Category: Art Assembled

Art Assembled: New This Week June

I Mirror You, Åse Ljones, hand embroidery on linen stretched on frames 32.25” x 65.5” x 1.25”, 2013-17

I Mirror You, Åse Ljones, hand embroidery on linen stretched on frames
32.25” x 65.5” x 1.25”, 2013-17. Photo by Tom Grotta 

In the first week of June we shared Åse Ljones’ I Mirror You. While making I Mirror You Ljones drew inspiration from her childhood on a little farm near the fjord in the Norwegian countryside. Naturally, the environment and weather were close elements.“ The fjord and the waves were always changing rhythm and changing colors,” says Ljones. After being selected to participate in a major exhibition at Arthouse Kabuso, Ljones’ made I Mirror You as a thank you to the people and landscape of her youth.

Blue Sea, Mary Merkel-Hess, reed, paper, 20.5” x 13.5” x 10”, 2018

Blue Sea, Mary Merkel-Hess, reed, paper, 20.5” x 13.5” x 10”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta 

In making Blue Sea Mary Merkel-Hess drew inspiration from the Florida Everglades. “I don’t usually step out of my own Midwestern environment for inspiration, but for Blue Sea I did,” Merkel-Hess explains. In addition to being able to examine a new type of grassland, Merkel-Hess had the opportunity to study the oceans various colors and moods. The continuous movement of the wetland coupled with the beautiful blues of the Atlantic Ocean came together for Merkel-Hess as she made Blue Sea.

Pulse, Caroline Bartlett, linen/hemp, cotton, porcelain, perspex, 43" × 108" × 1.5", 2018

Pulse, Caroline Bartlett, linen/hemp, cotton, porcelain, perspex, 43″ × 108″ × 1.5″, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta 

Next up we featured Caroline Bartlett’s Pulse. Textiles are the core of Bartlett’s practice, providing her with the means and materials to process and articulate ideas. For Bartlett, the “imprinting stitching, erasing, reworking, folding and unfolding” of her creative process leaves defining characteristics on each piece of her work. In Pulse, which graces the cover of our newest catalog — Blue/Green: color, code, context— Bartlett integrates textiles (line/hemp and cotton) with porcelain.

Blue/Green as a Metaphor, Kyoko Kumai, titanium and steel, 120.5” x 45.25”, 2010

Blue/Green as a Metaphor, Kyoko Kumai, titanium and steel, 120.5” x 45.25”, 2010. Photo by Tom Grotta 

 

Last but certainly not least is Kyoko Kumai’s Blue/Green as a Metaphor. Kumai, who lives and works in Tokyo, has been weaving tapestries with titanium and steel for 30 years. In an essay written in honor of Kumai’s exhibition at MoMa in 1991, Matilda McQuaid explains that “most indicative of the Japanese sense of beauty in Kumai’s work is the importance of light, both its presence and calculated absence.” Made with titanium and steel, Kumai’s Blue/Green as a Metaphor brings life to the room with its’ array of light-reflective, colorful titanium pieces.

 


Art Assembled: New This Week February

 

Inspired by her lifelong love of human condition, Dawn MacNutt’s work remains centered on the “beauty of human frailty. Witnessing small, yet meaningful human interactions, such as seeing people experience pain, love and joy, has had a lasting impact on MacNutt’s work. To obtain material for her work, MacNutt utilizes the nature around her, using willow harvested from the ditches and lanes around her home in Nova Scotia. 

Praise, Dawn MacNutt, inflorescens and reed, 19”x 4”x 5”, 2007. Photo by Tom Grotta

Praise, Dawn MacNutt, inflorescens and reed, 19”x 4”x 5”, 2007. Photo by Tom Grotta

Made solely from paper, Cube Connection 09 showcase Noriko Takamiya’s non-traditional basketry techniques. Despite choosing differing methods, Takamiya still feels connected to ancient basketmakers. “I find myself in the same situation,” explains Takamiya. “Even if the resulting objects are different, the ancient basketmakers and I do the same thing, which is to seek the techniques and materials to develop into one’s own work.”

