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Anni Albers Gets Her Due – Tate Modern through January 27, 2019 (1 of 3)

Legendary artist Anni Albers is getting the long-overdue recognition she deserves in a major retrospective in the United Kingdom. The exhibition, Anni Albers, currently on exhibit at the Tate Modern in London through January 27th, seeks to illuminate Albers’ creative process as well as her engagement with art, architecture and design.

With Verticals, 1946, by Anni Albers, red cotton and linen. The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany CT. © 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London. Photography: Tim Nighswander/Imaging4Art

One of the most influential textile artists of the 20th century, Anni Albers’ work lead to a reconsideration of fiber and textile as art. Born in Berlin, Annelise Elsa Frieda Fleischmann went to study at the radical Bauhaus art school as a young student in 1922. Fascinated with the visual world at a young age, her parents encouraged her to study drawing and painting. Despite the fact that Albers felt that textiles were considered “toosissy,” she enrolled in the only course open to female students-–weaving in the ‘women’s workshop.’ However, as time passed she developed a passion for the medium, using it as a key form of expression, creating complex and richly colored pliable planes. The exhibition explores how, in the school’s vibrant weaving workshop, traditional hand-weaving was redefined as modern art.

In 1933, Anni’s husband Josef was invited to the USA to make visual arts the center of the curriculum at the newly established Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Anni and Josef saw this as an opportunity to escape the Nazi regime and continue exploring their art. During her time in North Carolina, Anni made extraordinary weavings, developed new textiles and taught. Throughout this period, Albers made frequent visits to Central and South America, immersing herself in ancient culture and methods. The influence these trips had on Albers’ work is evident in her large-scale pieces, Ancient Writing and With Verticals,both of which can be viewed at the Tate exhibition. In addition to Albers’ pieces, the exhibition includes examples of textiles from around the world that fueled Albers’ thinking and creative processes. Visitors are also invited to view textile works by other artists including Lenore Tawney, Olga de Amaral and Sheila Hicks.

Anni Albers at the Tate. Photo by Sue Lawty.
Anni Albers at the Tate. Photo by Sue Lawty.

The exhibition at the Tate Modern is the first major retrospective of Albers’ work in the United Kingdom. It takes an expansive view, exploring Albers’ creative processes– the intersection between art and craft; hand-weaving and machine production; ancient and modern. The Tate has included over 350 objects of Albers’, including small-scale studies, large wall-hangings, jewelry made from everyday items and textiles designed for mass production. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to “see Albers’ work in close focus, experiencing her belief that textile is inherently many-sided,” writes Corinne Julius in Selvedge Magazine (“Fruit of the Loom,” October 11, 2018). Many of Albers’ weavings are hung freely throughout the exhibition space, allowing visitors to examine them front and back. 

Though the exhibition has been organized by two major fine art institutions, the Tate and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, neither of them own any important works by Anni Albers as her work has been considered ‘craft.’ As a result, the vast majority of objects in the exhibition are on loan from the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. “The whole show is about a woman who is a weaver and how weaving can be a valid modernist art practice. Anni Albers’ work is not ‘decorative,’ wires Julius. “It’s quite conceptual – corroborating Roland Barthes’ comment that the loom is ‘a maquette of reasoning,’” Ideally, Anni Albers will move the boundary of what is and is not considered fine art.

For more information on the exhibition, which closes on January 27th, visit the Tate’s website HERE.


Art Assembled: New This Week December

3lb Attached, Laura Ellon Bacon, Somerset willow – a variety called Dicky Meadows, 69” x 27.5” x 12”, 2013, photo by sophie mutevelian

It’s hard to believe another year had passed, but we are welcoming 2019 with open arms here at browngrotta arts. We are excited for all the great things to come in 2019, but we’ll shed a light on all the great art we shared on our social media throughout the month of December. From Laura Ellen Bacon’s Attached to Adela Akers Night Curtain there was quite a diverse line up on display in December.

To kick off the month of December we shared Laura Ellen Bacon’s Attached. Bacon, whom we had the pleasure of visiting on our trek through the United Kingdom, consistently creates stunning woven sculptures. Bacon’s unique weaving technique, such as exhibited in Attached sets her apart. The combination of her technique and the use of natural materials allows Bacon to slowly develop the weight and form of her work as she pleases, which she describes as, “Starting out with a frail framework and building curves from the inside out to achieve quite ‘muscular’ forms with a sense of movement, a sense of them being alive somehow.”

