Additional works from Mariette Rousseau-Vermette’s collection include:
A few weeks ago we published the first installment of our Art Acquisition series. Just as the first one did, the second installment reviews pieces browngrotta arts artists have had acquired by major institutions over the last year.
Norma Minkowitz – Museum of Texas Tech University and Boston Museum of Fine Arts , Massachusetts
Norma Minkowitz has had several pieces go to major institutions in the last year. Minkowitz’ piece Journey was acquired by the Museum of Texas Tech University, which is located in Lubbock, Texas. Minkowitz’ piece The Gamble, which was part of the Daphne Farago Collection, has moved to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Magdalena Abakanowicz – Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota
Magdalena Abakanowicz’ Studium Faktur was acquired, through browngrotta arts, by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Studium Faktur, which was one of Abakanowicz’ earlier works (made in the 1960s), was originally part of weaver Mariette Rousseau-Vermette’s collection. Additionally, Abakanowicz’ piece Montana del Fuego was acquired, also through browngrotta arts, by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Montana del Fuego is a strong example of how Abakanowicz was able to fuse weaving and sculpture to create a spectacular three-dimensional wall hanging. The work was part of the Anne and Jacques Baruch Foundation Collection.
Maria Laszkiewicz – Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota
Maria Laszkiewicz’s Mask, also a part of the Baruch collection, was acquired, through browngrotta arts, by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Laszkiewicz, born in 1898, encouraged a generation of textile artists (such as Abaknaowicz), and was an innovator in the tapestry field.
Simone Pheulpin – V&A, London and Chicago Art Institute, Illinois
The Victoria & Albert Museum in London recently acquired a piece from Simone Pheulpin’s Eclipse series. One of the textile sculptor’s works was also acquired by the Chicago Art Institute.
Jiro Yonezawa – Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Paris
The most recent acquisition is a piece by Jiro Yonezawa by the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Paris, France. The museum has commissioned a piece for an exhibition of Japanese bamboo art that opens in November of this year (November 27 – April 9).
Gizella K Warburton – Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
The Fitzwilliam Museum acquired Gizella Warburton’s piece Morphus vii. The wrapped and sculpted vessel forms in Warburton’s ‘Morphus’ series are “quietly resonant of internal and external skins, of scarred and fissured surfaces, of abrasions, bindings and sutures.”
Jennifer Falck Linssen – Texas Tech University in Lubbock Texas
The Museum of Texas Tech University has also acquired a wall sculpture by Jennifer Falck Linssen. The sculpture, titled Acumen, was acquired for a new building underway at the university.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
Artist collaborations account for some of the greatest pieces ever made. For example, the 1874 collaborative exhibition between Monet, Renoir, Morisot, Cézanne in which the called themselves the “Société Anonyme des Artes” helped establish the artists in the art world. In fact, it was a snide remark by art critic Louise Leroy of the show, which he called ‘The Exhibition of Impressionists” that established the impressionist style and movement (Financial Times).
“History has proved time and again that two creative minds can sometimes be better than one,” explains Nadja Bozovic of Agora Gallery. “Even today, artists are increasing collaborating with each other and with creative professions from other fields.” Laura Ellen Bacon and Chris Drury have both collaborated with or inspired creators in different fields, Bacon with composer Helen Grime and Drury with poet Kay Syrad. Historically, many renowned artists have collaborated with their significant others. Artists and couple Debra Sachs and Marilyn Keating were the focus of a collaborative exhibition at the Stockton University Art Gallery in 2016. Collaborations between couples, which require much trust and respect, fuse the differing talents, ideas and creative energies of the individuals. In the end, artists don’t see collaborations as a way to create masterpieces, instead, artists see it as a way to force themselves into uncomfortable territory and break old habits while also breaking new ground. Several of browngrotta arts’artists have been part of these fruitful arrangements, including:
Dail Behennah and Jessica Turrell
Dail Behennah and Jessica Turrell started a joint adventure with their collaborative blog, In.dialogue. Through the years Behennah and Turrell have had numerous conversations about their work. They originally thought that they would create a body of work on a common them, but the more they explored the idea the more they realized it was the conversation around their work they valued the most. “Trust is an important aspect of a project,” Turrell explains “we need to be able to challenge and support each other in the sometimes difficult process of thinking and talking about our work, and of pushing ourselves to do something new.”
