Category: SOFA

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.


browngrotta arts Returns to SOFA Chicago, November 5-8th

627mr PapelionIidae, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette wool, steel, 54” x 54” x 16”, 2000

627mr PapelionIidae, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette
wool, steel, 54” x 54” x 16”, 2000

After a few-year hiatus, browngrotta arts will return to the Sculpture, Objects, and Functional Art Exposition at the Navy Pier in Chicago next month. We’ll be reprising our most recent exhibition, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, with different works for a number of artists, including Naoko Serino, Kay Sekimachi, Anda Klancic, Ritzi Jacobi, Randy Walker, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, Carolina Yrarrázaval and Lenore Tawney. Other artists whose work will be featured in browngrotta arts’ exhibit are Magdalena Abakanowicz, Adela Akers, Lia Cook, Sheila Hicks, Masakazu Kobayashi, Naomi Kobayashi, Luba Krejci, Jolanta Owidzka, Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smith, Carole Fréve, Susie Gillespie, Stéphanie Jacques, Tim Johnson, Marianne Kemp, Federica Luzzi, Rachel Max, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, Michael Radyk and Gizella K Warburton. SOFA will publish a related essay, Fiber Art Pioneers: Pushing the Pliable Plane by Jo Ann C. Stabb,
on the origins of the contemporary fiber movement.

1cy AZUL Y NEGR Carolina Yrarrázaval rayon, cotton 116" x 40.5”, 2003

1cy AZUL Y NEGR
Carolina Yrarrázaval
rayon, cotton
116″ x 40.5”, 2003

Now in its 22nd year, SOFA CHICAGO is a must-attend art fair, attracting more than 36,000 collectors, museum groups, curators and art patrons to view museum-quality works of art from 70+ international galleries. After a nationwide competition, SOFA CHICAGO recently placed #7 in the USA Today Reader’s Choice 10 Best Art Events.New this year, SOFA CHICAGO will unveil a revamped floorplan created by Chicago architects Cheryl Noel and Ravi Ricker of Wrap Architecture. The re-envisioned design will create a more open and cohesive show layout, allowing visitors to explore the fair in a more engaging way. Changes include a new, centrally located main entrance where browngrotta arts’ booth, 921, will be located. Cheryl Noel of Wrap Architecture adds, “The most effective urban contexts contain distinct places within the larger space, corridors with visual interest and clear paths with fluid circulation. We believe this new floorplan will capture the spirit of the art and be an expression of the work itself, exploring form and materiality, with the same level of design rigor applied.”

1rw SAW PIECE NO.4 (AUTUMN) Randy Walker, salvaged bucksaw, steel rod, nylon thread 42" x 96" x 26", 2006, Photo by Tom Grotta

1rw SAW PIECE NO.4 (AUTUMN)
Randy Walker, salvaged bucksaw, steel rod, nylon thread
42″ x 96″ x 26″, 2006, Photo by Tom Grotta

On Friday, November 6th, from 12:30 to 2:30, Michael Radyk will be at browngrotta arts’ booth to discuss his Swan Point series, Jacquard textiles created to be cut and manipulated after being taken off the loom, in which Radyk was trying “to bring the artist’s hand back into the industrial Jacquard weaving process.” SOFA opens with a VIP preview on Thursday, November 5th, from 5 pm to 9 pm. The hours for Friday and Saturday are 11 am – 7 pm; and 12 to 6 pm on Sunday the 8th. SOFA is in the Festival Hall, Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60611. Hope to see you there!


