Category: Exhibitions

browngrotta arts gets good press: Venü Magazine’s Spring Issue

Venü Magazine CoverThe cover story of the Spring Issue, No. 34 of Venü, the magazine of Contemporary Culture features browngrotta arts and our upcoming exhibition, Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art.
Author Cindy Clarke writes in Living Art, Timelessly Reimagined, that “Rhonda and Tom have a practiced eye for discovering museum-quality textural art and its accomplished creators. Over the last 30 years they have turned their finds into a premier art enterprise that’s in a class by itself…. Custom designed by the owners, the gallery itself is a dialog of opposites, blending elements of a historic two-story horse barn – think exposed beams, meticulously restored barndoors, original wide-plank wood flooring, vaulted ceilings – with grand, modernist spaces….
That’s the goal of this living gallery, of course, to show guests how different kinds of dimensional art fits into an environment and to give them permission and the encouragement to think out of the box to accommodate its human occupants.” Visit Still Crazy After All These Years at browngrotta arts. We will only be open for 10 days — April 22nd through April 30th; browngrotta arts, 276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT 06897; http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/calendar.php.

Venu cover article


Art Out and About: Exhibits Across the US, Eastern Edition

Norma Minkowitz Goodbye Goddess

Norma Minkowitz Goodbye Goddess, 2003, permanent collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum

Here’s a list of exhibitions, podcasts and lectures well worth seeking out in February, March and April. In Connecticut, at the Wadsworth Athenuem in Hartford SHE: Images of Female Power from the Permanent Collection is on exhibit through April 2, 2017. The exhibition considers: What does female power look like? The intimate installation takes that question as a starting point to consider works from across the Wadsworth Atheneum’s collections, from Egyptian sculpture to Pre-Columbian ceramics to photography and textiles by contemporary artists. Included are images of goddesses, queens and protectresses. The exhibition features works by Ana Mendieta, Elizabeth Catlett, Lorraine O’Grady, Norma Minkowitz and Mario Carreño, among others. Norma Minkowitz will speak at the museum on March 30th @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm followed by a guided visit to her groundbreaking sculpture Goodbye Goddess. Also in Connecticut, at the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven, Small-Great Objects: Anni and Josef Albers in the Americas examines intersections between the art-making and art-collecting strategies of the Alberses, two of the most influential figures of 20th-century modernism. As the Gallery notes explain, “Between 1935 and 1967, the couple made numerous trips to Latin America, namely Mexico and Peru, and amassed a large collection of ancient artworks from the region. The exhibition looks at these objects in depth and considers how Anni and Josef’s collection supported their aesthetic sensibilities and teaching practice. In addition to objects from the ancient Americas, the show gathers together dozens of works that the couple made, including textiles, paintings, works on paper, and rarely studied photographs that Josef took at archaeological sites and museums.” Demonstrating the Alberses’ deep and sustained engagement with ancient American art, Small-Great Objects explores a fascinating dimension of the couple’s creative vision. This exhibition is accompanied by a free podcast, available in the gallery space and online at http://soundcloud.com/yaleartgallery/sets/small-great-objects. In Massachusetts, 31 works by international artists are included in Excellence in Fibers at the New Bedford Museum of Art. Organized by Fiber Art Now magazine, submissions from around the world were reviewed by jurors Emily Zilber, Curator, MFA Boston; artists Gerhardt Knodel and Norma Minkowitz and Melissa Leventon, former curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Rachel Max Basket

After Haeckel II by
Rachel Max, 2015 Photo by Tom Grotta

Rachel Max is among the artists selected for Excellence in Fibers. You can read more about her work in the Winter double edition of Fiber Art Now in an article by John Hopper: http://fiberartnow.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/FAN-winter-2016-17-issuu.pdf. In New York at the Museum of Arts and Design,

Françoise Grossen sculpture

Embryo by Françoise Grossen. Photo by Tom Grotta

Françoise Grossen Selects remains on exhibit through March 15th. “Grossen has mined the Museum’s permanent collection,” the Museum writes, “and brought her own rope sculptures together with a selection of work from MAD’s unusual collection of baskets, as well as other work in fiber, wood, and metal….Grossen’s selections highlight an approach to contemporary sculpture that focuses on the artist’s direct transformation of material and links it to a wider discussion about ways of making in culture at large.”

