Category: Tapestry

The Nordic Tapestry Opens in Washington Depot, CT

Helena Hernmarck

Helena Hernmarck talking about her work at the opening reception of The Nordic Tapestry Group: Weaving Knowledge into Personal Expression, photo by Tom Grotta

The Nordic Tapestry Group: Weaving Knowledge into Personal Expression opened on Saturday in Washington Depot, Connecticut at the Washington Art Association and Gallery, 4 Bryan Plaza and the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens at One Green Hill. The exhibition extends through September 9th. The Nordic Tapestry group was founded 10 years ago by weavers from Sweden, Iceland and the United States after tapestry artist Helena Hernmarck traveled to Sweden to teach workshops on her weaving technique. Combining traditional Swedish weaving techniques with her own method, Hernmarck is able to achieve powerful photorealistic effects by bundling a variety of hued yarns that combine to create an illusion of depth. With a common passion for textiles, members of the Nordic Tapestry group have a desire to learn more about how Hernmarck’s tapestries are made, how to use light and how to use the different qualities of yarn to create images. The exhibition highlights works by 21 of those students alongside Hernmarck’s works. Hernmarck’s Anemones (1985) dominates one of the exhibition galleries, attractively paired with the more recent and more translucent work, Amaryllis (2014). Holding their own in the large gallery are also Stone Bridge and the impressionistic Morning Haze, by Lis Korsgen, Hernmark’s very accomplished student.

Hernmarck Student Work

The Nordic Tapestry Group: Weaving Knowledge into Personal Expression

In the Washington Art Association building are other works from Face to Face, which reveals the Nordic Tapestry weavers shared passion and ongoing exchange, and celebrates the transfer and evolution of weaving knowledge into personal expression. Through these works, they display their interest in using light and color and exploring the different qualities of yarn to weave images, create space and depth, and to depict three-dimensional forms. Swedish weaving has had a influential history in this country, in exhibitions, in creating art for the United Nations and in the curriculum at Cranbrook. For a very comprehensive look at this influence, including the role Swedish weaving has played in the work of American weaver Lia Cook, read Marion T. Marzolf’s paper, for the Textile Society of America, The Swedish Presence in 20th-Century American Weaving, http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1313&context=tsaconf.

The Nordic Tapestry Group

The Nordic Tapestry Group


23 Artists Can’t be Wrong — Kudos for our 30th Anniversary Catalog

Our 30th Anniversary Catalog Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art
was our most ambitious by far. Our 46th catalog, is the largest (196 pages), with the most photographs (186), featuring the most artists (83) and the most artworks (111). So naturally, we are pretty pleased that clients and artists are excited about it, too. We’ve sold a record number of copies since the release a few weeks ago, and it isn’t even listed on Amazon yet. Many of the artists—23 in fact—have written us raving about the catalog.“

New Age Basket No.4 by John Garrett, collected and artist made parts; copper sheet and wire; found; paint; rivets, 16” x 15” x 15”, 2009

“Very handsome,” pronounced John Garrett who has two works in the exhibition. Kiyomi Iwata, whose piece Southern Crossing Five is included in the exhibition, applauded the catalog as “meticulously photographed and printed” and acknowledged the passion that went into it, describing it as a “real work of love.” British artist Dail Behennah praised it as “…beautiful, full of interest and inspiration.”

Capricious Plaiting by Kazue Honma, paper mulberry plaiting, 56 x 43 x 20cm, 2016

Cordis prize winner Jo Barker felt it was “really stunning seeing the range of work included in the recent exhibition” and was “really proud to be a part of it.”  Gyöngy Laky, whose sculptures are included in the exhibition, found the selection of work for the catalog was “so strong and so creative.” She should know, she’s been in 11 of our catalogs!

Kazue Honma, a basketmaker
who has spent her career radicalizing the field of traditional Japanese basket making wrote “I am very proud of this book including my work. You made me keep going all these years. I cannot say my thanks enough to you.”

Dark Horizon by Adela Akers. linen, horsehair and metal, 23″ x 24″, 2016

Several of the artists appreciated Janet Koplos’ insightful essay, including Adela Akers, whose tapestry, Dark Horizon is included. She wrote “ Wonderful review of the work and your work during all these years by Janet Koplos. Loved her analysis and description of my piece.” The text is “superb” wrote Dona Anderson, whose work, Otaku is featured. “I really enjoyed reading Janet Koplos’ introduction and her appreciation of your contribution to our field,” wrote Karyl Sisson. Ritzi Jacobi, whose sculptural tapestry, Rhythmic, is found on page 59, noted the comprehensive look at browngrotta arts’ history that Koplos took in her essay, “after all these years the catalog gives one a great impression of your activities and preferences.”