Endless, Rachel Max, plaited and twined cane, 10.75” x 12” x 9”, 2016, $3,750
Endless, Rachel Max, plaited and twined cane, 10.75” x 12” x 9”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

Next in the queue was Endless by Rachel Max. Made of plaited and twined cane, Endless’ unique form piques’ the viewers’ curiosity. Through sculptural basketry, Max investigates the relationship between lace and basket making techniques. Often inspired by natural shapes, Max enjoys exploring the concepts of containment and concealment in her work. With this exploration, Max has developed a technique of layering to form structures that probe into the relationship between lines, shadows and space.

Ce qu’il en reste VI, Stéphanie Jacques, willow, gesso, thread, 21.5” x 10.5” x 11”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

The origins of Stéphanie JacquesCe qu’il en reste VI is rooted in her adolescent years with scoliosis. Jacques spent many years wearing corrective corsets, which inhibited her from many activities, such as dance. This series of sculptures, known as the Miss Metonymy sculptures are built as vertebral columns. Jacques has spent many years trying to create a figure that stands up, however, leaving the idea of verticality allowed that to become possible.

Night Curtain, linen, horsehair, paint & metal, 38” x 36”, 2018
Night Curtain, linen, horsehair, paint & metal, 38” x 36”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta

To conclude 2018’s New This Week posts we shared Night Curtain by Adela Akers. Unique to Akers’ work is her utilization of horsehair and recycled metal foil strips from the tops of wine bottles. Incorporating metal into her work adds another dimension, one that becomes a veil through which metal can shine through. In Night Curtain the luster of metal and veil of horsehair is reminiscent of stars peeping through a thin curtain of clouds in the night sky.


Studio Visits: Brussels, Amsterdam, Utrecht

Marian Bijlenga’s studio
Carter on the stairs in Marian Bijlenga’s studio in Amsterdam.

In November, Tom, Carter and Rhonda traveled too Brussels, Amsterdam and Utrecht to catch up Stéphanie Jacques, Marian Bijlenga and Marianne Kemp in their respective studios. Each studio was housed in an unusual re-envisioned space, one a former hospital another a primary school, their studios contained glimpses of past work and future projects. As in the UK, all three artists were extremely generous with their time and thoughts. We came away with more material for the series of books we hope to do one day. In the meantime, enjoy a quick view of this leg of our extraordinary trip.

Stephanie Jacques Brussels.
Stephanie Jacques is a good sport while Tom and Carter prep the shot in her Brussels.
Amsterdam photo by tom Grotta
Every vantage point in Amsterdam is a photo opp.
Marian Bijlenga
Another shot in Marian Biljenga’s studio.
Marianne Kemp’s
Tom tests the light on Marianne Kemp’s loom in Utrecht.

Art Assembled: New This Week November

Markings and Blues, Adela Akers, linen, horsehair, metal and paint, 28” X 30”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Markings and Blues, Adela Akers, linen, horsehair, metal and paint, 28” X 30”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Fall is coming to a close and the winter months are approaching here at browngrotta arts. During the end of October and throughout the beginning of November, Tom and Carter and sometimes Rhonda, traveled around the UK and Europe capturing artists at work in their studios. Though these ventures were grand they didn’t deter us from sharing our New This Week posts. Stay tuned for more blog posts on Tom’s, Rhonda’s and Carter’s photo adventure in the coming months, but for now take a minute and read more about the art we shared this month on our social media.

We commenced November with Adela Akers’ eye-catching Markings and Blues. As in her other pieces, Akers has incorporated horsehair into Markings and Blues. Employing stiff horsehair in her work helps Akers add both texture and dimensionality, two characteristics which create a richer surface and draw focus to her work. In recent years, Akers has drawn inspiration from her life journeys. These journeys have had a transformative effect, increasing her self-confidence, expanding her artistic vision and helping her to create pieces such as Markings and Blues.