On Sunday, February 19th at 2 p.m., MAD’s Windgate Research and Collections Curator, Elissa Auther, will discuss the historical context of Grossen’s work. Auther will also discuss the advance of thread, rope, string, felt and fabric from the “low” world of craft to the “high” world of art in the 1960s and ’70s, as well as the prominence of fiber in art today. For more information visit: http://madmuseum.org/exhibition/françoise-grossen-selects.


Art Out and About: Exhibits Across the US, Western Edition

If you are traveling in the next few months, there are interesting exhibitions on each coast and in states in between for you to attend. Here are offerings in the Western part of the US. We’ll add exhibitions in the East next week. First, at the Denver Art Museum in Colorado, there are three exhibitions of note:

Yasuhisa Kohyama ceramic

Ceramic 42, Yasuhisa Kohyama

From the Fire Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Robert and Lisa Kessler Collection (through October 1, 2017);

Tapas Bark Cloth art by Katherine Westphal

Top Dog, a contemporary work on bark, or tapas cloth by Katherine Westphal

Printed and Painted The Art of Bark Cloth (through August 27, 2017); and Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s (through May 28, 2017). From the Fire includes work by Yasuhisa Kohyama, among other ceramicists. Tianlong Jiao, the Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art at the Museum traveled to Japan to visit these artists in advance of the exhibition. You can read about his trip here: http://denverartmuseum.org/article/fire-curator-writes-about-his-trip-shigaraki-japan.

Mary Giles Basket

Men’s Ritual, Mary Giles

Lia Cook exhibit installation

Cerebral Touch: Lia Cook 1980-Now. Photo by Nancy Bavor

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 108 Contemporary, you’ll find Living With Art: the Newman Collection (through March 19th). In the exhibition, art objects from Rita and Don Newman’s eclectic collection, including works by Ed Rossbach and Mary Giles, are displayed alongside pieces of furniture owned by the couple. Further West, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in California has turned itself over exclusively to weaving for the Spring, with four separate exhibitions. They include: American Tapestry Biennial (through April 16, 2017); Line DuFour: Fate Destiny and Self Determination (through April 16, 2017); Elemental Tapestry: Earth, Air Fire and Water — Tapestry Weavers West (through March 5, 2017); Embedded Patter: Three Approaches, Deborah Corsini, Alex Friedman, Michael Rohde (through April 17, 2017); and Cerebral Touch: Lia Cook 1980-Now (through April 16, 2017). Cerebral Touch traces Cook’s artistic journey from her abstract and dimensional pieces of the 1980s; weaving inspired by Old Masters drapery from her work during the 1990s; exploration of portraiture; and finally, work completed just weeks before this exhibition opened that explore the sensuality of the woven image and the emotional connections to memories of touch and cloth.


BLOG: Where’s Wlodzimierz? Can you find browngrotta arts’ art at SOFA Chicago

We are exhibiting at SOFA Chicago this week in Booth 921. We’ve got great work there from Keiji Nio, Jin-Sook So, Aleksandra Stoyanov and many others. But that’s not all. Artwork from browngrotta arts, including Miracle, a tapestry by innovator, Wlodzimierz Cygan, can be found throughout the art fair.
How may of these can you find??? (There’s a helpful hint below.)

