Category: Tapestry

We’re getting crazy great press for our 30 years in art

Wilton, Bulletin, The Norwalk Hour, Coastal, Venu selvedge, Fiber Art Now, Good Morning Wilton, Eventbrite, Cottage and Gardens, New England Home

30th anniversary press clippings

We were in the news a lot last month for browngrotta arts’ 30th anniversary and our annual exhibition, Art in the Barn, Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art. Here’s a sampling of our clips– selvedge, Venü, New England Home, Coastal Connecticut, Fiber Art Now blog, the Wilton Bulletin and the Norwalk Hour, Cottages and Gardens, EventbriteGood Morning WiltonEventbrite,  Fiber Arts Now. It’s our 30th anniversary all year, so watch for more news, including about Plunge: explorations above and below, an exhibition about to open at the New Bedford Museum of Art (May 26 – October 8, 2017) in Massachusetts.


Still Crazy…30 Years: The Catalog

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog Cover Naoko Serino and Mary Yagi

Still Crazy…30 Years: The Catalog

It’s big! It’s beautiful (if we do say so ourselves –and we do)! The catalog for our 30th anniversary is now available on our new shopping cart. The catalog — our 46th volume — contains 196 pages (plus the cover), 186 color photographs of work by 83 artists, artist statements, biographies, details and installation shots.

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog

Naoko Serino Spread

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog

Michael Radyk Spread

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog

Lilla Kulka Spread

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog

Jo Barker Spread

The essay, is by Janet Koplos, a longtime editor at Art in America magazine, a contributing editor to Fiberarts, and a guest editor of American Craft. She is the author of Contemporary Japanese Sculpture (Abbeville, 1990) and co-author of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). We have included a few sample spreads here. Each includes a full-page image of a work, a detail shot and an artist’s statement. There is additional artists’ biographical information in the back of the book. Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art can be purchased at www.browngrotta.com http://store.browngrotta.
com/still-crazy-after-all-these-years-30-years-in-art/.
Our shopping cart is mobile-device friendly and we now take PayPal.


Still Crazy After All These Years Preview: Stitch in Time – Embroidery

Embroidery stitches – deliberate and in flurries – feature prominently in the work of six of the artists in browngrotta arts’ upcoming exhibition, Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art, this April 22nd through April 30th.

Heidrun Schimmel Detail

”Was du Weiß auf Schwarz Besitzt
(text/textile/texture) by Heidrun Schimmel Detail, photo by Tom Grotta

Heidrun Schimmel from Germany creates her artwork, which features blizzards of stitches, entirely by hand. She believes her stitch work demonstrates how thread, through its length and quality, acts as a metaphor for human existence.

Åse Ljones embroidery

Sound of the fjord detail by Åse Ljones, photo by Tom Grotta

Different pattern sequences are incorporated by Åse Ljones of Norway into her art pieces. By doing so, she allows each small change in sequence to create a rhythm, tranquility, or excitement for the viewer to enjoy. “I often work in series,” she says, “and build large works from smaller pieces. The small changes in each work communicate and often strengthen the relation to one another.”

silk drawing by Scott Rothstein

Untitled by Scott Rothstein, photo by Tom Grotta

Scott Rothstein, whose work has been collected by the Metropolitan and the Philadelphia museum of art, blends minimal design and traditional materials to create ambiguous art forms that viewers must experience and interpret on their own. His embroideries feature brilliant colors and repeated stitches to add dimension.

horsehair thread sculpture

Grow – Grid 16.11 by Marian Bijlenga, photo by Tom Grotta

Marian Bijlenga of the Netherlands has a fascination with dots, lines and contours that is evident in her artwork. She playfully introduces unique contour lines of color and symmetry through her stitched work, using a variety of textile fabrics and materials, including paper, thread and horsehair. Rather than draw on paper, she draws in space using textile as a material and leaves enough distance between the structure and its aligning wall to create what she refers to as a “spatial drawing.”

