Category: Tapestry

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 Assembled, Featured in February

Large architectural tapestry

Architecture in motion by Gudrun Pagter

February was a short month, but we still featured a full complement of art in New This Week on our homepage, including two tapestries, a series of small sculptures on the wall and a feathery fabric and wood mixed media work. Gudrun Pagter’s abstract tapestry, Architecture in Motion, is made of flax and sisal. “Through simple graphic effects—continuous white contour lines on a black background,” the artist says, “I try to unfold disciplined geometrical forms with strong references to architectonic space.”

Large colorful tapestry

Mille Fleur by Ane Henriksen

Mille Fleur by Ane Henriksen was influenced by the millefleurs tradition and embroidery samplers. Millefleurs is a category of French and Flemish tapestries created at the edge of the Northern Renaissance. In the late 15th and 16th centuries large workshops were weaving tapestries with a limited number of figures or animals against a background of thousands of flowers. Samplers, were used to each embroidery to young girls from high society, later as part of school handicraft classes. The motifs, often with various kinds of borders, are letters and alphabets, often dated and bearing a girl’s name or initials and those of her ancestors, as well as embroidered patterns and religious and secular symbols copied from printed pattern books. In making Mille Fleur, the artist says, “it was almost as if I was a young girl,.. I used symbols and good omens in hope of a bright future, underlined as a naïve dream by using tints of pastel pink. A large part of the sensibility lies in the material used, a thick weft made of worn out bed linen from which small buttons, ribbons and other reminiscences peep out and are revealed.” There are also numerous elements in

wood wall sculptures

Night Storm by Debra Sachs

Debra Sachs’ sculpture, Night Storm, which is made of laminated and carved poplar. A few years ago, like Humpty Dumpty, the artist had a serious accident. Slowly, she regained stamina and ability. “I began working in fits and starts,” she said, “flailing to and fro. Finally, there was a breakthrough moment. I had stockpiled fragments from larger works made five years prior. These were small chunks of laminated wood too interesting to toss. They were always there but now were staring at me in my basement shop. I started playing with them like a kid with a box of blocks. I carved and painted them and put them on shelves.”

thread basket

Creel iv by Gizelle Warburton

There are two elements in Gizella Warburton’s Creel IV, a basket of fiber and mixed media accompanied by a piece of stitched wood. ” The materiality of cloth, paper, thread, wood and paint connects me to an innate human urge to make marks,” says Warburton.


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.


Greenery On My Mind; Pantone Color of the Year

Pantone Color of the Year Greenery

Pantone Color of the Year Greenery

Pantone has revealed that “greenery” will be the Color of the Year for 2017. Pantone describes “greenery” as “a refreshing and revitalizing shade” that is “symbolic of new beginnings.”
With new beginnings in mind, here, in honor of January — are some green-themed artworks for you to view. Baskets, tapestries and mixed media sculpture–green can inspire works of all sorts, made of materials from glass beads to copper wire to Japanese paper.

