Monthly archives: October, 2014

Art on Display and In Print. In The Realm of Nature: Bob Stocksdale & Kay Sekimachi in San Diego

Kay Sekimachi, paper tower, photo by Tom Grotta

Kay Sekimachi, paper tower, photo by Tom Grotta

74b PISTASHIO 6

Pistashio Bowl by Bob Stocksdale, photo by Tom Grotta

In the Realm of Nature: Bob Stocksdale & Kay Sekimachi at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, presents an inspiring, retrospective view of work by two of America’s foremost pioneers in wood and textile art. Kay Sekimachi (1926-) and Bob Stocksdale (1913-2003) married in 1972. Seen together, their 50 years of work has a true poetic resonance.

Hailed as a father of American woodturning, Bob Stocksdale revitalized the craft of lathe-turned bowls, beginning in the 1950s. In his exquisite works, he unveiled a compelling beauty in diseased and in rare woods, of which many are now endangered. Serpentine or ellipsoidal shapes— seemingly impossible to turn— are among his innovations. The exhibition features, for the first time on view, an example of his one-of-kind furniture.

Kay Sekimachi is an influential master of complex weave structures in both off-loom and on multiple-harness loom techniques. Transparent marine creatures were the inspiration for the interlocking hangings in monofilament (fish line) that she created in the 1960s. With these majestic pieces she ascended to the forefront of contemporary fiber art during the 1960s and 1970s. Her work is included in the current exhibition Fiber: Sculpture 1960-present at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts through January 4, 2015. Throughout her 60-year career she has created unique works of art in such natural materials as skeletal leaves, hornet’s nest paper and grass. The exhibition includes examples of her translucent sculptural hangings and room dividers, along with other woven forms – accordion-formatted books, vibrant scrolls, seamless nesting boxes and jewelry. The Mingei is at 1439 El Prado, San Diego, California, 92101. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information: ph. 619.239.0003; web address: http://www.mingei.org/exhibition/in-the-realm-of-nature/.

In the Realm of NatureExhibition curator Signe Mayfield has authored a lush 210-page book to accompany the exhibition. In the Realm of Nature: Bob Stocksdale & Kay Sekimachi, available at browngrotta.com features scores of attractive object photos. It includes essays by Melissa Leventon (former Curator-in-Charge of Textiles at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and founding member of Curatrix Group of museum consultants) and John C. Lavine (former editor of Woodwork Magazine and furniture maker.)


Don’t Miss: Anne Wilson’s Performances and Thread Lines at The Drawing Center in New York

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

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

We watched one of the Anne Wilson’s mesmerizing weaving in situ performances at The Drawing Center on Thursday. Titled To Cross (Walking New York), the performance was conceived when Ms. Wilson discovered that The Drawing Center’s SoHo building was originally built in 1866 for the Positive Motion Loom Company. In it, the artist uses the main gallery’s four central columns as a weaving loom. Four participants walk around the 12-foot columns, carrying a spool of thread to form a standard weaving cross (a method used to keep warp threads in order). The effect is meditative as the walker/weavers slowly move in a deliberate pattern and ethereal as shadowy figures are viewed through the threads of the work in progress. When concluded, the result will be a 5- x 34-foot foot sculpture: a colorful cross composed of innumerable strands of thread. There are three performances remaining: Sunday, October 26th, 12:30-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, November 1st, 12:30-5:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 2nd, 12:30-5:30 p.m. Find more information on those at: http://www.drawingcenter.org/en/drawingcenter/20/events/21/public-programs/879/Anne_Wilson_Performance/. If you can’t get to The Drawing Center for one of the performances, there’s a vimeo, http://thebottomline.drawingcenter.org/2014/09/30/anne-wilson-to-cross-walking-new-york-2014/, but by all means, go and see the exhibition, Thread Lines, as it is well worth a trip.

Lenore Tawney Drawing Center installation, UNION OF WATER AND FIRE linen weaving and pen and ink drawing. Photo by Tom Grotta

Lenore Tawney Drawing Center installation, UNION OF WATER AND FIRE linen weaving and pen and ink drawing. Photo by Tom Grotta

On display through December 14, 2014, the exhibition contains a thoughtful combination of works by 16 artists who engage in sewing, knitting and weaving to create works that “activate the expressive and conceptual potential of line and illuminate affinities between the mediums of textile and drawing.” As the catalog essay by curator, Jessica Kleinberg Romanow, explains, the exhibition joins the pioneers, including Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks and Louis Bourgeois, “who first unraveled the distinction between textile and art” and “a ‘new wave’ of younger practitioners who have inherited and have expanded upon their groundbreaking gestures.”

