Artists You Should Know: Chiyoko Tanaka

We are adding a new focus to social media focus: Artists You Should Know. Our first artist spotlight is on Chiyoko Tanaka, who celebrated her birthday on January 1st. 

Portrait of Chiyoko Tanaka with Hiroyuki Shindo
Chiyoko Tanaka on the right, Hiroyuki Shindo’s wife on the left and Hiroyuki Shindo in the center at browngrotta arts in 1996. Photo by Tom Grotta.

We have been honored to exhibit the work of Chiyoko Tanaka since 1996, when we were pleased to host Sheila Hicks Joined by Seven Artists from Japan

Time is essential in Tanaka’s work. After weaving works on an obi loom, she agrees them with mud and stone, brick and clay. Portions of the work are deliberately worn away as an actual and metaphorical representation of time, or “weaving time into space,” as she describes it. She works in various series — Mud-Dyed Cloth, Grinded Fabrics and Printed & Grinded Fabrics.

Grinded Fabric-Three Squares Blue Threads and Blue #689 by Chiyoko Tanaka
Grinded Fabric-Three Squares Blue Threads and Blue #689Chiyoko Tanaka, handwoven, ground fabric (raw linen, ramie)-rubbed with white stone, pencil drawing, 19.25″ x 44.25″ x 2.25″, 2005, Photo by Tom Grotta

“Placing the fabric on the ground, I trace out the ground texture and surface of the fabric,” Tanaka explains. “The final color of the surface is not so important, more the effect achieved by the application of a certain soil, charcoal or choice of tool which helped translate the texture of the ground more readily into my ‘canvas.’ The true past tense of the verb to grind, ‘ground,’ also implies the earth, which can be used to embed, implant, erode and emboss its own surface into my work.” 

Detail  of Mud-Dyed Cloth - Mud Dots on Brown Stripes #742 by Chiyoko Tanaka
Detail – Mud-Dyed Cloth – Mud Dots on Brown Stripes #742, Chiyoko Tanaka, handwoven, mud- dyed fabric (raw linen, ramie), 21″ x 44″ x 1.5″, 2009, Photo by Tom Grotta

Tanaka’s work has been exhibited throughout the world: Europe, England, Australia, Israel and the US. It is included in the public collections at 

Permeated Black Stain #941  by Chiyoko Tanaka
Permeated Black Stain #941, Chiyoko Tanaka, handwoven, black dyed Korean ramie, black stain, and rubbed with stone on the reverse side, 18″ x 32.25″, 1999-2001. Photo by Tom Grotta

Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg, Germany; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Passage de Retz, Paris, France; Kyoto City University of Arts, Japan; Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland. She was one of the artists featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the seminal exhibition, Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles  and in traveling exhibition, Texture & Influence, curated by Lesley Millar, for the University of the Creative Arts in the UK. She is among the artists profiled in the award-winning video, Textile Magicians


Art Assembled: New This Week in December

Anyone else happy to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to new, brighter beginnings? We know we are.

The last month in 2020 certainly kept us busy at browngrotta arts. From introducing new art, to having our Volume 50 exhibition come to a close – there hasn’t been a dull moment for us.

In this blog, we’re charting the new art we’ve introduced to the public in the month of December, including works from: Carolina Yrarrázaval, Włodzimierz Cygan, and Caroline Bartlett.

Detail of Tapíz “El abrazo" by Carolina Yrarrázaval
Detail of Tapíz “El abrazo” by Carolina Yrarrázaval, 2017.
Photo by Tom Grotta.

Carolina Yrarrázaval is a Chilean artist known for her impeccable textile work. When asked about her work and her aspirations, Yrarrázaval said:

“Throughout my entire artistic career I have devoted myself to investigating traditional textile techniques from diverse cultures, especially Pre-Columbian techniques, trying to adapt them to my creative needs,” said Carolina Yrarrázaval. “Abstraction has always been present as an aesthetic aim, informing my choice of materials, forms, textures and colors. The simple proportions are guided by an intuitive sense that avoids the use of mathematical formulas.”

Detail of Traps by Włodzimierz Cygan
Detail of Traps by Włodzimierz Cygan
wool, viscose, linen, sisal, fiber optic installation 92” x 106”, 2019

Włodzimierz Cygan is a Polish artist who’s widely known for his intriguing and detailed weaving and tapestry work. Growing up, Cygan lived in a city called Łódź, which has very strong textile traditions that inspired him to create his own works of art.  “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. 

