Category: Art Assembled

Art Assembled: New This Week May

As we can all agree, May has certainly been a month for the books. Now, more than ever, we’ve been using creativity as a stress-relieving outlet. During the month of May, the art that we highlighted comes from a very talented group of artists that draw profound inspiration from everyday life, including: Kazue Honma, Sylvia Seventy, Gyöngy Laky, and Adela Akers

Kazue Honma
13kh Seed of plaiting/9cross-11pit, Kazue Honma, gettou fiber, 8.75” x 8” x 9.75,” 2

Kazue Honma is a Japan based artist who has radically experimented with traditional Japanese weaving techniques. As you can see, the work that Honma creates is nothing short of facinating.

Sylvia Seventy
24ss Continuing with the Bridge to Nowhere, Sylvia Seventy, recycled handmade paper, willow, redbud and deadfall sticks, nylon and linen cords, wax and acrylic paint, 6” x 10.25” x 6.5,” 1983-2019.

California based artist, Sylvia Seventy often finds inspiration from her own life when creating art – stating that her art can be seen as the pages in the diary of her adult life.

“My molded paper art vessels are pages in the diary-like book of my adult life,” says Sylvia Seventy. “When I started making my vessels, it soon became evident to me that the universal shape of what appeared to be an ancient pottery bowl was an approachable path for the viewer. With or without an art background, my bowls allowed people to let their guard down and be drawn into the complexity of the art vessel, its intricate interior and conceptual allusion.”

Gyöngy Laky
127l Reach, Gyöngy Lakytwigs, paint, doll arms, trim screws, 35.5” x 25” x 6.5”, 2012.

In creating Reach, Gyöngy Laky was inspired by two new monetary symbols adopted this decade, one for the Indian rupee in 2010 and this one, for the Turkish lire in 2011.

They simultaneously suggested to her both greater globalism and stronger nationalism. “I was intrigued when the new rupee was announced,” said Gyöngy Laky. “Because I had begun a currency series of sculptures and by 2010 had completed a dollar sign, a couple of cent signs, the Chinese renminbi (yuan), the Japanese yen and the European Euro. Shortly after, Turkey did not want to be left behind and came up with a new design for its lire. I added both, as Neo-Rupee and Reach, to my currency series.”

Adela Akers
59aa The Grid, Adela Akerslinen, horsehair, paint, metal foil, 45″ x 38″, 2008.

Before Adela Akers devoted her life to the arts, she completed studies to be a pharmacist, in which she says has a strong influence into her artwork.

“There is a mathematical discipline in the way the work is constructed,”
​says Akers. “This mathematical sequence is in strong contrast to the organic process (handweaving) and materials (linen and horsehair) that bring the work to fruition.”

​Stay Safe, Stay Distant, Stay Inspired!


Art Assembled: New This Week April

The art that we highlighted in April represents a wide variety of fascinating works, each of which is uniquely different – from textile, sculptures, basketry, and so much more. The talented group of artists that we’ve highlighted this month include Merja Winqvist, Marian Bijlenga, Heidrun Schimmel, Tim Johnson.

Merja Winqvist
 
12mw Four Seasons, Merja Winqvist, paper, shellack, 11.375, 63” x 4.5”, 2018, photo by Tom Grotta, courtesy browngrotta arts.

Merja Winqvist is a Finland-based artist who specializes in textile and sculptural art. Within her work, Winqvist applies the ideal of functionalism by simplifying the forms as much as possible, while avoiding unnecessary decoration. She has explained that in the parts of her works that appear decorative, there’s actually an important functional significance in terms of the cohesion and durability of the sculptures. 

Marian Bijlenga
33mb Korean Bojagi, Marian Bijlenga, horsehair and fabric, 22″ x 20″, 2017, photo by Tom Grotta, courtesy browngrotta arts.

Marian Bijlenga is a Netherlands-based contemporary artist. Frequently, her inspiration is drawn from her fascination with the rhythmical movements and empty space confined in dots, lines, and contours. 

Heidrun Schimmel
 32hsc Filamente, Heidrun Schimmel, linen, sisal, flax, 21.25” x 56” x 3.25,” 2017, photo by Tom Grotta, courtesy browngrotta arts.