Kaze, Yasuhisa Kohyama, ceramic, 14.75” x 11.5” x 4.75”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Kaze, Yasuhisa Kohyama, ceramic, 14.75” x 11.5” x 4.75”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Next up, Kaze by Japanese ceramic artist Yasuhisa Kohyama. Like Kohyama’s other ceramic pieces, Kaze was made with using an anagama kiln, a traditional Japanese wood-firing kiln. Kohyama revitalized the use of the anagama kiln and has become a Sueki master. Though the ceramic is left unglazed with the Sueki method, the resulting surface appears glossy. The piece’s form is perfectly reflected in its name—Kaze; a word that represents things that enjoy the freedom of movement.

Green Blue Screen One, Tamiko Kawata, cardboard, safety pins, acrylic on canvas, 20” x 20”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Green Blue Screen One, Tamiko Kawata, cardboard, safety pins, acrylic on canvas, 20” x 20”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta.

The stark contrast between the bright background and glistening safety pins of Tamiko Kawata’s Green Blue Screen One also caught our eye in November. Safety pins hold a multifunctional purpose for Kawata. Upon her move to New York in the 1960s, Kawata utilized safety pins for their unassuming, everyday purpose: to pin up clothing that was too large for her small frame. However, over time Kawata developed a fascination for the medium. The pins have facilitated Kawata in her exploration and construction of drawing-like works, self-standing, three-dimensional forms and jewelry. The physical practice of creating complex pieces with simple utilitarian objects provides a meditative and reflective process for Kawata.

Hunting (Jagtmark), Ane Henriksen, Scottish wool, weft: worn out clothes , 65” x 92”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Hunting (Jagtmark), Ane Henriksen, Scottish wool, weft: worn out clothes, 65” x 92”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta.

We concluded the month of November with Hunting (Jagtmark) by Ane Henriksen. The piece, which spans over 7.5 feet, was woven using Scottish wool and weft: old worn-out hunting clothes. Henriksen’s inspiration for Hunting derived from a painting by the Danish artist Jens Soendergaard. “I saw so much lust and longing in his green landscape,” explains Henriksen. As mentioned, Hunting is made of worn-out hunting clothes, some of which are undergarments, illustrating the different ways and fields in which hunting takes place.


Marian Bijlenga Takes Grand Prize at the 5th Triennial of Textile Art

Marian Bijlenga being interviewed in front of her work, Large Sampler Dots, Photo by Simon Oud.

Marian Bijlenga being interviewed in front of her work, Large Sampler Dots, Photo by Simon Oud.

Marian Bijlenga‘s significantly sized work, Large Sampler Dots, was awarded the Grand Prix of Božena Augustínová at the 5th Triennial Textile Art of Today exhibition at the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Bratislava, Slovakia. Four hundred artists from 49 countries across 5 continents participated in the competition. Irina Kolesnikova, now of Germany and Joanna Zemanek of Poland were among the artists selected to participate. Zemanek was awarded the Visegrad Award. You can learn more about the work and Bijlenga’s process on the Textile Art of Today site HERE.

This year’s exhibition, continues through November 11, 2018 before touring to other venues in Europe throughout 2019, including:Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum (Slovak republic)
8.9.2018 – 11.11.2018
Tatra Gallery in Poprad (Slovak republic)
25.1.2019 – 16.3.2019The Moravian Museum in Uherské Hradiště (Czech republic)
18.4.2019 – 23.6.2019


On the Flip Side: What the Back of an Art Work May Reveal

More of a mystery — the back of Lenore Tawney’s Untitled Collage, 9.125” x 9”,10/23/64. Photo: Tom Grotta

More of a mystery — the back of Lenore Tawney’s Untitled Collage, 9.125” x 9”,10/23/64. Photo: Tom Grotta

Though artists generally create artwork with the intent for just the front to be viewed, the backs of canvases and tapestries can provide collectors, curators, historians and viewers with an interesting narrative. Since the late 18th century, conservators have been paying attention to the backs of artworks. “Why?” you may ask. The answer is this: the face of a painting communicates its art, but it’s back carries the history of the artwork itself.