Detail of Meeting Point by Caroline Bartlett
Detail of Meeting Point by Caroline Bartlett
Mono-printed, stitched and manipulated linen, cotton threads, 60” x 16.5,” 2020.
Photo by Tom Grotta.

Caroline Bartlett is a UK artist who’s widely known for her textile work – which provides the means and materials to process and articulate ideas in relation to content in reference to historical, social and cultural associations. These have significance in relation to touch and their ability to trigger memory in Bartlett’s work, imprinting, erasing and reworking, stitching, folding and unfolding become defining characteristics.

At browngrotta arts, we’re excited to begin the new year and to continue to bring forth art that inspires and incites emotion. We’re determined to continue to bring light into the world with art that connects us all as one. Keep your eye out for all the exciting things to come!


Last Week to Enjoy Our 50th-Catalog Discounts!

The reviews are in — our modest, but relentless, efforts to document the contemporary fiber and textile arts field since 1992 have been well received. Fifty volumes later, we have a library available about exhibitions (Of Two Minds, Stimulus, Influence and Evolution), artists (Sheila Hicks and Seven Friends from JapanLenore Tawney: Celebrating five decades of work, Three California Basketmakers) even materials (On Paper, Wired). You can have a library, too. Through December 31st, buy any 3 catalogs and receive 10% off. Or buy a full house — a copy of each of the 47 catalogs we have that are still in print for $1,175.00. Available in our online shop at http://store.browngrotta.com/catalogs/.

Glenn Adamson, former Director Museum of Arts and Design (2020): I have in front of me a stack of all the browngrotta arts publications, 49 in all, dating back to 1991. The pile is about 11 inches high, coming up to just below my knee. That doesn’t sound like very much, perhaps, until you start thinking about what is held within. Well over a hundred artists represented by the gallery, and dozens of others have showed here more transiently. The books include thousands of photographs, beautiful and atmospheric, most of them taken by Tom Grotta himself. Think of this, too: textiles, basketry and fiber sculpture are arts of compression, lengths of material shaped into meaningful form. To make this 11-inch pile, it took innumerable miles of linen and silk and cotton thread, bamboo, felted wool, tree cuttings, paper fibers, wire, and other materials. Innumerable hours, too, of skill patiently applied. 

Collector, Lloyd Cotsen (1999): A principal guide for both my “learning” and “collecting” in this area was to come from the pages of brown/grotta’s catalogs and the personal tastes of the owners of that gallery. Today, I am still on my own journey of touching and being touched by what contemporary international contemporary creative artists are doing in this field, and my “baedeker,” or passport, to this world, continues to be browngrotta art’s catalogs, and the vision of the owners to present the newest and best of contemporary talented artists.

Designer, Jack Lenor Larsen (1999): The catalogs produced by brown/grotta, and the photography therein, have become so superior, they are an important part of our literature. I congratulate them, and if  I were able, I would give them a prize.  

Curator, Lotus Stack, Minnesota Institute of Art (1999): A good catalog is a tool used to stimulate the reader and extend understanding of the subject. It is an invaluable aid to those not able to attend the exhibition and of course it provides a historic record of the exhibition. There are a few catalogs which go beyond the intellect to convey the spirit

of the exhibition objects. The fine images of the browngrotta arts publications capture the dimension of the objects, something often lacking, yet totally necessary to the appreciation of fiber. Their publications seem to consistently engage much more than readers’ minds. 


Books Make Great Gifts 2020 Edition

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures
Photo from Amazon. The book was dampened
and inoculated with Pleurotus (oyster mushroom) mycelium. The mycelium then digested the pages – and the words – of the book, and sprouted over the
course of seven days. Pleurotus can digest many things – from crude oil to used cigarette butts – and is one of the fungal species that shows the most promise in mycoremediation. It is also delicious when fried lightly with garlic and will make it possible for the author to eat his words. Photo Credit: DRK Videography

Book sales are up nationwide and the artists promoted by browngrotta arts have done their share of reading this year. Polly Sutton pulled Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King (Penguin) off her shelf where it had been sitting for years. “Worth it,” she says. Nenna Okore recommends 50 Women Sculptors, from Aurora Metro Books. The book, which challenges the perception that sculpture is a male pursuit, features Okore’s work and that of Louise Bourgeois, Ruth Asawa, Yayoi Kasuma and others.

