi Kobayashi
cotton and aluminum cast, 2.75” x 11.5” x 11.5”, each

13) TINY BOAT, Jane Balsgaard
homegrown willow and plant paper, 11″ x 24″ x 9.5”, 2010

14) RETRO/PROSPECTIVE: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture Catalog, 184  pages; 248 photos

15) KAMOSU, Naoko Serino
jute, 6.75″ x 6.75″ x 6.75″, 2009

16) LOOP AND RETURN, Laura Thomas
cotton encapsulated in acrylic, 
6.375″ x 6.375″ x 3.25″, 2009

17) YOUNG WIRE POD, Debra Sachs
wood, paper twine, copper wire, copper tacks, mixed polymers, 
36″ x 7.5 x 7.5″

Conceirge Gifts


Objects of Desire Gift Guide: Part 3 -The Natural Order

Choose among baskets, sculptures and wall works of natural materials including wood bark, cockle burrs, leaves and feathers.

Natural Order Objects

1) HAYSTACK RIVER BASKET, Dorothy Gill Barnes
early river teeth, 14.5″ x 21″ x 16″, 2011

2) PANIER-MAISON II, Stéphanie Jacques
wood, willow, raw clay coated and limewash, 16.5″ x 21.25″ x 21.25″, 2010

3) MARAG, Lizzie Farey
willow, wax and galloway pebble, 
16.5″ x 11.5″ x 11.5″, 2006

4) GUARDIAN II, Jan Buckman
waxed linen and hawthorne branches, 
27″ x 7.5″ x 7″, 2002

5) BIRD BRAIN, John Mcqueen
woven willow twigs, waxed string , 26″ x 23.5″ x 23″, 2002

6) CAMPHOR, Lawrence LaBianca
glass with photo, branch, steel, 12″ x 22″ x 7″, 1999

7) EMU, Virginia Kaiser
pine needles, Emu feathers, stitched with linen, 14″ x 5″ x 5″, 2011

8) PUSSY WILLOW XIIII, Markku Kosonen
willow, 8″ x 12″ x 12″, 1996

9) LEAF BOWL, Kay Sekimachi
skeleton of big leaf maple, 8″ x 5″ x 5″, 2011

10) FITTINGS V, Hisako Sekijima
cherry and maple, 
8″ x 10″ x 9″, 1999

11) CRADLE TO CRADLE, Gyöngy Laky
apple, commercial wood, screws, 16 x 30″ x 30″, 2007

12) CHINESE LANTERN, Ceca Georgieva
burdock burrs, chinese lantern, 16” x 8.25” x 4.75”, 2012

13) MOTHER  & CHILD, Dawn MacNutt
twined willow, 
36″ x 9″ x 9″, 2009, $3,000

47db TWENTY FIVE SQUARES14) TWENTY -FIVE SQUARES, Dail Behennah
willow silver plated pins, 
37.5″ x 37.5″ x 3″, 2007


Objects of Desire Gift Guide: Part Two — Spheres of Influence

A selection of rounds, orbs, spheres and circles in different sizes made from a myriad of materials, including paper, safety pins and silk.

Sheres of Influence
1) OVER EASY, Dona Anderson
paper armature covered with pattern paper as surface design. Frame (cover) is rounds reeds strengthened with pattern paper, polymer and black paint, 10″ x 14″ x 14″ , 2011

2) SMALL WILLOW BOWL, Dail Behennah
white willow, silver-plated pins, 9″ x 9″ x 9″, 2007

3) A BEGINNING, Kyoko Kumai
stainless steel filaments, 7” x 7” x 7”, 2007

4) AIR, Christine Joy
Rocky Mountain Maple with encaustic finish, 9.84″ x 9.84″ x 9.84″, 2012

5) REVOLVING SIX ELEMENTS KYOUGI, Noriko Takamiya,
hinoki inner thin splint, 6″ x 6.75″ x 6″, 2012

6) BLUE SPOOLS SCULPTURE, Axel Russmeyer
bobbins, wood, copper wire
,, 4″ x 10″ x 10″, 2008

7) GOLDEN CRATER, Norma Minkowitz
mixed media, 18″ x 18″ x 18″, 2009

8) EUCALYPTUS BARK POD IN WOOD FRAME I Valerie Pragnell, 
eucalyptus bark, clay and bees  wax in wood frame, 
19″ x 15.5″ x 16″, 2001

9)  SILVER SPHERE,Tamiko Kawata
saftey pins,14″ x 14″ x 14″, 2004

SPHERES OF INFLUENCE

10) WARP IKAT SPIRAL, Ed Rossbach
3’ X 9’, 1962

11) HOMMAGE Á ROTHKOMariette Rousseau-Vermette
wool87″ x 84.5″, 1979

12) PODROZ (Journey) from the Kolodia seriesAgnieszka  Ruszczynska-Szafranska
linen, sisal, wool60″ x 56″, 1986


Objects of Desire Gift Guide: First Up, Gilt-y Pleasures

Watch the eyes of those on your gift list sparkle, when you choose one of these glimmering sculptures or wall works by artists from the US and abroad.

Kiyomi Iwata, Glen Kaufman,  Jin Sook So, Jan Buckman, MaryGiles

1 Auric Grid Fold, Kiyomi Iwata, aluminum mesh, french embroidery knots, gold leaf, silk organza, 19″x 18″ x 10″, 2013

2 Yoshikawa, Noto
Glen Kaufman
silk damask, silver leaf; screenprint, impressed 
metal leaf, 48” x 24” x 1” 1990

Pulguk-Sa, 
Kyong-Ju
Glen Kaufman
silk damask, silver leaf; screenprint, impressed metal leaf, 
48” x 24” x 1” 1990

Gold Bowl, Jin-Sook So, steel mesh, painted, and electroplated gold, silver leaf
2.75″ x 6″ x 6.25″, 2005

Untitled #8-5Jan Buckman, waxed linen and gold leaf, 8″ x 3.375″ x 2″, 1995

5 Center Fracture, Mary Giles
waxed linen, fine iron wire, hammered brass wire
, 13.5″ x 17″ x 17″ 2011

The Golden Child, Norma Minkowitz, fiber, mixed media 12″ x 11″ x 8″, 2009

Bling Art 2

Reflected Haze
Lewis Knauss
woven, knotted hemp, linen, acrylic paint, 20.5″ x 20.5″ x 2.5″, 2010

En Face
Agneta Hobin
mica and steel

70” x 48”, 2007

9 Copper, Tin Sculpture
Axel Russmeyer
copper, tin, stainless steel, hemp
17″ x 17″ x 17″

2007


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