Germany-based artist, Heidrun Schimmel, is influenced by Zen art and includes Zen meditation in her daily practice. “I love the following words of poet Shuntaro Tanikawa,” says Schimmel. “Which I had in my mind when stitching filaments: ‘A square is sometimes shy, and often slips into roundness…'”

Tim Johnson
Tim Johnson, 12ki Curve VI – white willow, sisal, earth pigments, 12.5 x 13” x 14.5” 2019, photo by Tom Grotta, courtesy browngrotta arts.

Tim Johnson is a United Kingdom-based artist who’s known for creating intriguing and detailed artwork, like, Curve VI, the piece featured here. “As soon as we try to define the nature and essence of baskets we unwittingly begin to exclude,” Johnson has observed. “Terminology becomes redundant. The deep sighs and ‘tut tuts’ of tradition serve little to preserve forms and techniques, but rather push on other generations to find their creative path.”


Art Assembled: New This Week March

Artists we highlighted this month have a close relationship to a traditional craft aesthetic, manifested in a contemporary manner. They have chosen conventionally Asian materials and/or techniques (dyes, papers, gold leaf, persimmon tannin, kategami) used in both time-honored and unconventional ways. This included works from Jiro Yonezawa, Hisako Sekijima, Keiji Nio, Kyoko Kumai, and Jennifer Falck Linssen.

Jiro Yonezawa
Quiet Dance, Jiro Yonezawa, bamboo, urushi laquer, 26” x 12” x 12”, 2019.

Jiro Yonezawa is a Japanese artist that uses bamboo basketry as an expression of detailed precision. With each artwork he creates, there is a contrast of disciplined formality in technique and natural freedom in form. 

Hisako Skijima
Structural discussion VI, Hisako Sekijima, cedar and walnut, 10.75″ x 14.5″ x 7″, 2016.

Japanese artists, Hisako Skijima specializes in basketry. She explores the visual and philosophical potentials while practicing her craft. Her interests are motivate by showcasing the symbolical way how the movement of lines around a negative space redefines the volume, as well as embodying her thought process.

Keiji Nio
15kn Interlacing-B, Keiji Nio, nylon, wood, 67” x 10” x 10”, 2000.

Keiji Nio is a Japan based artist who is known for impeccable tapestry and textile works. Nio’s work is done through the traditional technique of Kumihimo, a Japanese form of braid-making. A frequent theme that is present in his works is the combination of industrial and natural materials that depict nature and man’s relationship to the world.

Kyoko Kumai
34kk Leaves in the Twilight, Kyoko Kumai, stainless steel lines and pipes 78.5” x 58.125,” 2001.

Kyoko Kumai is a Japan-based artist who frequently uses materials
like stainless steel wire within her artwork. She aims to achieve works that juxtapose technological symbols with tradition and nature, such as weaving, stitching, twisting, binding and entwining which have been used since time immemorial.

Jennifer Falck Linssen
16jl Channel, Jennifer Falck Linssen, Katagami-style hand carved archival cotton paper, aluminium, waxed linen, mica, paint and varnish, 12.5″ x 55″ x 6″, 2018

Jennifer Falck Linssen’s innovative sculptures of katagami reference complex Japanese sumihimo braiding reimagine conventional techniques. She aims to bridge the gap between our own human scale, the minute and intimate, and the vast and grand by freezing a moment in time, immortalizing it in pattern, light, and shadow. Through these moments, she finds comfort in seeing humanity reflected in nature’s change, rebirth, resiliency, and endurance.


Art Assembled: New This Week February

The month of February was a busy, but delightful month for us! We’ve been hard at work preparing for Asia Art Week and managing our exhibitions. Although it’s been busy, it’s never too busy to highlight our spectacular artists. Here’s some of the new artwork that we brought into the fold last month:

Toshio Sekiji
33ts Asian Fugue, Toshio Sekiji, Chineses, Japanese and Korean newspapers, lacquered, 14’ x 3’ unframed, 1999.

Japanese artist Toshio Sekiji intertwines strips of paper from various cultures, rewriting messages and imaging a harmonius confluence of disparate cultures, languages and nationalities – different than the facts on the ground. 