1) Are We the Same by Norma Minkowitz. Photo by tom Grotta

1) Are We the Same by Norma Minkowitz. Photo by Tom Grotta

Are We the Same? mixed media sculpture, Norma Minkowitz (US)

2 Out of Focus by Grethe Sørensen. Photo by Tom Grotta

2) Out of Focus by Grethe Sørensen. Photo by Tom Grotta

Out of Focus 1-9, handwoven tapestry of cotton, Grethe Sørensen (Denmark)

Blue Holes by Marian Bijlenga. Photo by Tom Grotta

3) Blue Holes by Marian Bijlenga. Photo by Tom Grotta

Blue Holes, tapestry, of paper yarn, and blue-dyed horsehair, stitched, Marian Bijlenga (The Netherlands)

Linen Tapestry with Broken Grey Line by Sara Brennan. Photo by Tom Grotta

4) Linen Tapestry with Broken Grey Line by Sara Brennan. Photo by Tom Grotta

Linen Tapestry with Broken Grey Line, tapestry of linen, wool, and cotton, Sara Brennan (UK)

Silver Waves by Adela Akers. Photo by Tom Grotta

5) Silver Waves by Adela Akers. Photo by Tom Grotta

Silver Waves, tapestry of linen, horsehair, paint and foil, Adela Akers (US)

Miracle by Włodzimierz Cygan. Photo by tom Grotta

6) Miracle by Włodzimierz Cygan. Photo by Tom Grotta

Miracle, tapestry of linen, wool and sisal, Wlodzimierz Cygan (PL),  Encontrada I ( Found I ) by Eduardo Portillo and Mariá Eugenia Dávila (VE)

Encontrada I ( Found I ) by Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, bronze casting, 13.5” x 11.375” x 2”, 2014

7) Encontrada I ( Found I ) by Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila

And, the not-to-be missed:

Judy Mulfords installation of 80 Empty Chairs

8) Judy Mulfords installation of 80 Empty Chairs

Empty Chairs, room-sized mixed media installation, Judy Mulford (US) and Simple Abundances, an individual work, Judy Mulford (US).

Cheat Sheet:
1) Are We the Same?: Main Aisle; 2) Out of Focus: VIP Concierge Booth; 3) Blue Holes; VIP Concierge Booth; 4) Linen Tapestry with Broken Grey Line; Chubb Personal Risk Services, Booth 925 (outside); 5) Silver Waves: Chubb Personal Risk Services, Booth 925 (inside); 6) Miracle: Chubb Personal Risk Services, Booth 925; 7) Encontrada I ( Found I ): Chubb Personal Risk Services, Booth 925 (inside)  8) Empty Chairs: Special Exhibit, Booth 921; Simple Abundances: Special Exhibit, Booth 221.

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SOFA Chicago Sneak Peek; Judy Mulford’s Empty Chairs Series

Judy Mulford 80 Empty Chairs Photo by Tom Grotta

Judy Mulford 80 Empty Chairs Photo by Tom Grotta

At SOFA Chicago this week, artist Judy Mulford will present her remarkable room-sized mixed media installation Empty Chairs. The installation features a central sculpture entitled “What now?” she said. “What now?…What now?…What now?…” surrounded by 80 individually rendered chairs in frames. The intimate and emotional sculpture chronicles domestic life. The dollhouse chairs, dolls, buttons and embellishments used in the work were collected by the artist from family members, flea markets, antique stores and friends. Mulford spent a year on the work, which marks her upcoming 80th birthday. She has also produced a limited-edition book, 80 Empty Chairs, as a part of this project.

Mulford’s sculptures have been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery and The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C. and the 12th International Biennial of Tapestry in Hungary. Mulford’s work is informed by her studies of the basket-making culture of Micronesia, particularly on the islands of Truk and Ulithi. She was a member of the studio team for Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party in the 1970s.

Judy Mulford Portrait in her studio. Photo by Tom Grotta

Judy Mulford Portrait in her studio. Photo by Tom Grotta

Mulford will speak at her Special Exhibition booth, SE221, and sign copies of her book at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, November 4th. Mulford will also be at browngrotta arts, Booth 921 at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday the 6th and will be available for questions and conversation throughout SOFA.