The front of Lenore Tawney’s Untitled Collage (1964). Photo: Tom Grotta

The front of Lenore Tawney’s Untitled Collage (1964). Photo: Tom Grotta

“On the backs of canvases, stretcher bars (the wooden framework holding the canvas in place), and the undersides of frames, careful examiners can often find inscriptions left by artists, last-ditch attempts to advocate for works once they’ve left the studio,” explains  Karen Chernick of Artsy in a lengthy piece,“The Secrets Hidden on the Backs of Famous Artworks, (https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-secrets-hidden-backs-famous-artworks?utm_medium=email&utm_source=13995943-newsletter-editorial-daily-07-27-18&utm_campaign=editorial&utm_content=st-S Artists’ inscriptions serve as an important means of ensuring that the important details of a piece, such as its title, date and authorship, are preserved as the piece changes hands through time. In fact, “Versos are also frequently marked by dealers, collectors, and museums, with notations ranging from greased pencil notes to wax seals, exhibition labels, and inventory numbers,” writes Chernick. “Taken together, these markings are akin to a painting’s passport, representing its identity, travels, and even changes of address.”

However, it’s important to note that this practice is individual. There are artists who choose to provide meticulous details—notes, sewn labels, stitched informatio—and artists who leave the back of canvases or tapestries blank. For some artists, discovering provenance requires determined detective work, others offer an open book.

Details from Mariette Rousseau-Vermette’s notes on Joie 2. Photo: Kaitlyn Capps

Details from Mariette Rousseau-Vermette’s notes on Joie 2. Photo: Kaitlyn Capps

Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, for example, used a numbering system on that back of tapestries, which matched the meticulous files that she kept for the 640 signed works she created in her lifetime. Her files offer very detailed information about the nature of her working methods and the means by which she created and executed such commissions. Her commission for the curtain for the main hall of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa include the negotiations leading up to the contract awarded to her for the commission; original sketches documenting her various conceptions for the curtain, blueprints and plans, fabric and textile samples, diagrams relating to the means by which the design would be implemented, correspondence with craftsmen, manufacturers, and other individuals with whom she collaborated to complete the commission, and installation instructions. 

The label for Mariette Rousseau-Vermette’s Joie 2 — the number links to her meticulously maintained files. Photo: Tom Grotta.

The label for Mariette Rousseau-Vermette’s Joie 2 — the number links to her meticulously maintained files.
Photo: Tom Grotta.

In some instances, the backs of art works can give you a peek into an artist’s artistic process. While creating their work, artists who have continually reworked canvases “may cross out bygone titles previously inscribed on stretchers, leaving hints about images cloaked beneath layers of superimposed brushstrokes.”  For 20th-century artists, such as as Josef Albers, writes Chernick, the backs of canvases were the perfect place to leave explanatory appendices. Albers used the back of canvases to record detailed notes on the themes of his series. Chernick quotes Jeanette Redensek, a scholar who has reviewed hundreds of pieces of Albers’ work, used his extensive appendices to differentiate between the varying pigments used in each piece. In his series Homage to the Square, Albers methodically experimented with pigments, creating more than 2,000 variations over the course of 26 years. “When I see the backs of those paintings, I can see that he’s changed out pigments to get a yellow ochre that’s a little darker, a yellow ochre that’s a little lighter, a cadmium yellow, a cadmium yellow light. He’s playing with very fine distinctions in the colors, and so those color notes are essential,” explains Redensek. The backs of Norma Minkowitz’s works provide another example. Replete with thoughts, images, references, they provide an eye into her process.

The label for Mariette Rousseau-Vermette’s Joie 2 — the number links to her meticulously maintained files. Photo: Tom Grotta.

The back for Norma Minkowitz’s Goodbye My Friend
Photo: Tom Grotta.

The information on the back of a canvas can also impact the value of a piece of art. After a piece is consigned to auction, house specialist scan the piece for indicators of authenticity and condition. In some cases, conservators use ultra-light and raking light to unveil hidden details. The extra information uncovered through this research aids collectors and conservators in proving the authenticity of a piece, therefore increasing the value.

The elements — lining, framing, notations — that restorers consider and what auction houses review once a work is consigned is described in detail in, “What the Back of a Painting Reveals About Its History,” from In Good Taste, https://www.invaluable.com/blog/painting-back/?utm_source=brand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weeklyblog&utm_content=blog082318. 

The backs of canvases, drawings and tapestries not only provide collectors and conservators with the information needed to prove the authenticity of a work, but presents them with an opportunity to explore an uncharted area of art history.