John McQueen
John McQueen, 30jm In Praise of Empty, sticks and waxed string, 27” x 31.75” x 31.25”, 2019.

John McQueen meticulously creates pieces that concentrate on form and texture that invoke word and world associations. Some of these are made by the viewer, others are there in the artist’s intent. One is initially awed by the form — the words of twigs and waxed linen that edge the vessel — then challenged to decipher the words: What’s Behind and Before You.

5gp Framed, Gudrun Pagter, linen, sisal and flax, 65” x 60”, 2018.

“I am engaged in a constant process of exploring the picture plane through a highly disciplined structuring of geometrical form elements and lines and through a restricted color spectrum,” explains Gudrun Pagter. “With few lines or a single line, it is possible to transform a two-dimensional plane into a three- dimensional space,” Pagter notes. “Through the years my compositions have become simpler and simpler. Do not look for a specific pictorial motif,” she tells viewers. “My composition’s “image” is abstract not specific, an image of concrete art. The image is what you see and experience.”


Art Assembled: New in January

January was a great month for us at browngrotta arts. The new year has brought forth even more spectacular art work into the fold, which we know you’re going to enjoy.

Marianne Kemp, Vibrant Conversation, horsehair, cotton, linen, 49” x 70” x 6 “, 2018
Marianne Kemp, Vibrant Conversation, horsehair, cotton, linen, 49” x 70” x 6 “, 2018

Marianne Kemp specializes in weaving with horsehair. She is passionate about exploring unconventional weaving techniques in her art. That passion, combined with her craftsmanship, is clearly visible in the work she creates. Some, almost-mathematically precise, creations challenge viewers to become introverted and still. Other work is more extroverted and playful, displaying an exuberant cheerfulness. In either case, her work attracts the eye and stimulates an urge to touch (though you need to resist it!).

Gold Laugh, Micheline Beauchemin, metallic and acrylic thread, cotton, 25.25” x 21.25” x 2.25”, 1980-85
5mb Gold Laugh, Micheline Beauchemin, metallic and acrylic thread, cotton, 25.25” x 21.25” x 2.25”, 1980-85.

Canadian artist Micheline Beauchemin was a major figure in visual arts, best known for monumental tapestries and theatre curtains, as well as works of embroidery and stained glass, costumes and paintings. As a weaver, her repertoire of materials included unique combinations of hand-spun wool, silk and other natural fibers, as well as nylon, aluminum, and gold and silver threads. “I do not seek to represent the forest, pure joy or fear;” Beauchemin has said, “[ ] I want my tapestries to be the forest, pure joy or fear.” 

Lizzie Farey, 18lf Orbiculus, willow, wire, 31.25” x 31, 2018
Lizzie Farey, 18lf Orbiculus, willow, wire, 31.25” x 31, 2018.

Says Lizzie Farey about her work, “I have a fascination with living things and natural form. For me, willow has become a medium for an interaction with nature that is deeply personal. Using willow, birch, heather, bog myrtle and many other locally grown woods, my work ranges form traditional to organic sculptural forms.”

The Seashore, Keiji Nio, polyester, aramid fiber, 48” x 48,” 2019
25kn The Seashore, Keiji Nio, polyester, aramid fiber, 48” x 48,” 2019.

Keiji Nio‘s interlaced wall work is inspired by a haiku, Rough Sea of Sado, from Japanese haiku master Matsuo Basho. In it, Basho describes the deep blue waves of the Sea of Japan as they are reflected in the night sky and the light blue waves hitting the beach. The work incorporates ribbons on which Nio has screened images from the sea and tiny pebbles from the shore. Nio is a faculty member at the Kyoto University of Art & Design. He combines industrial and natural materials in his works to make statements about nature and man’s relationship to the world.


Dispatches: One Month, Three Museums

We don’t get the chance to see art exhibitions in person as often as we’d like. So we were quite pleased last month to be able to grab some museum time between closing our last exhibition, The Grotta Collection and prepping for our annual spring event, Volume 50: Chronicling Fiber Art for Three Decades.

