Monthly archives: June, 2019

Process Notes: Federica Luzzi on the White Shell Series

Federica Luzzi
11fl White Shell Tongue n. 2
fine art print on baryta paper 
78.75” x 32.75” x 1.25,” 2006

9fl White Paper Shell
paper cord
10.5” x 10.5” x 9.5,” 2015
photo by Tom Grotta

Below, we share thoughts from Federica Luzzi about her works, White Shell Tongue, n.2, White Paper Shell and White Shell. The works were featured in browngrotta arts’ recent exhibition, art + identity: an international view.

“From a simple daily gesture, observing the white, knotted shapes just finished and resting on my black, low and Japanese-style lacquered table, White Shell Tongue was born. My mother bought the table many years ago and it has always been a reason of great attraction for me, every object projected far away on it; you have to sit down on the ground to use it. Also, a turquoise silk kimono brought for me by parents from SoHo, New York, when I was 6-7 years old. My father, Mario Luzzi, was an expert and journalist in jazz music, and in the 70s and 80s, my parents’ house in Rome was a continuous coming and going of American and European musicians who also stayed with us — Ornette Coleman, Don Pullen, Muhal Richard Abrams, Max Roach, Noah Howard, Paul Bley e Byard Lancaster.

“Everyone’s dream: to know a foreign (strange) language and yet not to understand it: to grasp the difference in it …” writes Roland Barthes in the beginning of “The language unknown” in The Empire of Signs. Mine is a eulogy to the slowness of the gesture. A pure gesture that leads to the conscious cancellation of the subject, the beginning of that “visual vacillation” of which Barthes speaks when “the text does not comment on the images. The images do not illustrate the text”. A calligraphy whose author disappears taking “in some part of the world (down there) a certain number of ‘traits’ (graphic and linguistic terms) and with these traits deliberately forming a system,”writes Barthes. It is necessary to find a voice and a language that are foreign to themselves; a musical score, whose interpreter will read and imagine in a different way, moving away.

Detail of White Paper Shell
photo by Tom Grotta


From Frascati’s DAPHE particle accelerator, which I had left to create this series of works, I have come to confirm my old intuition: in approaching each other, we do not recognize ourselves in an alien matter. 

Nostalgia is a feeling that I have felt since I was very young for Japan: a country that until a few years ago I had never seen but where I felt I had already been. In 2017, I presented my works for the first time in a solo exhibition, Shell, in Osaka, at the LADS Gallery, which mainly deals with Gutai artists and is directed by Toyoko Hyono San. Everything that I have always imagined of Japan began to take shape deeply, in particular when two of my works, usually exhibited separately, were put together there. The LADS Gallery, with its partially modifiable and openable space with sliding walls, has the possibility of creating a sort of niche that I immediately identified by visualizing the White Shell Tongue fine art print which, due to its vertical disposition, recalled to my mind the paintings or calligraphy on paper or silk, kakemono, displayed in the tokonoma, an intimate space of traditional Japanese houses. A sacred space where I put together my sculptural work made by knotting paper cord resting on a raised wooden structure.

Federica Luzzi
13fl White Shell
knotting technique, cotton cord
15” x 15” x 7.25”, 2018
photo by Tom Grotta

As a woman, I never appear physically in the works, but it is through my body that I touch and look at things, entrusting my story to long and narrow strips of paper as ever-changing languages. But if writing is an act of “dispossession” as Marc Augé makes clear, in my idea of dissemination that void of speech is vibration; small invocations dispersed in the cosmos.


Solo Flights: Hicks, Sisson, Bijlenga on view this summer

COLORFUL MOSAIC:
Installation by Hideho Tanaka. Photo by Hideho Tanaka.

If you are in Miami, Los Angeles or Honolulu this summer be sure to visit these three not-to-be-missed exhibitions (and enjoy images from Hideho Tanaka’s recent solo show in Japan).

Sheila Hicks: Campo Abierto (Open Field)
April 13, 2019 -September 29, 2019
The Bass Museum of Art
2100 Collins Avenue 
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305. 673.7530

Grouping works of art from various periods, Campo Abierto (Open Field) explores the formal, social and environmental aspects of landscape that have been present, yet rarely examined, throughout Sheila Hicks’ expansive career.

STRAWS:
Fissures III, 2019
Karyl Sisson
vintage paper drinking straws, thread and polymer
framed 16.5″ x 16.5″ x 1.75″
Photo by Susan Einstein

Karyl Sisson: Fissures & Connections
May 11, 2019 –July 6, 2019
Craft in America Gallery
8415 W. Third Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90048M
323.951.0610

Los Angeles-based artist Karyl Sisson has a solo exhibition at the Craft in America gallery. The materials of everyday life, both past and present, are the fibers that Sisson weaves together to form sculptural and textured forms. Sisson draws inspiration from sources as diverse as Los Angeles’ landscape, microbiology, and fashion manufacturing. Glimpsing back at her work over three decades, pattern, repetition, and structure are unifying and focal themes that she explores dimensionally from her foundation in basketry and needlework. In her choice of reinventing undervalued materials, Sisson manages to confront domesticity and traditional gender roles. Her recent work with paper straws draws inspiration from cells and organisms, which inform the objects as she composes them and they grow seemingly naturally.

After studying painting and drawing at NYU, Sisson moved to Los Angeles and entered graduate school in 1983 at UCLA where she studied with Bernard Kester, one of the pioneering voices in the establishment of fiber as an art medium in the 1960s and 1970s. Ed Rossbach, Judy Chicago, Miriam Shapiro, Esther Parkhurst, and Neda al Hilali are among the artists who inspired her work and exploration of fiber early on.

(left) Sampler II- 1990-1995 Marian Bijlenga (Dutch, 1954) Horsehair, fabric, stitched
(right) Sampler VII- 1997-1998 Marian Bijlenga (Dutch, 1954) Horsehair, fabric, stitched

Constellation—drawing in space by Marian Bijlenga
May 18, 2019 – August 04, 2019 
Honolulu Museum of Art
900 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
808-532-8700

Marian Bijlenga, a Dutch contemporary artist, approaches mark-making with an innovative use of materials as a drawn “line.” Her unique constructions respond to the environment, echoing her interpretations of interconnected webs of fiber. Drawing on a non-traditional use of the sewing machine, these sculptures are mere whispers of dark and light, playing on positive and negative spaces, sometimes barely visible gestures as a shadowy effect.

Hideho Tanaka Sole Exhibition 2019, Emerging
May 25, 2019-May 3

Hideho Tanaka also had a one-person exhibition last month in Japan, Hideho Tanaka Sole Exhibition 2019, Emerging While he was engaged in education and research at Musashino Art University, in the Craft and Industrial Design Department for many years he usedfiber to pursue three-dimensional modeling expressionA novelist of a writer who was also a fiber artist, wrote monyaart: http://monyaart.jugem.jp/?eid=3778. The small works on the wall were organized in a grid. “I am overwhelmed by a large amount of ‘brooches,'” Monyaart quoted the artist. These are designs of two or three rectangles on which a hand-drawn image is superimposed. The exhibition also featured larger works were also displayed.