 

 

 

 

 


Art Assembled: New This Week September

When Green is Gold: Cube connection 14, Noriko Takamiya, paper, 8.5” x 8.5” x 4.5”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta

When Green is Gold: Cube connection 14, Noriko Takamiya, paper, 8.5” x 8.5” x 4.5”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta

The summer months are coming to an end and the leaves are beginning to fall around us here at browngrotta arts. From Noriko Takamiya ’s When Green is Gold: Cube connection 14 to Nancy Koenigsberg’s Solitary Path, the pieces we shared throughout the summer months presented a deeper look at the diversity of fiber art.

We kicked off September with Noriko Takamiya’s When Green is Gold: Cube connection 14. Takamiya puts a modern twist on traditional Japanese basketmaking methods through her experimentation with weaving techniques. When working on a basket, Takamiya winds hundreds of layers of thin strips of paper around and in between one another until she reaches her desired form. The end result, a three-dimensional puzzle-like basket.

Stitch by Stitch, Heidrun Schimmel, cotton, silk, 83” x 33.5”, 2014. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Stitch by Stitch, Heidrun Schimmel, cotton, silk, 83” x 33.5”, 2014. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Second in September’s queue was Heidrun Schimmel’s Stitch by Stitch. Schimmel, who has been working with textiles since 1958, hand stitches all her work. Through this process she is able to explore the connection between thread and human: “Mythologically, thread is connected to human existence,” says Schimmel. “Its length and quality are metaphors for the duration and character of our lives.” Schimmel’s creative process is quite simple, she begins her pieces by stitching white cotton thread onto transparent black silk. As she continues to stitch, the tensions between the varying layers of thread create deformations, so “the work itself finds its final form through the combination of control and chance.”

Primary Windows at 22 with Blue Spill on the Sill, Sylvia Seventy, molded recycled paper, wax, button drawings, buttons, beads, feathers, cotton thread, staples, 4.5” x 13.5” x 13.5,”. Photo by Tom Grotta

Primary Windows at 22 with Blue Spill on the Sill, Sylvia Seventy, molded recycled paper, wax, button drawings, buttons, beads, feathers, cotton thread, staples, 4.5” x 13.5” x 13.5,”. Photo by Tom Grotta

Next up we featured Californi-based artist Sylvia Seventy’s Primary Windows at 22 with Blue Spill on the Sill. In making her bowls, Seventy carefully molds fibrous recycled paper pulp into her desired form. Through her work, Seventy transforms ordinary materials gathered from her surroundings into extraordinary “mysterious allusions of antiquity.”  The walls of Seventy’s vessels contain a record number of processes, that not only mark change, but tracings of times. For Seventy, “Each work documents a layer of my life. Like a patch in a quilt, a photograph in an album, an object in a box of treasures.”

Solitary Path, Nancy Koenigsberg, coated copper wire, 28” x 28” x 5”, 2018

Solitary Path, Nancy Koenigsberg, coated copper wire, 28” x 28” x 5”, 2018

Last, but certainly not least, we shared Nancy Koenigsberg’s Solitary Path. Koenigsberg, who has lived the majority of her life in an urban environment, finds inspiration in the grid-like pattern of New York City’s streets. Made using lace-like layers of coated copper wire, Koenigsberg’s Solitary Path explores the relationship between shadows and space. The contrast between light and shadow transforms her works into a paradoxical study of “delicacy and fragility juxtaposed with the strength of steel and copper employed in their making.”


Fiber Art Up and Comers

Paniers-liens III, Séphanie Jacques
carved wood (ash), white willow, hemp rope, red, wool, 21.25” to 43.25” x 15.5” x 17.75”,2011.
Paniers-liens II, Stéphanie Jacques
carved wood (ash), white willow, hemp, rope, red wool, 22” x 17.25” x 17.25”, 2011

Earlier this year, we compared Artsy‘s list of fiber art pioneers and ours (see also Craft in America’s Pioneering Women in Craft). In the years since contemporary fiber first gained international attention, a group of younger artists have continued to experiment. Numerous artists from a decade or two or three later are identified as continuing innovations in this field, including Rosemary Troeckel, Lesley Dill, and Ernesto Neto and more recently, Sophie Narrett and Orly Cogan.