The banyan tree in front of the Norton, Claus Oldenberg’s sculpture in the background.

We found ourselves first at the Norton Museum of Fine Art in Palm Beach, Florida. The museum has been newly and elegantly renovated. Viewers first see an extraordinary banyan tree incorporated into the entrance. Inside there are exhibitions of the Museum’s permanent collections and a specially commissioned work by Dale Chihuly. We were pleased to see the traveling exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern. The exhibition addresses how the artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona, using her art, her clothing, and the way she posed for the camera. Early on, she fashioned a signature style of dress — much of which she created herself — that dispensed with ornamentation, which evolved in her years in New York—when a black-and-white palette dominated much of her art and dress—and then her time in New Mexico, where her art and clothing changed in response to the colors of the Southwestern landscape. After locating in the Santa Fe, an amazing array of photographers visited her and solidified her status as a pioneer of modernism and contemporary style icon. In addition to O’Keeffe’s paintings and clothes, the exhibition included photographs of the painter by noted artists Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Andy Warhol, and others. You have through February 2, 2020 to see it: https://www.norton.org/exhibitions/georgia-okeeffe-living-modern.

Tom beneath Dale Chihuly’s Sealife Persian Ceiling

Two weeks later we were able to visit the new Westport Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly the Westport Arts Center) to see its inaugural exhibition of two works by remarkable artist Yayoi Kasuma. Part one, Where the Lights in My Heart Go, one of Kasuma’s mirrored boxes, is a work with two distinct characters. While its mirrored exterior both reflects and appears to merge with its surroundings, punctured with small holes it becomes, on the inside, a fathomless space punctuated by dots of daylight.

Inside Yayoi Kasuma’s Where the Lights in My Heart Go at the Westport Museum of Contemporary Art.

Where the Lights in My Heart Go draws parallels with the ritualistic aspect and formality of Japanese culture, MoCA explains. To enter, visitors must bow their heads, humble themselves in preparation for what they are about to experience. As one’s eyes adjust slowly to the play of light across its perforated walls, an ever-changing constellation reveals itself. Kusama has referred to the effect the work produces as a “subtle planetarium” – a space in which to ponder the mysteries of the physical and metaphysical universe. Different for each viewer, Where the Lights in My Heart Go also changes with each fresh experience of it. It is immeasurable yet intimate. Kusama’s art may possess a kind of universal language, but it speaks to us one by one. Our moments inside the artwork were truly magical — we were so pleased to have that experience before it closed.

Nick Cave’s Tondo, from Weather Report at the Aldrich Museum of Art.

Also on exhibit is Kusama’s installation Narcissus Garden which originated in 1966, when the artist first participated, albeit unofficially, in the Venice Biennale. This expansive and immersive work comprises mirrored spheres displayed en masse to create a dynamic reflective field. In Venice, Kusama installed the spheres on a lawn in front of the Italian Pavilion. Signs placed among them were inscribed with the words ‘Narcissus Garden, Kusama’ and ‘Your Narcissism for Sale’. Kusama, dressed in a kimono, remained with the installation, offering individual spheres for sale (at $2, or 1,200 lira a piece). This succès de scandale was both revolutionary – a comment on the promotion of the artist through the media and a critique of the mechanization and commodification of the art market – and deeply connected to history, evoking the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection (and paid the price for doing so). Tom and I found the exhibition so engaging we went right home and watched the documentary about the artist on Amazon Prime: Kusama: Infinity. Narcissus Garden is on view through February 16, 2020 https://mocawestport.org/experiences/.

Eva LeWitt’s Untitled (Mesh A–J),at the Aldrich Museum of Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut

Our last stop was at the Aldrich Museum of Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut. There are three exhibitions there well worth seeing, including a colorful site-specific installation, Untitled (Mesh A-J) by Eva LeWitt. “LeWitt’s sculptural practice explores the visual interconnection of color, matter, shape, light, and gravity. Using materials she can control and manipulate with supporting and opposing attributes – rigid/pliable, opaque/transparent, airy/substantial, and handmade/machine built – LeWitt creates exuberant configurations that vaunt a buoyant physical agency,” says the Museum signage. Zoë Sheehan Saldaña has mounted an exhibition of 50 of her hand-made artifacts, There Must Be Some Kind of Way Out of Here, curated by Glenn Adamson.Even her most elaborate undertakings, such as a reverse-engineered Strike Anywhere match or a hand-woven terrycloth towel, masquerade as objects you might toss away thoughtlessly, or stick in a drawer and forget. Underneath these acts of artistic camouflage lies a deep well of conviction, a drive to take full responsibility for things.”