Cube Connection 09, Noriko Takamiya paper, 4” x 13” x 7”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

Cube Connection 09, Noriko Takamiya
paper, 4” x 13” x 7”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

In 1975, Kyoko Kumai began using metallic materials such as stainless steel filaments in her sculptures. The malleable nature of the stainless steel allows it to be woven, twisted or bundled to create sensuous forms in order to express aspects of wind, air and light. “Thin pieces of stainless steel wire create a richly expressive fabric that does not stand solidly, cleaving the air,” explains Kumai. “It has its own language fluttering above the floor; breathing and melting into the air.” 

Kyoko Kumai, 32kk Memory stainless steel filaments 41” x 19” x 19”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta

Memory, Kyoko Kumai,
stainless steel filaments
41” x 19” x 19”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta

Ex Claim! by Gyöngy Laky is sure to grab your attention. Made using G.I. Joes and bullets, the piece serves as Laky’s personal examination of our complex relationships with the world around us. Laky’s works often have underlying themes of opposition to war and militarism. Born in Hungary in 1944, the physical and emotional effects of war impacted Laky from a very young age. In her opinion, “We are smart enough to have moved beyond war as a means of dealing with problems by now.”

Ex Claim! commercial wood"; 2014; G.I. Joes; acrylic paint; "bullets for building (trim screws), 64” x 21” x 7”". Photo by Tom Grotta.

Ex Claim!, Gyöngy Laky,
commercial wood”; 2014; G.I. Joes; acrylic paint; “bullets for building (trim screws),
64” x 21” x 7”. Photo by Tom Grotta.

 

 

 


Art Assembled: New This Week January

Untitled, Kay Sekimachi, Japanese paper and fiber flex, 4” x 11” x 11”, 1985 95k Silver Metallic, Kay Sekimachi, flax, 4” x 11” x 11”, 2008. Photo by Tom Grotta

Untitled, Kay Sekimachi, Japanese paper and fiber flex, 4” x 11” x 11”, 1985
Silver Metallic, Kay Sekimachi, flax, 4” x 11” x 11”, 2008. Photo by Tom Grotta

We kicked off the new year with pieces by Kay Sekimachi. Sekimachi avoids color in many of her pieces in order to direct more attention to the sculptural qualities of her work as well as the natural properties of her chosen materials. Through her career, Sekimachi has been enamored with antique Japanese paper, using it in a variety of ways to create small pots, large sculptures and bowls, such as she did in Untitled. 

In Forest Floor Lewis Knauss uses linen (waxed and natural), reed, twigs and acrylic paint to convey the natural layers and complexity of our landscape. “Landscape serves as witness to the passage of time and the cycle of life, its disturbing beauty often the result of natural or manmade events–drought, fire, flood.” The meticulous process Knauss goes through while constructing a piece cements his life and presence as a maker. For Knauss, the repetitive acts of knotting and long periods of working silence become a mediation through which he can release his gratitude for the environment.

Forest Floor, Lewis Knauss linen, acrylic paint, reed; twigs, waxed linen, 16” x 16” x 2.5” 2016/2017";

Forest Floor, Lewis Knauss
linen, acrylic paint, reed; twigs, waxed linen, 16” x 16”x 2.5” 2016/201. Photo by Tom Grotta

<em>Ceramic 49</em>, Yasuhisa Kohyama, wood-kiln ceramic, 11.25" x 11" x 6"<br /> <em>Ceramic 50,</em> Yasuhisa Kohyama, wood-kiln ceramic, 18.25" x 10" x 5" Photo by Tom Grotta

Ceramic 49, Yasuhisa Kohyama, wood-kiln ceramic, 11.25″ x 11″ x 6″ 
Ceramic 50, Yasuhisa Kohyama, wood-kiln ceramic, 18.25″ x 10″ x 5″ Photos by Tom Grotta

 

Next up we had two sculptures by Yasuhisa Kohyama. Kohyama pioneered the revival ancient ceramic traditions of Shigaraki by bringing back the use of the anagama, a single chambered tunnel kiln that had not been used since medieval times to create traditional Japanese suemono vessels. Kohyama derives much of his inspiration from nature. “Every time I fire, I’ve come to recognize that I am in Nature; I am a small part of Nature,” explains Kohyama “Intently I watch Nature over and over again; working with clay, inspired by Nature, I am free to allow creation to happen, approaching the experience as the ancients did.”