“If you’re curious about the weird wonderful world of mushrooms and how we are related to the Fungi Kingdom, then Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures (Random House) is a literary journey to take,” writes Wendy Wahl. “Merlin Sheldrake stitches together a story of our co-evolution offering scientific and historical analysis in a captivating and thought-provoking way. The author transports the reader into the Fungi Kingdom revealing the mysterious maneuverings of this powerful part of nature’s network and the filament threads that binds us together. In two hundred and twenty five pages followed by chapter notes and bibliography, this is a book with doors to unusual discoveries and pathways of connecting in all directions.”


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (independently published) is excellent”, says Gyöngy Laky. “Difficult and painful… a must read for every adult person in the U S… should be mandatory reading in high school.” 

L’art du fil, by Marie-Madeleine Masse


Randy Walker recommends a new book from France, L’art du fil, by Marie-Madeleine Masse, published in October by Alternatives press. From the book’s press notes,  photos and embroidered ceramics, arachnean sculptures or totem tapestries … the thread never ceases to inspire contemporary artists from here and elsewhere, as superbly evidenced by the 80 international designers selected in this book one of whom is Walker. “The book is inspiring to me,” he writes,” because it exemplifies how fiber-based work is translated to many scales and contexts and that small, gallery-scale work can and should be celebrated alongside larger works.” 


Objects USA 2020

At browngrotta arts we took note of three beautiful art books that arrived in 2020. First up, Objects USA 2020 (Monacelli Press), with essays by Glenn Adamson and others. In 1969, the Objects: USA  exhibition opened at the Smithsonian Institution, travelling to 22 venues. The exhibtion defined the American studio craft movement. Objects: USA united a cohort of artists inventing new approaches to art-making by way of craft media. Objects: USA 2020 revisits this revolutionary exhibition and its accompanying catalog–which has become a bible of sorts to curators, gallerists, dealers, craftspeople, artists, and auction houses–by pairing fifty participants from the original exhibition with fifty contemporary artists representing the next generation of practitioners to use–and upend–the traditional methods and materials of craft to create new forms of art.

Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock

Another visually striking volume, Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock (Arnoldsche) traces Amaral’s career over five decades, features more than 40 key pieces of work, and examines the artist’s oeuvre through the lens of contemporary and fiber art. Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock celebrates an artist who for decades has gracefully produced across traditional divides: fine art and craft, local and universal, ethereal and material. Published to accompany an exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills (US), between 19 November 2020 and 7 March 2021, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (US) between 27 June to 19 September 2021, and at Museum of Arts and Design, New York (US), between 21 October 2021 and 27 February 2022.

Signe Mayfield

Published in 2018, but new to us is Anchors in Time: Dominic di Mare by Signe Mayfield (Fine Arts Press). The book includes insightful essays, but much of it features full-page photos of DiMare’s meticulously crafted constructions and detailed oil paintings.The book was produced in conjunction with an exhibition of DiMare’s work at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, California in 2018. 

Agneta Hobin

Last but nowhere near least, Agneta Hobin oversaw the publication of Agneta Hobinthis year which features lush photographs of her work, a passel of family and historical photos and text in English and Danish. You can puchase the book at browngrotta arts http://store.browngrotta.com
/agneta-hobin/.


Objects of Desire – Artful Gifts Under $2500

Here’s another selection of singular art works by prestigious artworks from the US, Europe, Asia and Israel.

By the Sea, Polly Barton, silk, double ikat, 17.5” x 16.5” x 2”, 2019.
Photo by Tom Grotta

Polly Barton’s woven ikat “paintigs” like By the Sea, are influenced by geography. Barton was born and raised in the Northeast, trained to weave in Japan, and has lived most of her life in the American Southwest. Her work reflects these disparate locales. 