Weather Study, Jitish Kallat from Weather Report at the the Aldrich Museum of Art.

We were most captivated, however, by Weather Report, a group exhibition curated by Richard Klein. Weather Report brings together that work of 21 artists and three researchers to explore the ways that our immersion is the atmosphere — what can only be considered the most remarkable feature of our planet — has influenced visual culture in the 21st century. The range of ways in which they depict weather phenomena is remarkable. In Fly to Mars 2 by Jennifer Steinkamp the artist has created a video version of the axis mundi, the mythic tree at the center of the universe. Nick Cave created a series of images based on Doppler radar images of cataclysmic weather and brain scans from black youth suffering PTSD from gun violence, presenting gun violence as uncontrollable as a hurricane. In Wind Study, Jitish Kallat has “drawn” with soot, blown by prevailing winds, making a statement about winds and wildfires worldwide.

The exhibitions are all open for a few more months (April, May and March, respectively). From more information, visit the Museum’s website. http://aldrichart.org


Lenore Tawney Gets Her Due

We have been delighted to see a select group of contemporary fiber artists receiving well-deserved recognition in the last few years including Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks and Faith Ringgold. Lenore Tawney is an important member of this growing list. Seems like you can’t turn around this fall without seeing her work in a major exhibition. She’s the subject of a retrospective as well, the first since the 90s and we say — it’s about time!

Lenore Tawney, Floating Shapes, 1958; linen, silk, and wool; 49 x 42 in. Collection of the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, New York. Photo: Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

You can see Tawney’s work in Talking Thread for a Walk at MoMA, Women Take the Floor: Beyond the Loom: Fiber as Sculpture / Subversive Threads at the Boston Museum of Fine Art and Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 at the Whitney Museum in American Art in New York. She is featured in Weaving Beyond the Bauhaus at the Art Institute of Chicago and bauhaus imaginista at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland. You would also have seen her work in Alison Jacques’ and Michael Rosenfeld’s booths at this year’s Art Basel in Miam.

More expansive, however, is the comprehensive look at Tawney’s work and continuing influence at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Tawney’s life’s work, dating from circa 1946-1997, is the subject of a concurrent four-exhibition series, Mirror of the Universe, through March 7, 2020. The exhibition represents the most comprehensive presentation of Tawney’s work since 1990.

Lenore Tawney, Written in Water, 1979; canvas, linen, and acrylic; 120 x 120 x 120 in. Collection of the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, New York. Photo: Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

In Poetry and Silence: The Work and Studio of Lenore Tawney
October 6, 2019–March 7, 2020Anchoring the series is an evocation of Tawney’s studio underscoring the relationship of the artist’s space to her creative practice, entitled, In Poetry and Silence: The Work and Studio of Lenore Tawney. The aim, according to the Center is to, reunite a selection of her key works—weavings, drawings, and collages—with objects that once populated her revelatory work spaces to reveal her processes and inspirations, exposing relationships and dissolving boundaries between the material surroundings she constructed for herself and the art she made there. Tawney’s studio was acquired by JMKAC from the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation. The represents an example of the John Michael Kohler Art Center’s very interesting commitment to ongoing preservation and presentation of artist-built environments. 

Ephemeral and Eternal: The Archives of Lenore Tawney 
September 15, 2019–February 16, 2020 Tawney developed a deeply personal visual vocabulary intertwining language with found images, feathers, flowers, and stones. Illuminating key moments in the artist’s career as well as her everyday life and close friendships, Ephemeral and Eternal: The Archives of Lenore Tawney will explore the correspondence, journals, artist books, photographs, audio interviews, and ephemera drawn from manuscript collections at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation. 