Of the artists that work with browngrotta arts, we’d point to five who continue to redefine the practice. Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium, combines clay, wood, photography, knitting and basketmaking to create works that reveal what is unseen.

Macramé Black Shell n.1, Federica Luzzi, cotton cord, wax, graphite, 13” x 12” x 6.5”, 2008

Federica Luzzi of Italy, uses fiber to illustrate natural phenomena. Her current series of elegant macramés were born of conversations with researchers at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Frascati, Italy about concepts of dark matter, antimatter, nuclear, subnuclear physics and the particle accelerator.

Transición, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, alpaca; metallic yarns and silver leaf; moriche palm fiber, silk, 56" x 24.25”, 2018

Transición, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, alpaca; metallic yarns and silver leaf; moriche palm fiber, silk, 56″ x 24.25”, 2018

Eduardo Portillo and Maria Dávila from Venezuela take an experimental approach to all aspects of their work — sourcing, technique and materials. The artists spent several years in China and India studying sericulture, or silk farming, and since then their research has taken them worldwide. In Venezuela they established the entire process of silk manufacture: growing mulberry trees on the slopes of the Andes, rearing silkworms, obtaining threads from other locally sourced fibers, coloring them all with natural dyes and designing and weaving innovative textiles. This works include woven “mosaics” from their Indigo series. More recently, the couple has been incorporating copper and bronze into their work, using textiles as inspiration for works that are cast in bronze. The couple was awarded with a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in 2017. Sue Lawty from the UK, has used her prodigious weaving skills to weave lead, and for the last few years, has created assemblages comprised of literally thousands of tiny stones, a pixilated ‘cloth’ of sorts.


Behind the Scenes: Drop Off at Helena Hernmarck’s

We recently took a trip up to Helena Hernmarck’s studio to loan back a few pieces for her upcoming solo exhibition Helena Hernmarck: Weaving In Progress at the Aldrich Museum. Located in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Helena’s studio is only a few miles from browngrotta arts.

A perfectly organized wall of color expands the entire length of the south side of Hernmarck’s studio. The wall acts as a storage for skeins of wool Hernmarck uses in her tapestries. The different skeins are precisely organized by their unique colors and tones, making it easier for Hernmarck to find a specific color when needed. Hernmarck is very particular about the quality of the materials she uses in her work. All the wool she uses is
rya wool, sourced from a specific breed of heirloom sheep in Sweden. The wool is also custom-dyed and spun to her specifications at a family-run spinning mill in Sweden, the place Hernmarck called home before emigrating to Canada, the UK and then settling in the US. Hernmarck has worked with browngrotta arts for more than 20 years, her work is included in 11 of browngrotta arts’ catalogs, including Helena Hernmarck and Markku Kosonen from 1994. Her commissions are found in dozens of corporations, museums and private collections.

Watching Hernmarck work leaves one in awe. Using a technique of her own invention, she is able to conjure details from our visual world, such as sunlight on waters and sails swelling in the wind. Every one of Hernmarck’s tapestries begin with an image, which is then blown up into her desired weaving size. From there, Hermarck plots her working plan on graph paper and produces a certain number of linear inches or feet per day so her commissions are completed on time. This technique allows Hermarck to capture even the smallest details in her weavings. Hernmarck’s attention to detail and her ability to portray subtle color variations, reflections and shadows are extraordinary. From a distance, Hermarck’s weavings look as if they are a single printed blown up photograph. On closer inspection, however, the thousands of strings of wool dissolve into interlaced pieces of warp and weft.


While visiting her studio, we also discussed her upcoming solo exhibition at the Aldrich Museum. Hernmarck never expected the Aldrich Museum’s invitation. “I did not expect to hear from them, after 38 years in town,” explains Hernmarck. “It was so positive that they were interested to show a textile artist in action. Things are changing…”Textiles have gained tremendous notoriety in the art world in recent years. Collectors, museums and art-lovers are becoming more aware of their allure.

Weaving In Progress will be the first solo exhibition of Hernmarck’s work in the United States since 2012. Given that the Aldrich is in Hernmarck’s hometown makes the exhibition all the more special. To be recognized for her accomplishments there is significant for Hernmarck. “It has been said that you can never be a prophet in your own land,” she explains.