SOFA Chicago Sneak Peek: Jennifer Falck Linssen – Work, a Panel and an Artist Q&A

Jennifer Falck Linssen

13jl Undone, Jennifer Falck Linssen
Katagami-style handcarved paper and metal, archival cotton paper, aluminum paint, waxed linen and varnish, 25″ x 27.5″ x 9″, 2014. Photo by Tom Grotta

This November, browngrotta arts will feature Jennifer Falck Linssen’s work in its Booth 921 at SOFA Chicago (November 3-6). The foundation of Linssen’s work lies in the ancient Japanese paper and textile traditions of katagami, stencil cutting, and katazome, a resist-print dyeing technique. Her artwork recontextulaizes the stencil, combining the paper carving with more traditional metal-smithing and basketry techniques to create contemporary sculptures that transform the two-dimensional stencil into a unique three-dimensional art form. In her work, Linssen seeks to understand how pattern lends overall strength to an object, and how light itself can be molded and shaped to conceptually express moments which embrace nature’s change, rebirth, resiliency, and endurance. Linssen will attend SOFA Chicago and participate in a CHUBB-sponsored panel, Art in the Future: A Look at Collecting Fragile and Unusual Materials, 2:30 to 3:30 pm in Room A, Friday November 4th, to discuss how collectors should approach art involving innovative techniques and non-traditional materials. At 5 pm on Friday, the 4th, Linssen will be at browngrotta arts booth 921 for an Artist Q&A. For more information, visit: http://www.sofaexpo.com.


SOFA Chicago, Artists Wall to Wall: Lectures, Booksignings and Booth Q&As

At this year’s SOFA Chicago, browngrotta arts has planned a full calendar of activities. Hope to see you at one or more of our special events:

Friday, November 4th

Norma Minkowitz and Nancy Koenigsberg. Photos by Tom Grotta

Norma Minkowitz and Nancy Koenigsberg. Photos by Tom Grotta

Fiber Art in Three Dimensions: A History and Discussion of Fiber Art Off the Wall, including Norma Minkowitz and Nancy Koenigsberg
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Lecture Room B

Artist Q&A: Norma Minkowitz
2 p.m.
browngrotta arts, booth 921
Norma Minkowitz’ work is intense and finely wrought, merging sculpture, stitching, crochet and fine pen-and-ink drawing. Join us at browngrotta arts’ Booth 921 at 2 p.m. Friday when Minkowitz will answer questions about her inspiration and process.

Art in the Future: A Look at Collecting Fragile and

Jennifer Falck Linssen

Jennifer Falck Linssen at SOFA Chicago

Unusual Materials, including Jennifer Falck Linssen
2:30 – 3:30 pm
Lecture Room A
As contemporary artists experiment with innovative techniques and non-traditional materials, a collector must consider the fragility and instability of these new works. Collectors of Studio Art Glass, CEO of The Conservation Center, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Gurr Johns, Gallery Director, TAI Modern and artist Jennifer Falck Linssen, browngrotta arts, will address issues of preservation and conservation in a panel moderated by Michelle Impey, AVP – Fine Art & Collections Manager, Risk Consulting Group, Chubb Personal Risk Services.

Judy Mulford in her studio. Photo by Tom Grotta

Judy Mulford in her studio. Photo by Tom Grotta

Judy Mulford: Special Booth Talk/Book Signing
3:30 p.m.
Special Booth SE221
Judy Mulford incorporates photographs, words, beads, figures, antique silver, buttons and more into her knotted and woven sculptures that celebrate the family. Mulford will speak about her remarkable room-sized mixed media installation, Empty Chairs, and sign copies of her limited edition book, 80 Empty Chairs.

Artist Q&A: Jennifer Falck Linssen
5 p.m.
browngrotta arts, booth 921
The foundation of Jennifer Falck Linssen’s artwork lies in the ancient Japanese paper and textile traditions of katagami, stencil carving and katazome. Join us at browngrotta arts’ Booth 921 at 5 p.m. Friday when Linssen will answer questions about her inspiration and process.