Enfold, Jennifer Falck Linssen, handcrafted vessel of katagami-style handcarved paper. Materials include archival cotton paper, aluminum, waxed linen, paint, varnish, freshwater pearl, and sterling silver, 5.5″ x 20″ x 3″, 2008.
Photo by Tom Grotta

In Jennifer Falck Linssen’ elegant vessel, Enfoldthe Japanese stencil (katagami) has been recontextualized. Linssen explore the stencil’s sculptural possibilities, combining carving, stitching and metalwork. She starts with a series of sketches, exploring and refining the form, pattern, and identity of the piece. In the sculpture’s final state, it is dyed, painted patinaed, and varnished. Linssen, who also studied in Japan, now lives and works in Wisconsin.

Traces 4 Relief, Mia Olsson, sisal and coconut fiber, acrylic glass, sisal on blastered acrylic glass, 14″ x 11.875″ x 1.25″, 2006.
Photo by Tom Grotta

Mia Olsson’s pieces, like Traces 4 Reliefare made of sisal fibers, dyed and formed in a technique of her own. The sisal fibers used by the Swedish artist are shiny and reflect the light, even more when formed in relief. The colors are richly saturated — engaging the viewer on each viewing.

At Grands Montets, Naomi Kobayashi, kayori thread, paper & wood, 31.5” x 11” x 2”, 2008. Photo by Tom Grotta

In At Grand MontetsNaomi Kobayahsi presents a framed paper-and-thread construction. Well-known Japanese artist Kobayashi is known for such sculptures that are generally much larger, filling a wall as panels or a ceiling in a circular shape. With At Grand Montets, the viewer can appreciate the light and stillness that are highlighted in her work, on a smaller scale. 

Red Dress, Gali Cnaani, copper, cotton, 21.75″ x 14″, 2006
Photo by Tom Grotta

A whimsical Red Dress of red copper threads is the creation of Gali Cnaani of Israel. Cnaani is interested in the linear structure of textiles and in exploring the light and its affects on the exposed copper threads.

The fine print: Order today and we’ll ship by tomorrow (though due to COVID we can’t guarantee the shippers’ delivery schedule). If you’d like us to gift wrap your purchase, email us at art@browngrotta.com, as soon as you have placed your order. To ensure we know you want gift wrapping, don’t wait to contact us — we generally ship as soon as the orders are received. Quantities are limited.


The Artful Gift Guide: 5 Under $2000

If you have reached those people on your list who have everything, and you are still stumped, we may be able to help you out. Below is a select grouping of objects and wall art from accomplished artists around the world. We guarantee there’s a one-of-kind choice here for anyone aesthetically oriented.

Little Star, willow, beeswax, damar resin, 10” x 8” x 6”, 2019. Photo by Tom Grotta

Little StarChristine Joy’s willow sphere without beginning or end, evokes the eternal and nature in a single object. Joy, a Montana artist,constructs her sculptures to appear as if they are moving, growing and animated, as though the shapes had been cut from a tree or pulled from moving water. “I want them to sit still,” she says, “unchanging, yet to the eye of the viewer to flow, to move around and back again, to carry the movement of life.” 

Existence, Naoko Serino, Jute, 8.5″ x 7.75″ x 8.5″, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta

Japanese artist, Naoko Serino, works in jute, a remarkably adaptable material that provokes references to biological structures. Serino’s three-dimensional sculptures, like Existence, encapsulate light and air, appearing deceptively fragile. Her work that exudes a comfortable energy, always in balance with its surroundings.

Photoatelier #10, Irina Kolesnikova, flax, silk, hand woven, 15.5″ x 11.75″; 20″ x 16″, frame, 2004. Photo by Tom Grotta

A paradoxical combination of contemporary art language and ancient handweaving technique is evident in the work of Irina Kolineskova who has emigrated from Russia to Germany. I like old, black-and-white photos very much,” she says,”and I play with images from these pictures, using silhouettes, details of dress, signs of a profession. I make collage and then replicate collage in woven technique.”

Four Tier Curly Birch Wood Bowl, Markku Kosonen, curly birch, 10.5″ x 10″ x 11″, 2001. Photo by Tom Grotta

Wood was integral to the artistic practice of the late Markku Kosonen of Finland who created this ingenious Four-Tier Curly Birch Bowl. An important aspect of his work was the ability to express things; craftsmanship alone was not enough. “What begins as an ordinary utilitarian object soon turns into a creative work” he said. “The purpose of work such as this is to appeal to one’s emotions. For me, arts and crafts entail a spiritual processing of material, linking humanism to objects.”