Lenore Tawney, (left) The Judge, 1961; linen; 124 x 14 in. (right) The Bride, 1962; linen and feathers; 138 x 13 in. Courtesy of the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, New York. Photo: Rich Maciejewski, 2018, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Even Thread Has a Speech
September 1, 2019–February 2, 2020 Even Thread Has a Speech is a group exhibition that will explore Tawney’s lasting impact on eight contemporary fiber artists with new, site-specific installations commissioned by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center as well as 2-D and 3-D works. Artists in the exhibition include Indira Allegra, Julia Bland, Jesse Harrod, Judith Leemann, kg, Anne Lindberg, Michael Milano and Sheila Pepe. 

Cloud Labyrinth
August 18, 2019 – January 19, 2020 A study in contrasts, Cloud Labyrinth comprises thousands of individual, tiny threads suspended from a canvas panel or “ceiling.” Although composed in a strict square grid, the diaphanous work is yielding, responding to any atmospheric movement with a slight swaying. The piece was created in 1983 for the Lausanne International Tapestry Biennial in Switzerland, and has not been shown since 1999. The work exemplifies the evolution of Tawney’s practice into the complete dissolution of the loom while maintaining an unmistakable connection to weaving.

Lenore Tawney, Shield IV, 1966; linen, beads, and shells; 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. Collection of the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, New York. Photo: Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Lenore Tawney, who died in 2007 at age 100, was a pioneering artist who created a body of innovative woven work that helped to shape the course of fiber art during the second half of the 20th century. She studied sculpture with Alexander Archipenko, drawing with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, drawing and watercolor painting with Emerson Woelffer, and weaving with Marli Ehrman. In the 1950s, Tawney moved to New York to dedicate herself to her art, becoming one of the first artists to apply sculptural techniques to weaving, pioneering a new direction in fiber-based practices, and by extension, in contemporary art. Tawney is equally known for the collages, sculptural assemblages, drawings, and postcards that she began during the 1960s and continued to create throughout her long life. 

A comprehensive monograph co-published by the University of Chicago Press accompanies the series, featuring essays by Glenn Adamson, Kathleen Nugent Mangan, Karen Patterson, Mary Savig, Shannon R. Stratton, and Florica Zaharia: https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/L/bo45997885.html

For more information: https://www.jmkac.org/exhibition/mirror 


Art Assembled: New This Week November

The month of November was one for the books. Between our new exhibitions — The Grotta Collection and Art and Text — and the holiday buzz, there was never a dull moment around here. Toward the beginning of November, we shared pieces from Mariette Rousseau-Vermette. One of our favorites was a wool and fur piece that dates back to 1974. Crafted of wool, muskrat, white fox and beaver fur – it’s no wonder this piece immediately draws one attention when walking into a room. Rousseau-Vermette draws inspiration from nature and working with natural materials – whether they be old or new, as they support an evolution to unite tradition with high technology.

Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, 233 & 362mr Wool & Fur
wool, muskrat, white fox & beaver fur, 88″ x 44″, 1974

Another artist we were pleased to exhibit at the gallery was the talented Kari Lønning. New for our last exhibition was her Triple Weave, Taming Nature pieces. Lønning is best known for her double-walled constructions and jaw-dropping complex-weaving processes, which she refers to as her “hairy technique.” She works extensively with graphic patterns, using both bold and subtle color schemes that provide the most beautiful art outcomes. For these works she used a new material, akebia vine. The vines are consistently thin and very strong, they are perfect for making baskets,” says Lønning.

Kari Lønning, 69kl Taming Natureakebia vines, rattan, encaustic medium, 15.25” x 8.5” x 8.5”, 2018

Later in November, we also premiered Hideho Tanaka’s Emerging 008. This stunning art was crafted from Japanese carbon ink, inkjet print, collage cotton cloth and Japanese tissue paper. Tanaka’s interest in creative forms, that emerge in time and space and yet also metamorphose and disappear, is evident and admirable.