Saturday, November 5th

Marian Bijlenga SOFA Chicago 2008 photo by Tom Grotta

Marian Bijlenga SOFA Chicago 2008 photo by Tom Grotta

Marian Bijlenga: 30 Years of Making, Lecture
11:30 a.m
Lecture Room C
Fiber artist Marian Bijlenga explores her inspirations in creating wall sculptures from delicately worked elements of horse hair, viscose, paper, glass and fish scales, how she balances intuitive and structured creative impulses, her 30 years of making, and what lies ahead.

Marian Bijlenga Book Signing
12:30- 1:30 p.m.
browngrotta arts Booth 921
Marian Bijlenga will sign copies of her limited edition book:
Marian Bijlenga: MINIATURES: An Autobiographical Archive, reflecting 30 years of work

Artist Q&A: Christine Joy
2 p.m.
browngrotta arts booth 921
Christine Joy’s baskets of willow, maple, cottonwood and osier appear as if they are moving, as she intends, growing and animated, as though the shapes had been cut from a tree or pulled from moving water. Join us at browngrotta arts’ Booth 921 at 2 p.m. Friday when Joy will answer questions about her inspiration and process.

Grethe Sørensen at browngrotta arts 10th Wave III opening. Photo by Tom Grotta

Grethe Sørensen at browngrotta arts 10th Wave III opening. Photo by Tom Grotta

Artist Q&A: Grethe Sørensen
3 p.m.
browngrotta arts booth 921
Grethe Sørensen explores digital technologies to create her tapestries that combine weaving and video, selecting and manipulating still images to create a poetic universe of pixels, headlights, traffic lights, neon shop and advertising signs meticulously rendered in cotton thread. Join us at browngrotta arts’ Booth 921 at 3 p.m. Saturday when Sorenson will answer questions about her inspiration and process.

Sunday, November 6th

Artist Q&A: Judy Mulford
1 p.m.
browngrotta art
Judy Mulford incorporates photographs, words, beads, figures, antique silver, buttons and more into her knotted and woven sculptures that celebrate the family. Join us at 1 p.m. on Sunday the 6th at browngrotta arts, Booth 921 when the artist will speak about her remarkable room-sized mixed media installation, Empty Chairs and her artistic process and sign copies of her limited edition book, 80 Empty Chairs.


SOFA Chicago Sneak Peek: Norma Minkowitz

The Gathering, a Lecture and an Artist Q&A

Minkowitz installation

The Gathering and Patterns of Flight, Norma Minkowitz, mixed media, 2016, photo by Tom Grotta

Next month, browngrotta arts will present an eye-catching installation from Norma Minkowitz‘ series, The Gathering in it Booth 921 at SOFA Chicago (November 3-6). Minkowitz is known for intricate pen-and-ink drawings, collages, crocheted wall works and three-dimensional mixed media sculptures. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut (where t s currently on display in the exhibition, SHE: Images of Female Power from the Permanent Collection, through April 2, 2017). The Gathering at SOFA will combine three-dimensional, life-sized birds, rendered in stiffened, crocheted linen, and gut with pen-and-inked detail with meticulously stitched drawings of bird flight, captured at high speed.

Patterns of light Detail

Patterns of light Detail

The artist’s new multimedia work, Are We the Same?, will also be on view in one of SOFA’s public spaces. Minkowitz will attend the opening of SOFA on Thursday evening and will speak about her work as one of three artists in the panel, Fiber Art in Three Dimensions: A History and Discussion of Fiber Art Off the Wall at 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Lecture Room B on Friday November 4th at the Navy Pier. At 2 p.m., on Friday, Minkowitz will be at browngrotta arts Booth 921 for an Artist Q&A. For more information, visit: http://www.sofaexpo.com.