Sheila Hicks Drawing Center installation of her miniatures. Photo by Tom Grotta

Sheila Hicks Drawing Center installation of her miniatures. Photo by Tom Grotta

The combination, wrote Karen Rosenberg in The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/arts/design/thread-lines.html?ref=design&_r=0, “sets up some smart intergenerational conversations.” The Drawing Center is in Soho at 35 Wooster, New York, New York; 212.219.2166; info@drawingcenter.org; http://www.drawingcenter.org.

Anne Wilson’s In Situ Performance at the Drawing Center. Photo by Tom Grotta

Anne Wilson’s In Situ Performance at the Drawing Center. Photo by Tom Grotta


At Long Last Love: Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present Opens at ICA, Boston

fiber, sculpture, opening, ICA

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

It looks as if 2014 will be the year that contemporary fiber art finally gets the recognition and respect it deserves. For us, it kicked off at the Whitney Biennial in May which gave pride of place to Sheila Hicks’ massive cascade, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column. Last month saw the opening of the influential Thread Lines, at The Drawing Center in New York featuring work by 16 artists who sew, stitch and weave. Now at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the development of abstraction and dimensionality in fiber art from the mid-twentieth century through to the present is examined in Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present from October 1st through January 4, 2015. The exhibition features 50 works by 34 artists, who crisscross generations, nationalities, processes and aesthetics. It is accompanied by an attractive companion volume, Fiber: Sculpture 1960-present available at browngrotta.com.

Fiber, Sculpture, book, ICA

There are some standout works in the exhibition — we were thrilled to see Naomi Kobayashi’s Ito wa Ito (1980) and Elsi Giauque’s Spatial Element (1989), on loan from European museums, in person after admiring them in photographs. Anne Wilson’s Blonde is exceptional and Ritzi Jacobi and Françoise Grossen are represented by strong works, too, White Exotica (1978, created with Peter Jacobi) and Inchworm, respectively.

Françoise Grossen and Kathleen Mangan in front of Grossen’s Inchworm sculpture at the opeing of Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present opening at the ICEA

Françoise Grossen and Kathleen Mangan in front of Grossen’s Inchworm sculpture at the opeing of Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present opening at the ICEA

Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present will tour nationally to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (January 30 – April 5, 2015), the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (May 8, 2015 – August 2, 2015) and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (August 22, 2015 — November 29, 2015). You can also see Innovators and Legends, which has traveled across the country in the last two years, at 108 Contemporary, Tulsa Oklahoma in January 2015. And not to be outdone, browngrotta arts will open Influence and Evolution next April 24, 2015 in Wilton, Connecticut. Influence and Evolution will also celebrate experimenters in fiber while exploring how the use of textile materials and techniques has evolved, showing early works — from the 60s, 70s and 80s — by Sheila Hicks, Ed Rossbach, Magdalena Abakanowicz and Françoise Grossen, alongside work created after 2000 by both influencers like Ritzi Jacobi, Naomi Kobayashi and Ferne Jacobs and by a later generation of artists, including Stéphanie Jacques, Gizella Warburton and Naoko SerinoInfluence and Evolution, will run through May 3, 2015 and will be accompanied by a full-color catalog.

 

 Jenelle Porter, Glenn Adamson, Musuem of Arts and Design, photo by Tom Grotta

ICA Mannion Family Senior Curator Jenelle Porter explained in the conversation with Glenn Adamson, Director, Musuem of Arts and Design, photo by Tom Grotta

Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present aims to create a sculptural dialogue, an art dialogue — not one about craft, ICA Mannion Family Senior Curator Jenelle Porter explained in an opening-night conversation with Glenn Adamson, Director, Museum of Arts and Design. On that score, we think it succeeds — go and see for yourself. Let us know what you think.

And watch this space for more about Influence and Evolution.

Jenelle Porter, Ed Rossbach, fiber

ICA Mannion Family Senior Curator Jenelle Porter in front of Ed Rossbach weaving photo by Tom Grotta