Otaku by Dona Anderson, reeds, thread and paint, 17″ x 18′ x 15″, 2015

Learn for yourself where we’ve come from and what our artists are up to by ordering your own copy of
Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art HERE

 


ART ASSEMBLED FEATURED IN JUNE

The start to summer has been quite busy for browngrotta arts. At the beginning of June browngrotta arts’ opened Plunge: explorations from above and below in collaboration with the New Bedford Art Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Soon after came the launch of Cross Currents: Art Inspired by Water, an online companion exhibition to Plunge. We’ve featured four works on our website as New This Weekthree sculptures and a tapestry.

Reaching Out by Karyl Sisson

Reaching Out by Karyl Sisson, vintage zipper tape and thread, 8″ x 56″ x 45″, 2013

Made with vintage zipper tape and thread, Karyl Sisson’s Reaching Out cloaks the floor in a deep red. Many of Karyl’s sculptures resemble sea creatures, Reaching Out, which can be viewed in Plunge, resembles an octopus lingering along the seafloor. Rather than starting with a set idea of what she wants to create, Sisson lets the materials and processes dictate the form of her pieces.

61hh

On the Dock by Helena Hernmarck, wool, 43″ x 57″, 2009

Helena Hernmarcks’ tapestry On the Dock depicts two women enjoying the sunshine. Hernmarck. On the Dock can also be viewed with other water-influenced works in Cross Currents, at browngrotta.com.  

Peninsula by Mary Merkel-Hess

Peninsula by Mary Merkel-Hess, paper, paper cord
22” x 22” x 44”, 2016

Peninsula, a sculpture made with paper and paper cord, reflects Mary Merkel-Hess’ study of the natural world. Using a technique of her own creation, Merkel-Hess builds each piece using a combination of collage and paper mâché with inclusions of materials such as reed, paper cord, wood, and drawings.  

Intrusion by Dail Behennah, scorched and waxed white willow; silver black patinated and plated pins, 2″ x 22″ x 22″; 2014

Intrusion, a white willow basket made by Dail Behennah draws in the eye with its grid-like basket architecture. Dail drew inspiration for this piece from igneous intrusions into landscapes. As the softer rocks are worn away the peaks and tors remain hard-edged outcrops on the surface.


Art Assembled Featured in May

New this Week in May Red Ferne Jacobs

3fj Interior Passages, Ferne Jacobs, coiled and twined waxed linen thread, 54” x 16” x 4”, 2017, Photo by Tom Grotta

Tapestry and sculptural fiber were on tap in May as browngrotta arts’ New This Week selections. First up, Interior Passages, Ferne Jacob’s remarkable wall sculpture of coiled and twined wax linen, a large and complex work that speaks against the desecration of women around the world. Interior Passages needs no one to tell her who she is or what she is says the artist. “She knows her value, and I expect the world to respect this inner understanding. When it doesn’t, I think it moves toward a destructiveness that can be devastating.”

New this Week in May Helena Hernmarck Tapestry

Helena Hernmarck in front of her tapestry Tabula Rasa 3, 2011, Wool, 37.5″ × 57″, Photo by Carter Grotta

Helena Hernmark’s Tabula Rasa 3 , integrates an unusual background of polyester from sequin making that adds a glimmer to the tapestry in the right light. The work is part of a series that included the first Tabula Rasa, commissioned for Yue-Kong Pao Hall, Purdue University.

New this Week in May Jo Barker Dark Shimmer

Dark Shimmer, Jo Barker , wool, cotton and embroidery threads, 34” x 29.25” x 1.25”, 2017, Photos by Tom Grotta

Dark Shimmer, by Scottish artist Jo Barker, is from the series for which she won the prestigious Cordis tapestry prize in 2016.

New this week in May Complex plaiting by Norie Hatekayama

Complex Plaiting Series Pile 02, Norie Hatekayama , plaited paper fiber strips, 11” x 11” x 10”, 2002, Photo by Tom Grotta

Norie Hatakeyama’s Complex Plaiting Series, Pile 02 is made of paper tape. Hatakeyama’s plaited works reflect the complex structures that make up the universe. “Human beings explore structure in nature and create science and art,” she says. “I’ve observed that the transition of science (mathematics, geometry, etc.) and art overlaps with the direction of my work. I feel deeply that the outside world, the natural world, is a field, made up of matter and energy, repeating regeneration and radiating unremitting energy.”


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.