 


SOFA Sneak Peak: Marian Bijlenga — 30 Years of Making, Art, Lecture and a Book Signing

Nine miniatures refers to works from 1983,1986,1998,2000,2003,2004 and 2012. Photo by Tom Grotta

Marian Bijlenga’s Nine miniatures refers to works from 1983,1986,1998,2000,2003,2004 and 2012. Photo by Tom Grotta

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Marian Bijlenga: MINIATURES An Autobiographical Archive reflecting 30 years of work

Artist Marian Bijlenga from the Netherlands will attend SOFA Chicago this year. She’ll be presenting her work through browngrotta arts, and a lecture, on Saturday, at 11:30 a.m. in Room C of the Navy Pier, and signing copies of her book on Saturday at 12:30 .m. at Booth 921. Bijlenga will discuss the 30-year span of her career and the evolution of her practice. She is known internationally for wall sculptures created from delicately worked elements of horse hair, viscose, paper, glass and fish scales, using a technique that she developed herself while studying at the Rietveld Art Academy in the late 1970s and early 1980s.Instead of drawing on paper, the artist draws in space by using textile as a material. “For me,” she says,”transparency is a prerequisite. By leaving some space between the structure and the wall the object is freed from its background and interacts with the white wall. It becomes what I call a ‘Spatial Drawing.’” In her lecture, she will explore her inspirations, found in the natural world, and the way she balances intuitive and structured creative impulses, as well as the 30 more years of making she sees ahead. For her 60th birthday, Bijlenga compiled a group of 60 miniatures, each replicating a piece, or a series of pieces — many of which are in museum collections — that reflect 30 years of her artistic career. The project became a limited-edition book: MINIATURES: An Autobiographical Archive with text by Jack Lenor Larsen and Lesley Millar MBE. Bijlenga will sign copies of her book at browngrotta arts just after her lecture on Saturday, November 5th at 12:30. For more information on SOFA, visit:http://www.sofaexpo.com/visit.

Traces of Writing, 2015. This piece is an enlargement of a miniature made in 1995.

Marian Bijlenga’s Traces of Writing, 2015.
This piece is an enlargement of a miniature made in 1995.


SOFA Sneak Peek: Wlodzimierz Cygan’s Textile Fiber Optic Artwork

2-5wc Wlodzimierz Cygan, From the Cycle Tapping: March, May, April, June, 2014, viscose, linen and fiber optic 111.5” x 28”; 117” x 34”; 112” x 23”; 120” x 33”. Photo by Tom Grotta

2-5wc Wlodzimierz Cygan, From the Cycle Tapping: March, May, April, June, 2014, viscose, linen and fiber optic
111.5” x 28”; 117” x 34”; 112” x 23”; 120” x 33”. Photo by Tom Grotta

This November, browngrotta arts will feature four textiles of fiber optic monofilament by innovative Polish artist, Wlodzimierz Cygan, in its booth # 921 at SOFA Chicago 2016. The four works, titled March, April, May and June, are from the Cycle Tapping series. Works from this series have been shown in China in 2014 in the From Lausanne to Beijing Fiberart Biennial and at Asia-Europe III which opened this month at the Textile Museum in Krefeld, Germany then travels to the Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland and the Janina Monkute-Marks Museum in Kedainial, Lithuania. The works in Asia-Europe III are based on technical innovation and on diversity of material. Participating artists have experimented and perfected the technique of their choice. “I use optical fiber mono-filament with increased light transmission for warp and weft as a complementary material for the textile structure, “ says the artist. In doing so, he is able to connect two contradictions: durability of textile materials and a constant change of the light. The woven, flexible light in these works is constantly changing its intensity, “like the passing of time transformed by seasons which slowly and gently create vibrant poetic stories,” he says. “Shadows cast on the walls play an importnat role in planning the cracks, holes, irregular and uneven edges of my compositions.” Włodzimierz Cygan’s work has been exhibited in Europe and abroad, including the Jean Lurcat Museum in France, the Kyoto Art Center in Japan and the National Gallery in San Jose, Costa Rica. SOFA Chicago opens November 2nd and runs through November 6th at the Navy Pier. For more information visit: http://www.sofaexpo.com/visit.