Color Grid, Marian Bijlenga, korean bojagi, horsehair and fabric , 22″ x 20″, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta

Marian Bijlenga of the Netherlands has a fascination with dots, lines and contours that is evident in artworks like, Color GridRather 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.”

The fine print: Order for the holidays by December 14th and we’ll ship by the 15th (though due to COVID we can’t guarantee the shippers’ delivery schedule). If you’d like us to gift wrap your purchase, email us at art@browngrotta.com, as soon as you have placed your order. To ensure we know you want gift wrapping, don’t wait to contact us — we generally ship as soon as the orders are received. Quantities are limited.


Lives Well Lived: Dorothy Gill Barnes (1927-2020)

We are heartbroken to report that innovative contemporary basketmaker and fiber sculptor Dorothy Gill Barnes, passed away peacefully on November 23, 2020 at age 93, after a short battle with COVID-19. Barnes was a revered member of the browngrotta arts community — she taught our son to harvest materials and mark trees when he was just three.

Portrait of Dorothy Gill Barnes in studio. Photo by Tom Grotta

Barnes was known for developing a distinct working process that included scarring trees that had been marked for eventual removal and returning years later, after the trees had been cut, to harvest the scarred and overgrown bark for use in her baskets. This process enabled her to create dendroglyphs—literally, “tree drawings” — in which tree and time became her collaborators. “The unique properties I find in bark, branches, roots, seaweed, and stone suggest a work process to me,” Barnes said. “I want this problem solving to be evident in the finished piece.”

Born in Iowa, and a longtime resident of the Columbus, Ohio area, Barnes studied at Coe College, Minneapolis School of Art and Cranbrook Academy, as well as at the University of Iowa, where she earned BA and MA degrees in art education. Barnes taught fibers as an adjunct faculty member at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, from 1966 until her retirement from university teaching in 1990. Throughout much of her career, Barnes was a sought-after teacher, participating in residencies and workshops in Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Canada, as well as throughout the United States. Barnes’ early influences were the artist and teacher Ruth Mary Papenthien, who taught at Ohio State University, and Dwight Stump, an Ohio-based traditional basketmaker. She also credited the works of John McQueen and Ed Rossbach as spurring her experiments using natural materials to make contemporary sculpture.

Portrait of Dorothy Gill Barnes. Photo by Tom Grotta

Barnes’ technical investigations placed her at the forefront of contemporary fiber art. She used electric tools to expand the scale, scope and complexity of her pieces and she credited power equipment as the source for ideas that handwork alone would not have suggested. She was comfortable incorporating nails, metal wire and staples along with traditional woven assembly methods. In all of her sculptures, Barnes sought to create structures that honored the growing things from which they came, her materials “respectfully harvested from nature.” Like Rossbach and McQueen, she prized experimentation, spontaneity, inventiveness. She continued to expand her artistic practice into her 90s, as a visiting artist working with students in glass in the Department of Art at Ohio State University until 2018.

Millcreek Willow, 1996. Photo by Tom Grotta

A Fellow of the American Craft Council, Barnes received lifetime achievement awards from the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC and the National Basketry Organization. Other awards include the Raymond J. Hanley Award, Outstanding/Artist Educator from Penland School of Crafts, an Individual Artist Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio, and four Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships. Her work is in the collections of the Columbus Museum of Art; the de Young Museum of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Mint Museum, Charlotte North Carolina; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York; Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; Longhouse Reserve, East Hampton, New York; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock; the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, among others. In Nature, a comprehensive retrospective, was held at the Mansfield Arts Center in 2018. The Ohio Craft Museum hosted From the Woods: Dorothy Gill Barnes, a major mid-career survey in 1999. 

Barnes’ work has been represented by browngrotta arts in Wilton, Connecticut since the 90s. “Barnes’ ability to showcase the natural materials with which she worked, yet enhancing them through weaving, plaiting, scarring, stacking and sflaying, placed her at the forefront of contemporary fiber art,” observes Tom Grotta, co-curator of browngrotta arts. 