Upcoming: Events at SOFA New York this Week

Lectures, artist booth visits and more.  This week’s events include:

Sue Lawty, John McQueen and Norma Mnkowitz

April 19th

Opening – SOFA NY

VIP Cardholders Preview       5:00 – 9:00 pm       Invitation Only
Public Preview Gala*               7:00 – 9:00 pm       $100.00
* Available online in advance and at the door beginning at 5:30 pm
Park Avenue Armory
browngrotta arts: 25 at 25 at SOFA NY
browngrotta arts booth 208

April 20th

1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Artist booth visit
John McQueen
browngrotta arts booth 208

Detail of BODY LANGUAGE, by John McQueen

Meet with fiber artist and basketmaker John McQueen.
McQueen is one of 25 artists highlighted this year by
browngrotta arts.
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Lecture
Sue Lawty – rock-linen-lead
browngrotta arts booth 208

Sue Lawty working on a stone drawing

Lawty charts the journey of her understated and abstract works which are strongly influenced by a comprehensive engagement with remote landscape, geology and the passage of time. Seeking “an essential stillness,” Lawty’s constructed pieces and drawings in two and three dimensions explore repetition and interval in raffia, hemp, linen, lead, stone or shadow. 
4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Booksigning
Sue Lawty
browngrotta arts booth 208
Fiber and mixed media artist Sue Lawty will sign copies of her book, SUE LAWTY: rock-raphia-linen-lead.

April 21st
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Artist booth visit Norma Minkowitz

browngrotta arts booth 208

Detail of Remembrance by Norma Minkowitz

Meet with fiber and mixed media artist Norma Minkowitz.
Minkowitz is one of 25 artists highlighted this year by
browngrotta arts.

25 at 25 at SOFA NY Countdown: Carolina Yrarrazaval

Silk, Carolina Yrarrazaval, Photo by Tom Grotta


Chilean artist Carolina Yrarrázaval is one of the 25 artists whose work browngrotta arts will feature at SOFA NY. Throughout her career, Yrarrázaval has investigated and adapted traditional textile techniques from diverse cultures, especially Pre-Columbian techniques.

12cy Silk, Carolina Yrarrazaval linen, cotton and silk 44" x 29.5" x 1.25", 2011, photo by Tom Grotta

“Abstraction has always been present as an aesthetic aim,” she says, “informing my choice of materials, forms, textures and colors.” She works with simple proportions, guided by an intuitive sense and avoiding the use of mathematical formulas. This simplification and freedom from conceptual constraints combine says the artist, “to reveal a language that conjures up other impressions, such as emptiness and the need for austerity and sensuality, silence and aloneness.”Yrazzával’s work has ben exhibited in the National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago Chile; Interamerican Bank Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Pre-Columbian Arts Museum, Santiago, Chile; Le Recoleta Cultural Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland (International Triennial of Tapestry); Graz, Austria (International Textile Symposium); Goethe Institute, Santiago, Chile; Montevideo, Uruguay (Latin American Mini-Textile Exhibition); Valparaiso, Chile (Concurso de Arte Joven); Havana, Cuba (IIIrd Havana Biennial) and the Chilean Consulate Gallery, New York, New York.


25 at 25 at SOFA NY Countdown: Masako Yoshida

Kuu #441 Masako Yoshida (detail), photo by Tom Grotta

Sculptures of bark by Masako Yoshida are among the works that browngrotta arts will feature at SOFA NY. The constructions Yoshida envisions are built by interlacing sheets of walnut bark with string made of nettle. “I consider myself a member of society who wants to make works that open into the new world earnestly, one step at a time,”  Yoshida finds that her work provides her “a means of release, allowing the truth to emerge and open the mind. In the process, I ask myself, ‘what is my connection to society?'” Yoshida has studied basketmaking with noted teacher and artist, Hisako Sekijima.

11my Kuu#441, Masako Yoshida;, walnut and maple, 20.5"€ x 12"€ x 4.25"€, 2007-2010, photo by Tom Grotta

She graduated from Musashino Art University, majoring in textiles and has since worked there as instructor. She has also taught at Tamagawa Institute. Her work has been exhibited at the Nagoya Trade and Industry Center (In Our Hands) Japan; Iwasaki Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan; Megro City Museum, Japan; Takashimaya Department Store (Amu Kumu solo exhibition); Tachikawa, Japan; Nuno Annex Exhibition (solo, traveling exhibition); Wayne Art Center, Pennsylvania (Green for the Get Go).