In addition to presenting a variety of her work, Hernmarck herself will also be a part of the exhibition. During the exhibition, Hernmarck and her assistant Mae Colburn will create a work in situ, weaving three days a week in the exhibition space. The final work will be 55 inches wide and 40 inches tall, created on a five-foot-wide loom.“My assistant will be weaving with me as she is still in the learning curve,” Hernmarck says. Hernmarck’s aim for the exhibition is simple and direct. She hopes that “visitors will be inspired to do things with their hands and to get away from their computers” in this increasingly technology-focused world.


Art Assembled: New This Week July

Stellae Pavonis, Federica Luzzi, waxed cotton cord, silk, cotton, rayon, polyester thread, copper wire, 25.25” x 21.25” x 3.25, 2018

Stellae Pavonis, Federica Luzzi, waxed cotton cord, silk, cotton, rayon, polyester thread, copper wire, 25.25” x 21.25” x 3.25, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta

July was quite the month for us here at browngrotta arts. Not only did we share some spectacular new pieces on our social media, but we also shared behind the scenes shots of our pick-up at Norma Minkowitz’s studio, photos of pieces that have been acquired by major museums as well as photos of a few of our favorite artist collaborations. Here is a breakdown of the new art we shared on our social media throughout July:

To kick off July we shared Federica Luzzi’s Stellae Pavonis. In Latin, Stellae Pavonis translates to “the stars of the peacock.” “In the eye of the peacock’s feather and in its tail, which shows and closes the cosmic unfolding and all the manifestations that also appear and disappear quickly, there is a space left free, without boundaries,” explains Luzzi. “This space is in the closed eyes when we dream and in the open eyes when our attention is active.” You can view Stellae Pavonis in space HERE.

Rough Sea of Sado, polyester, aramid fiber, 48.25” x 47.5”, 2016

Rough Sea of Sado, polyester, aramid fiber, 48.25” x 47.5”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

Next up, we shared Keiji Nio’s Rough Sea of Sado. Rough Sea of Sado is an imagined haiku from Japanese haiku master Matsuo Basho. In his haiku Rough Sea of Sado, Basho “describes the deep blue waves of the of the Sea of Japan as they are reflected in the night sky and the light blue waves as they hit the beach.”

 

Amazonas, Carolina Yrarrázaval, yute, jute, raffia and silk, 35.5” x 39.25”, 2017

Amazonas, Carolina Yrarrázaval, yute, jute, raffia and silk, 35.5” x 39.25”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta

 

Carolina Yrarrázaval combines jute, raffia and silk to create Amazonas. The bold wall-hanging came about as a result of Yrarrázaval’s strong fascination with resilient people of the Amazon who live in harmony with nature. “Remarkable primitive communities, they are preservers of ancient traditions,” writes Yrarrázaval. “Their exuberant green, full of life, moves me to an infinite emotion.”

Dutch Blue (Oval), Marian Bijlenga, camelhair, fabric, stitched, 34” x 34”, 2006. Photo by Tom Grotta

 

In making Dutch Blue Marian Bijlenga drew inspiration from blue-and-white pottery (Delftware and Delft Pottery) made in and around Delft in the Netherlands. Delftware is part of the of the worldwide family of blue-and-white pottery, using variations of the plant-based decoration first developed in 14th-century Chinese porcelain. Marian Bijlenga’s Dutch Blue is inspired by the patterns of Chinese porcelain and the Japanese philosophy of the Kintsugi. Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object. To this day,  Broken shards of pottery remain in the Dutch canals. See Dutch Blue in detail HERE.

Doorway, Rebecca Medel, knotted linen and cotton 5 planes, 51.5” x 32.25” x 8”, 1996

Doorway, Rebecca Medel, knotted linen and cotton 5 planes, 51.5” x 32.25” x 8”, 1996. Photo by Tom Grotta

 

We wrapped up July with Doorway by Rebecca Medel. “During the decades that I used knotted netted grids to create open planes, I constructed several pieces with the door as a structure to symbolize the transition and passageway from one place to another,” says Medel. “The open grid suggests a possibility that the door could be an entry or exit from one dimension to another dimension, and form finite space to infinite space.”