“[Barnes] is attentive to the innate characteristics of a given wood in her aesthetic decision making and rarely forces a wood into an unnatural or artificial mold,” wrote Jeanne Fryer-Kohles in From the Woods: Dorothy Gill Barnes, the eponymous catalog for Barnes’ solo exhibition at the Ohio Craft Museum. “At the same time, she works intuitively with an experimental turn of mind and integrity of vision …. Barnes’ works are rarely preplanned; she prefers to wend her way toward and into a piece, accepting detours and possible pitfalls as a matter of course. Barnes takes raw nature as a starting point. Rather than subjugating it, as [John] McQueen does, with a ‘civilizing’ impress, Barnes guides and amplifies it – in a sense, keeping its ghost enshrined.”

Dendroglyph Band Mulberry, 2000. Photo by Tom Grotta

Barnes also had a long history of activism in the civil rights and anti-war movements. She could be found every Saturday for many years, on the Worthington Village Green with her friends from Central Ohioans for Peace, encouraging drivers to “Honk for Peace” as they passed. She encouraged others to think globally and have empathy for all, regardless of differences. She supported environmental conservation, Honduras Hope and Habitat for Humanity, where she was a longtime volunteer. 

Friends are invited to attend a virtual celebration of life to honor Dorothy Gill Barnes on Sunday, December 13th from 3-5 PM EST. Details are available at www.schoedinger.com. Donations in Barnes’ memory can be made to The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org), Sierra Club (www.sierraclub.org), or to a charity of your choice. Please visit www.schoedinger.com to send online condolences.


The Artful Gift Guide: 5 Under $1500

Is there someone special on your gift list? Or maybe it’s you who deserves an inspirational, one-of-kind item to wake up to each morning?

One of these five works of art from our crated collection might fill the bill.

Tissus d’ombres, Stéphanie Jacques, print on canvas, wool embroidery, 35.5”x 35.5”, 2014

Tissues d’ombres is a stitched, image of basketry by Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium. Jacques works in a variety of media. She uses volume to give life to an unfilled interior space in her vessels and prints. This space allows her to speak of something other than what is shown by the visible form: the movements of the body, the desire, the intuitions, a certain savagery, something that remains alive despite everything, that pushes from the inside, cracks the carapaces, overflows. 

Silver Stream II, Greg Parsons, mercerized cotton, metallis, maple and magnets, 6″ x 30.5″, 2002

Silverstream II by Greg Parsons evokes a sparkling stream or a sky full of swift-moving cirrus clouds. Parsons is is a curator and a textile and product designer who has worked for Burberry among others. 

Orbit, Jiro Yonezawa, bamboo, urushi lacquer, 9.75″ x 13″ x 7.75″, 2019

Jiro Yonezawa is a master Japanese bamboo basketmaker. For Yonezawa, bamboo basketry is an expression of detailed precision. In baskets like Orbit, you can see the contrast of disciplined formality in technique and natural freedom in form that is characteristic of his work.

Aurora, Nancy Koenigsberg, coated copper wire, 8.5″ x 13″ x 13″, 2011

Nancy Koenigsberg sculpts works of copper and steel narrow gauge wire. In Aurora, lace-like layers allow for transparency, the passage of light and the formation of shadows. Lines cross and re-cross to create a complex network.

Ceramic Plate, Claude Vermette, ceramic, 9.75″ x 9.75″, 1980

This charming ceramic plate is by Claude Vermette, a artist from Montreal, Canada. Early in his career, Claude Vermette concentrated his efforts on architectural ceramics for which he created new forms of composition for clay, a wider variety of modules for tiles and bricks, and patented, new enamels. In his 25 years as ceramist, he produced large works in more than 100 public buildings, more than a dozen Montreal subway stations, and the General Motors building in New York. The latter part of his career was spent as painter.

These works can all be found at our store at http://store.browngrotta.com/art/.


The Artful Gift Guide: 5 under $900

Five carefully curated gift ideas from $600 to $900 to gladden your every day. Artists from the US, the UK and Japan have created a range of inspiring items to please you or those on your gift list.