Hideho Tanaka, 30ht Emerging 008, Japanese carbon ink drawing, inkjet print, collage cotton cloth, Japanese tissue paper, 14.5” x 18.325” x 1.25,” 2016

Last, but certainly not least, we were delighted to exhibit Jiro Yonezawa‘s work. We featured Yonezawa’s Meteorite, made from bamboo, steel and urushi laquer and it is breathtaking. Yonezawa is known for his award-winning bamboo vessels and sculptures. For Yonezawa, bamboo basketry is an expression of detailed precision. Each basket embodies the contrast of disciplined formality in technique and natural freedom. With each art piece, there is an element of intrigue and an element of complexity that represents what lies beyond form. Representing a search for the beauty and precision in nature and a way to balance the chaos evident in current times.

Jiro Yonezawa, 90jy Meteorite, Bamboo, steel, urushi laquer, 9” x 15” x 11”, 2019


Art Assembled — New this Week from October

As we kick off Novembers with our release of the Grotta Collection exhibition and book launch, which runs from November 3rd to November 10th, https://www.artsy.net/show/browngrotta-arts-artists-from-the-grotta-collection-exhibition-and-book-launch, we’d like to take a look back on which artist made October so special for us. 

Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila triple weave mosaic tapestry
Triple weave, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, silk, alpaca, moriche, metalliic yarns, copper, natural dyes, 71” x 48.25”, 2016

October starts the final quarter of the year, and it also brings in much excitement as the new year is nearing. With new beginnings, we began our New This Week feature in October with works from Eduardo Portillo and Mariá Eugenia Dávila. Their work is driven by their relationship with their surroundings and how their artwork can be communicated within a contemporary textile language. “ We have always been passionate about knowledge, experimentation and especially its reinterpretation within our own place and culture, in Mérida, in the Venezuelan Andes, we also work with local materials, such as cotton and alpaca from Peru and Bolivia, fiber from the moriche and chiqui-chique palm trees of the Orinoco River Delta and Amazon region, as well as dyes from the indigo plant. For us, color is crucial. Our interest in color starts at its very foundations: how it is obtained, where it is found in nature, in objects, in people. Through color, we discover the way to follow each project.” – Eduardo Portillo and Mariá Eugenia Dávila
For more on Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila visit Artist Link: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/portillo.php

Mary Giles figurative wall dolls
Mary Giles, 11mg Annointed Rank, waxed linen, wire, bone, paint, gesso, 10”(h) x 31”, 1997

We are always intrigued by the wide variety of artwork that we have the pleasure of showcasing here at browngrotta arts. We strive not only to share the final products but also behind the scenes of the processes that go into creating the work on that ends up on our gallery walls. Our next October New This Week artist was Mary Giles, a St. Croix, Minnesota based fiber artist, and sculptor.

Over the past four decades, Giles helped move the boundaries of basket weaving and earned international recognition for her art, which is characterized by coiled waxed-linen bases adorned with hammered metal or fine wire that brings to mind tree bark, fish scales, feathers or fur.
“My baskets express both action and reaction to what I have loved in the past and what I am discovering today.” Mary Giles
For more on Mary Giles visit Artist Link: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/giles.php

Willow boat basket sculpture
44cj Boat Becoming River, Christine Joy, willow 14” x 31” x 10”, 2018

Did you know that Weeping willow trees, which are native to northern China, are beautiful and fascinating trees whose lush, curved form is instantly recognizable? Did you also know that in addition to her basketmaking addiction, Christine Joy is also addicted to the smell of willow branches. In her studio, you will find willow branches that are piled high, and even when she doesn’t have time to make something, she takes a little visit into her very own willow heaven as much as she can. “Because it takes so long for one work of art, it has really become my own art therapy, which is ironic because that is what I got my degree in, to help others through art,” Joy said. “But now making these expressions is my. Willow is my life.” 
For more on Christine Joy visit Artist Link: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/joy.php

Stéphanie Jacques installation
10sj Retournement en cours I, Stephanie Jacques, 36″ x 77″ x 14″, 2014-2016

One of the great joys we have is having the opportunity to share such fantastic work with incredible artists from all over the world. It is a pleasure sharing works from Stéphanie Jacques from Belgium in our new book The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft. Stéphanie Jacques once said, “Connecting things is the foundation of my work: hard and soft, old and new, valuable and trivial, conscious and unconscious, human and plant.”
For more on Stéphanie Jacques visit: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/jacques.php


Art Assembled September

There are so many reasons to absolutely love the fall season. We share some spectacular pieces by five inspiring artists, as we are gearing up for the launch of The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: a Marriage of Architecture and Craft next month, which was designed and photographed by Tom and which features dozens of browngrotta arts’ artists.