Capricious Plaiting, Kazue Honma, plaited paper, mulberry bark, 10.5" x 18" x 12.5", 2016

Capricious Plaiting, Kazue Honma, plaited paper, mulberry bark, 10.5″ x 18″ x 12.5″, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

This month we also featured Kazue Honma’s Capricious Plaiting, a labyrinth-like woven plaited paper mulberry bark basket. Led by Hisako Sekijima, Honma is one of a group of Japanese basket-makers who has radically experimented with traditional Japanese weaving techniques. Plaiting allows Honma to follow strict rules of geometry while also offering her the freedom to create new shapes. When weaving Capricious Plaiting Honma started at the dark square, then plaited in two different directions, continuously shifting directions at the moments she felt she should.

Golden Red, Adela Akers, Linen, horsehair and metal foil 30" x 21”, 2017

Golden Red,
Adela Akers, Linen, horsehair and metal foil, 30″ x 21”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta

In our last New This Week of January, we featured Golden Red by Adela Akers. The reflectiveness of the metal foil coupled with the contrast of the red and blue linen creates a window-like effect.The dimensionality of Akers’ works can be attributed the reflection of light off of both the metal and horsehair. Akers’ background in science strongly influences the materials and process of her work. The mathematical discipline Akers exercises when working contrasts “the organic process (handweaving) and materials (linen & horsehair) that bring work to fruition.”


Art Assembled: New This Week December

2017 was a busy year for browngrotta arts! We featured more than 80 artists from Europe, Asia, North and South America and the UK in our celebratory 30th Anniversary exhibition Still Crazy After All These Years…30 Years in Art. Plunge: Explorations from Above and Below made quite the splash this summer at the New Bedford Art Museum. In addition to both exhibitions we also published our 42nd and 43rd catalogs: Still Crazy After All These Years…30 Years in Art and Plunge: Explorations from Above and Belowcompanion catalogs to both of our exhibitions.

Worn Susie Gillespie, homegrown, handspun flax, linen, 16.5" x 16.5" x 2.25", 2016.

Worn Susie Gillespie, homegrown, handspun flax, linen, 16.5″ x 16.5″ x 2.25″, 2016.

We started off December’s New this Week  with Susie Gillespie’s Worn. Gillespie’s work stems from her interest in archaeology and early textiles. Through her work, Gillespie strives to achieve a sense of earth, stone, vegetation and decomposition. In Worn, Gillespie uses handspun flax and linen to add a clothiness that creates texture and life not possible with machine spun yarn.  “If all creativity stems from dissatisfaction, maybe for me it is a dissatisfaction with the ugliness of that is modern, and the ruin of what I imagine once to have been beautiful,” explains Gillespie “…I  look forward to a future where we do not discard things because they are worn out or outmoded. Out of decay and disintegration I wish to express a sense of renewal.”

 

Fuhkyoh Tsuruko Tanikawa, linked copper, 17" x 16" x 6.5", 2002, stainless steel wire

Fuhkyoh
Tsuruko Tanikawa, linked copper, 17″ x 16″ x 6.5″, 2002, stainless steel wire

Next up we had Tsuruko Tanikawa’s Fuhkyoh. Made with linked copper and stainless steel wire, Tanikawa’s Fuhkyoh. Tanikawa is a member of the Japanese contemporary basket group started by Hisako Sekijima in the 1980s. (30 years of Japanese Baskets, Hisako Sekijima and Friends.) In November 2017, Tanikawa’s work,  Flexible-6, won the Main Prize for Artistic Exclusivity at Ethno: The 10th International Biennial of Textile Miniatures in Lithuania.
Matrix III-201612, Chang Yeonsoon, polyester mesh, machine sewn, 14” x 14” x 4.75”, 2017