Construction III, Pat Campbell
32pc Construction III, Pat Campbell
rice paper, reed,  
8″ x 7.5″ x 5.5″, 2002
$600

Pat Campbell’s work, which has been featured in the Lausanne Biennial, is influenced by the Japanese shoji screen, traditionally made of rice paper. “Paper is exciting to work with. It is a fragile material that can be easily ripped or torn,” Campbell says.”It is a natural choice of material for my work. It provides the translucency I am seeking in constructions.” Campbell says. The graceful and symmetrical paper and reed objects that result, like Constructions III,  have a sculptural presence enhanced by the interplay of shadows.
Red Jakago by Nancy Moore Bess
73nmb Red Jakago, Nancy Moore Bess
dyed kilm-dried Japanese bamboo, 3.25″ x 12.5″ x 3.25″, 2007
$600

California basketmaker Nancy Moore Bess works in bamboo, which she studied in Japan, Hawaii and New York. She often creates baskets within baskets, dying the bamboo and waxed linen and cotton, creating forms that are closed and open at the same time. They invite touch and movement and accentuate the beauty and versatility of bamboo. 
Renewal by Marion Hildebrandt
45mh Urban Renewal, Marion Hildebrandt
papertwine, waxed linen twine, CA spice bush branches, bark, leather ties
7.25″ x 5″ x 5″, 2002
$850

The late Marian Hildebrandt created this basket of natural materials that she gathered near her home in Napa Valley, California.
Triangular Dish by Maggie Henton
9207mh Triangular Dish, Maggie Henton
dyed cane and copper wire, 3.75″ x 19″ x 19″, 1992
$850

UK Maggie Henton trained in textiles. Her interest in the structure of weaving and the creation of three- dimensional forms led her to work with cane and making baskets. She found she could dye and weave the cane as easily as a textile fiber, She often mixes found 
materials such as wire and plastic with cane. This weave pattern was developed from the study of South-East Asian weaving techniques. A similar work is found in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
When Green is Gold: Cube connection 14 by Noriko Takamiya
68nt When Green is Gold: Cube connection 14, Noriko Takamiya
paper, 8.5” x 8.5” x 4.5”, 2018
$900

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 is a three-dimensional, puzzle-like basket.

The small print: Order for the holidays by December 14th and we’ll ship by the 15th (though due to COVID we can’t guarantee the shippers’ delivery schedule). If you’d like us to gift wrap your purchase, email us at art@browngrotta.com, as soon as you have placed your order. To ensure we know you want gift wrapping, don’t wait to contact us — we generally ship as soon as the orders are received. Quantities are limited.


The Artful Gift Guide: 5 under $400

As we spend more time in our homes — working, playing, learning —the desire to surround ourselves with artful items that inspire is all the more acute. Here are five unique items from $55 to $400 to delight you or a friend or family member at the holidays and beyond.

The small print: Order for the holidays by December 14th and we’ll ship by the 15th (though due to COVID we can’t guarantee the shippers’ delivery schedule). If you’d like us to gift wrap your purchase, email us at art@browngrotta.com, as soon as you have placed your order. To ensure we know you want gift wrapping, don’t wait to contact us — we generally ship as soon as the orders are received. Quantities are limited.

Volume 50: Chronicling Fiber Art for Three Decades Catalog
Volume 50: Chronicling Fiber Art for Three Decades
Essay by Glenn Adamson, Photography and design by Tom Grotta,
164 full color pages, 9″ x 9″, 221 color images
published by browngrotta arts
$55.00
Handmade Japanese Silk Shawls by sisters Chiaki and Kori Maki
24km Tesu Shawl, Kaori Maki
malda and tassar silk, dyes/harad, indigo, 86″ x 25”; 1998
$380
1chm Silk Shawl/Check, Chiaki Maki
80% malda and tassar silk, 20% wool, yarn dyed by natural material, 82″ x 31″, 1998
$400
Small Red Basket by Danish basketmaker Birigit Birkkjaer
Birgit Birkkjær
65bb.17 Ode for the Ocean 17
linen and stones, shells, fossils, etc. from the sea
2.5″ x 3″ x 3″, 2019
(other colors available)
$130
Japanese Bamboo Vase by Jiro Yonezawa
70jy Ladybug, Jiro Yonezawa
bamboo, glass, kiribako box
7″ x 5″ x 5″, 2009
$400
Coffee Table Book The Grotta Home by Richard Meier
The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft
with contributions by Glenn Adamson, Matthew Drutt, Sheila Hicks,
Joseph Giovannini, Louis Grotta, Jack Lenor Larsen, John McQueen,
Richard Meier, Wendy Ramshaw and David Watkins
336 pp., 28 x 30 cm, approx. 300 ills, hardcover English
$85.00