Gyöngy Laky

Gyöngy Laky, Proceeding
Photo: M. Lee Fatherree

Rachel Max

Rachel Max, After Haeckel II
Photo by Tom Grotta

Lawrence LaBianca

Lawrence LaBianca, My Fathers Dream
Photo by Tom Grotta

Ed Rossbach

Ed Rossbach, Green with Four Ears
Photo by Tom Grotta

Scott Rothstein

Scott Rothstein, #62
Photo by Tom Grotta

Nancy Koenigsberg

Nancy Koenigsberg, Aurora
Photo by Tom Grotta

Adela Akers

Adela Akers, Five Windows
Photo by Tom Grotta

Debra Sachs

Debra Sachs, Green Armadillo Basket
Photo by Debra Sachs

Deborah Valoma

Deborah Valoma, The Surge
Photo by Tom Grotta

Jeannine Anderson

Jeannine Anderson, Untitled
Photo by tom Grotta

Axel Russmeyer

Axel Russmeyer, Untitled
Photo by Tom Grotta

Noriko Takamiya

Noriko Takamiya, #36 Revolving
Photo by Tom Grotta


Art Press: Sara Brennan in the News on Two Continents

Sara Brennan in both American Craft and Selvedge Magazines this month

Sara Brennan in both American Craft and Selvedge Magazines this month

Viewing Sara Brennan’s tapestries is to be immersed in a land- or skyscape. Brennan’s evocative weavings are featured in two different magazines this month, selvedge published in the UK and American Craft in the US. In selvedge, in “View,” Issue 73, pp. 92-93, Lesley Millar writes about the layering of history in Brennan’s tapestries, “At the centre of her work there is a stillness and a sense of being held, which is an echo of the experience at the centre of an ancient forest.” Millar notes that the artist uses a traditional Gobelin high warp technique which links her tapestries to the Middle Ages. She also uses yarns she has been given, old yarns, sometimes yarns she had inherited from her father’s studio in Edinburgh. Brennan admits to obsessing about the surface in her tapestries, the qualities of a specific yarn. “The surface texture,” Millar writes, “slows down our gaze through a series of subtle, textured intervals forming a visual interplay between our eye and the sensuality of the surface.”

American Craft and Selvedge Magazine Covers

American Craft and Selvedge Magazine Covers

The article in American Craft, December/January 2017, by editor in chief, Monica Moses is in a section called “Collective Unconscious: On the Horizon,” pp. 36-37, features five artists, includling Brennan, whose work envisions where the sky and land meet. Brennan reduces the landscape to its essence, “earth and sky, demarcated by horizon.”

Linen Tapestry with Broken Grey Line by Sara Brennan, linen, wool, and cotton, 42.5" x 42", 2014

Linen Tapestry with Broken Grey Line by Sara Brennan, linen, wool, and cotton, 42.5″ x 42″, 2014

Brennan’s work can be seen at browngrotta.com and, through January 2017, in Here and Now a touring exhibition curated by the UK’s National Centre for Craft and Design of contemporary British tapestry artists and weavers from Australia, Norway, Latvia, Japan and the USA. For more information visit: http://www.nationalcraftanddesign.org.uk/whatson/future-nccd-touring-show-here-and-now/#future-nccd-touring-show-here-and-now.


Art: Antidote to an Edgy Election

No matter on what side of the political divide you sit, it’s been a long 16 months. And for some of us, the next 16 months will likely feel even longer. In our house we’re hunkering down – old movies, dinners with friends, letter writing and getting to all those to dos, like organizing our art books – and a news ban, at least for the next few weeks. We’re also aiming for an art fix. We are going out in search of what’s inspired, exhilarating, thought provoking. The markets are holding steady; why not invest in art? Surround yourself with what brings you joy. Here are four works that brought us feelings of peace, gratitude, tolerance and awe.

Lenore Tawney, The Path, Tapestry

Lenore Tawney, The Path, Tapestry. Photo Tom Grotta

Lenore Tawney’s The Path II, is meditative and reflective of a passage she marked in a favorite book: “[t]he spiritual path, the path of purification, of emancipation, of liberation, is a path where we change our inner nature.”

37ts Vertical to Horizontal and Vice Versa, Toshio Sekiji. Photo by Tom Grotta

37ts Vertical to Horizontal and Vice Versa, Toshio Sekiji. Photo by Tom Grotta

yagi

Mariyo Yagi, Nawa Axis for Peace Project 2014

In his “fugue weavings” like Vertical to Horizontal and Vice Versa, Toshio Sekiji, imagines a harmonious confluence of disparate cultures, languages and nationalities, so different than the facts on the ground. Mariyo Yagi’s art is infused with concern about the Cosmos. “Art is committed to the energy of human life,” she says. In creating her sculptures she has been informed by the study of nawa –– which means a spiral cord, which for Yagi provides a link between earth and heaven and all living things, creating a spiritual loop from DNA to the cosmos. Enlightening and innovative, Anda Klancic’s work combines creative use of machine-embroidered lace technique with experience from other disciplines, including photography. In Aura, Klancic says, “I wanted to show the vital energy in the human species: that the light, connected from man to the earth and the universe, has the rhythm of breath, of life.”

Anda Klancic FiberOptic, textile sculpture

Anda Klancic FiberOptic, textile sculpture

Have you other works to recommend? Let us know.


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, 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 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.