Matrix III-201612, Chang Yeonsoon, polyester mesh, machine sewn, 14” x 14” x 4.75”, 2017

Machine sewn with polyester mesh,  Chang Yeonsoon’s multilayered Matrix III is eye catching and thought provoking. Matrix III, like other pieces from Yeonsoon’s Matrix series, “derives from the oriental perspective that observes the human mind and body as unified,” explains Yeonsoon. “These fiber artworks represent my own Korean formative language. In them, I minimize my body while my mind fills with abstract ideas.”

Pressed Variation Series, Lia Cook, rayon, painted and pressed, 68" x 122", 1981

Pressed Variation Series, Lia Cook, rayon, painted and pressed, 68″ x 122″, 1981

We ended 2017 with Lia Cook’s Pressed Variation Series. Bridging textiles and technology, Cook weaves digital images of cherubic faces or dolls using a jacquard loom, while also incorporating patterns taken from EEG and MRI brain scans over er subjects. While the scans themselves evoke textile-like patterns, Cook’s ability to wind a thread between technology and craft has led to world recognization of her innovations in fiber and textile arts.

 


Art Assembled: New this Week November

 

 Lead Relief Mary Giles lead, iron, wood 23.75” x 56 .75”” x 2”, 2011

Lead Relief
Mary Giles
lead, iron, wood
23.75” x 56 .75”” x 2”, 2011. Photo: Tom Grotta

We kicked off November’s New This Week with Mary Giles’ Lead Relief. “In Giles’ work, one will find the traditional basketry technique coiling alongside contemporary materials of waxed linen, copper, and iron,” notes the Textile Center. Giles’ uses both her basketry and sculpture as a means to express her concerns about the environment and human condition. Giles’ concern about the growing population is visible in works such as Lead Relief. In 2013, she was named Master of the Medium by the James Renwick Alliance of the Smithsonian Institution.

 

Sinuous, Randy Walker, found steel, cotton cord, nylon thread, 28” X 30" x 20”, 2003

Sinuous Horse, Randy Walker, found steel, cotton cord, nylon thread, 28” X 30″ x 20”, 2003. Photo: Tom Grotta

Sinuous Horse, is an example of how Walker, uses fiber as his medium to endlessly explore the possibilities of a single strand of thread. In Sinuous Horse, Walker used pieces of salvaged steel to create the bone-like structure of a horse. Walker then used nylon thread and cotton cord to form the curves of a horses body. “My work straddles precariously on several boundaries: solidity and transparency; structural stability and collapse; visibility and invisibility,” notes Walker “I strive to create work that primarily engages our sense of sight by contemplating how light can define structure, surface, and color.”

Kundalini Rising II, Pat Campbell,
rice paper, reed and wood, 24” x 14” x 6.5”, 2009. Photo: Tom Grotta

Delicately crafted of rice paper, reed and wood Pat Campbell’s Kundalini Rising II also made an appearance in November. The technique Campbell uses to create her rice paper sculptures is derived from those used to created Japanese shoji screens. Rice paper provides Campbell with the transparency she desires in creating a simple but spectacular piece of work. The thin nature of rice paper also allows Campbell to easily shape reed, wood, and paper cord necessary for her sculptures.

Fog Break, Mary Giles, waxed linen, iron, brass, 11” x 26” x 9”, 2011

Fog Break, Mary Giles, waxed linen, iron, brass, 11” x 26” x 9”, 2011. Photo: Tom Grotta

We concluded November with Fog Break, another impeccable piece by Mary Giles. When working with coiled forms such as Fog Break Giles uses waxed-linen, iron and brass. Giles individually cuts and hammers each piece of iron and brass and then torches the metal to alter the color. “By torching the metals I am able to alter the colors in varying degrees enabling me to blend them from darks to brights,” explains Giles. “I use this blending to interpret the colors, textures and light that I see in the natural settings.”