We started the month with Carolina Yrarrázaval. Her artwork evokes harmony in every piece of fiber she touches. “Throughout my entire artistic career, I have devoted myself to investigating traditional textile techniques from diverse cultures, especially Pre-Columbian techniques, trying to adapt them to my creative needs. Abstraction has always been present as an aesthetic aim, informing my choice of materials, forms, textures, and colors.”

Carolina Yrarrázaval
18cy Memoria Andina. Photo by Tom Griotta
Carolina Yrarrázaval 18cy Memoria Andina linen and cotton 54.25” x 25.25”, 2019

We continue with Dawn MacNutt, a source of inspiration to many. A native of the Canadian province Nova Scotia, incorporates an assortment of natural materials, such as twined willow, seagrass, and copperwire, into each life-size sculpture. By crafting these column-like figures, MacNutt masterfully captures the beauty and frailty of the human form.”Through many years of working, the way of creating my sculptures has changed, but two things remain constant: The work is inspired by the human form, and it derives from weaving. The forms are irregular and more universal than specifics. I hope they reflect the beauty of human frailty.”

Dawn MacNutt
35dm Praise South
inflorescence and reed, 19.5” x 5.5” x 3.5,” 2007 

47dm Praise North
willow, 24.75”x 13”x 5.5,” 2018
Dawn MacNutt 35dm Praise South, inflorescence and reed, 19.5” x 5.5” x 3.5,” 2007; 47dm Praise North, willow, 24.75”x 13”x 5.5,” 2018

Aleksandra Stoyanov, also known as Sasha, was our third artist in September. She once told us that her Influence began as a child as she was not very healthy. She spent a lot of time in the hospital, and this further influenced her understanding of people and life itself. “When I keep threads in my hands I feel that they are ground, the grass, that there is life in them. The feeling of thread in my hands is the first appeal for me to begin working on a new piece.”

Aleksandra Stoyanov
9as Reflection
wool, plexiglas
8” x 8.125” x 3.375, 2004
photo by Tom Grotta
Aleksandra Stoyanov, 9as Reflection wool, plexiglas 8” x 8.125” x 3.375, 2004

Chiyoko Tanaka once told us that the act of weaving, as the weft threads accumulate one by one, is a representation of time passing away; texture acting as the locus of the present time. It was such a profound way of explaining that, “Placing the fabric on the ground, I trace out the ground texture and surface of the fabric. The act of tracing is a transformation of time coherence into space, and grinding is the transformation of space coherence into time.” 

Chiyoko Tanaka
68cht Mud-Dyed Cloth - Ocher. White Mud Dots,
handwoven ramie, mud-dyed rubbed with stone and
mud dots, 21.375” x 46.5” x 3,” 2018
photo by Tom Grotta
Chiyoko Tanaka, 68cht Mud Dyed Cloth-Ocher. White Mud Dots, handwoven ramie, mud dyed rubbed with stone and mud dots, 21” x 46.5” x 3”, 2018

We wrapped up September with Jiro Yonezawa and his warm tones that fit perfectly with the fall colors appearing now all over the world. Of this series of work, Yonezawa has said that the curves have the movement of wind. As it blows through the forest, you can hear the rustling of the leaves as it passes by all living creatures.

Jiro Yonezawa
90jy Meteorite, Bamboo, steel, urushi laquer, 9” x 15” x 11”, 2019. Photo by Tom Grotta
90jy Meteorite, Jiro Yoezawa, Bamboo, steel, urushi laquer , 9” x 15” x 11”, 2019

“For anyone who lives in the oak-and-maple area of New England, there is a perennial temptation to plunge into a purple sea of adjectives about October,” says Hal Borland. We look forward to this October and all the wonderful artists we will feature in New This Week, stay tuned!