Adela Akers Small Blue Tapestry

Dark Horizon, 3016 by Adela Akers, photo by Tom Grotta

Delicately combining a series of horsehair, recycled wine foil, and acrylic paint, Adela Akers creates her embroidered pieces by hand with careful insertion of each fine material.“Even when I don’t know the outcome,” she says, “it is the transformation of the materials by the repetitive hand manipulation that leads me to the final expression.”

embroidered sculpture

Growth 2 by Anda Klancic, photo by Tom Grotta

Anda Klancic uses transparency and coloring to address the visual play of perception between the mimetic and the abstract. Her work in this collection, as well as in previous pieces, attempts to express the relationship between humanity and nature.
Slovenian artist Anda Klancic uses a combination of innovative embroidery techniques, many of which are patented under her name, allowing her to meticulously blend metal with cloth cotton or tree bark to fashion abstract pieces that crystallize the aesthesis of nature.

For more information and a complete artist’s list, please visit http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/calendar.php.


Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art Preview: Hello Again!

For our 30th anniversary exhibition, we’ve invited six artists that had worked with browngrotta arts in previous years. Three; Leon Niehues, John Garrett and Kari Lonning, work in vessel forms. Laura Foster Nicholson and Eva create weavings and Carol Shaw-Sutton sculptural forms of fiber.

Woven Open Neck by Leon Niehues. Photo by Tom Grotta

Leon Niehues, a studio basket maker, creates his vessel forms from the young white oak trees that grow in his immediate area of the Ozarks. While using traditional splint techniques, he has added new construction methods and simple design elements that dramatically change his oak baskets into exciting contemporary pieces. We’ve captured several samples of his designs in a catalog that features his work and that of Mary Merkel-Hess. View them at: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/c15.php.

Emerging from Chaos by Kari Lønning. Photo by Tom Grotta

Best known for her double-walled constructions and a complex-weaving process she refers to as her “hairy technique,” Kari Lønning works extensively with graphic patterns, using both bold and subtle color schemes. Lønning’s work is also featured in a browngrotta arts’ exhibition catalog, Mary Giles/Kari Lønning, which can be viewed at http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/c11.php.

Age Basket No.4 by John Garrett, recycled metals. Photo by Tom Grotta

A weaver and teacher of experimental basketry, John Garrett’s weaving materials consist of aluminum, steel, brass, or cooper in slat or wire form. Many of his creative pieces are included in the permanent collections of museums nationwide. View samples of his weaving in our catalog, Dorothy Gill Barnes and John Garrett: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/c14.php.

Being Here by Laura Foster Nicholson. Photo by Tom Grotta

Laura Foster Nicholson is a textile artist known for her powerful hand-woven tapestries that feature whimsical, engaging imagery. Her artwork is featured in several museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Denver Art Museum, among others. Nicholson was included in the 10th Wave II: New Textile and Fiber Wall Art: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/c18.php.

Ist All History by Eva Vargo. Photo by Tom Grotta

Eva Vargö fuses paper and linen-thread materials into her weaving techniques to employ paper craft artwork. Many of her pieces are inspired by her own life experiences and also by integrating the various materials she discovers on her travels across the world. Vargö is from Sweden, but has lived in Korea as well as Japan. Vargo was included in the Retro/Prospective: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/c25.php

White Sound by Carol Shaw-Sutton. Photo by Tom Grotta

A participant in browngrotta arts’ 25 for the 25th: Glancing Back, Gazing Ahead http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/c25.php, Carol Shaw-Sutton creates sculptural forms of fiber. Her artwork often consists of personal narrative objects and installations that utilize both ancient and modern textile. Her new work focuses on our inter relationship to each other, which is reflected in images of the human form as organic flowing substance.

Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art runs from
April 22nd to 30th at browngrotta arts, 276 Ridgefield, Connecticut. For more information, visit: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/calendar.php.


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.