Laura Ellen Bacon & Helen Grime
Composer Helen Grime’s piece Woven Space was inspired by the work of Laura Ellen Bacon. Grime was inspired by the way in which Bacon’s sculptures embrace, surround and engulf architecture and natural landscape. Grime’s Woven Space comes from Bacon’s 2009 willow sculpture in the Chatsworth House gardens. Grime did not set out to create a literal musical representation of Bacon’s work sculptural work, instead, she worked to parallel the intertwining limbs of Bacon’s sculptural work with her score.
Debra Sachs and Marilyn Keating:
Debra Sachs and her partner Marilyn Keating held a collaborative exhibition at the Stockton University Art Gallery in 2016. The exhibition, titled Going Solo and Tandem, featured individual and joint work the couple produced over the course of 30 years. Sachs and Keating, who met in the early 1970s during their time as students at the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, are both influenced by their surroundings. Keating, who primarily works with wood, creates depictions of kites, birds, bugs and dogs. Sachs, who mainly works in the form of abstract paintings and three-dimensional pieces, takes a more design-oriented approach to her work. “It’s more about colors and shapes of landscapes,” explains Sachs. “For Marilyn, it’s more about fish and whatever kinds of things you can find. More Narrative stuff. She can make a bird on a band saw. Those are skills I don’t even have.” Though their influences and methods are quite different, the two are able to meld their style when working together. Typically, Keating builds the structures and Sachs designs and paints the structures’ surface.
Chris Drury & Kay Syrad
In May, Chris Drury collaborated with Kay Syrad to host a five-day art.earth intensive. Throughout the intensive, titled “Context and Form: Art and Writing,” Drury shared how he works with form, including whirlpool, vortex, fractal and wave patterns. In order to work with such patterns, Drury explores and investigates how the earth unfolds these specific aesthetic forms. Syrad, a novelist and poet, had collaborated with Drury on a number of art-text projects. Participants immersed themselves in the landscape by walking, collecting and working on pieces during short lectures, shared conversation and studio time.
Lawrence LaBianca and Donald Fortescue
In 2011, Lawrence LaBianca collaborated with Donald Fortescue to create Sounding for the Milwaukee Art Museum’s exhibition The New Materiality: Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft. The artists selected for the exhibition were established American crafts artists who blended traditional craft materials (i.e. fabric, glass, wood, metal and clay) with digital technologies, therefore, blurring the boundaries between the traditionally established categories of craft, art and design. Sounding, which happened to be one of the largest pieces in the exhibition, explored the relationship between technology and nature. In making Sounding, Fortescue and LaBiance were inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. The artists’ fascination with Moby Dick came in part from “its detailed evocation of the bygone crafts of sailing and whaling and the struggles of men at sea.” The two lowered a cabriole-legged table into the ocean near Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay with a hydrophone and left in in the ocean for two months to record the ambient sound. “Sounding provides a direct link to the living oceans surrounding the Bay Area through sight, sound, smell, and touch. In both form and concept it also links to the historical, literary, and metaphorical oceans of Moby-Dick,” explains LaBianca
Over the course of the last year many browngrotta arts artists have had pieces acquired by institutions all across the globe.
Kay Sekimachi – Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
A hanging sculpture of monofilament, Untitled, was acquired, through browngrotta arts, by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Sekimachi made only 20 monofilaments during the span of her entire career. Untitled is the Museum’s fourth piece by Sekimachi. The Museum’s other pieces include Haleakala, Leaf Vessel #203 and Hornet’s Nest Bowl #103.
Kyoko Kumai – Oita City Museum of Art
The Oita City Museum of Art, Prefecture, Japan acquired Kyoko Kumai’s Way of Water・Grass. Additionally, Kumai’s piece, Air, has been acquired by the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art. Technology. Air is currently featured in the Manggha’s exhibition Kyoko Kumai. Air, which is part of The Buddhism Project – a series of events, exhibitions and lectures that seek to
Examine historical and cultural role that Buddhism has played in the countries of the Far East, as well as its influence on the culture of the West. Kyoko Kumai. Air. Will be on display through August 26th.
Ane Henriksen – Danish Arts Foundation
The Danish Arts Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark acquired two works By Ane Henriksen. The pieces acquired, Business Sky and National Tartan – DK were both part of Henriksen’s solo exhibition Jens Søndergaard with the touch of Ane Henriksen at the Heltborg Museum, Thy, Denmark.
Chang Yeon-Soon – Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois recently acquired Chang Yeon-Soon’s Matrix II-201011 through browngrotta arts. Matrix II-201011 was featured in browngrotta arts’ exhibition Stimulus: art and its inception. Yeon-Soon’s Matrix 132570 was also acquired by the Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin.
Keiji Nio – The Musées d’ Angers
The Musées d’ Angers, Angers, France has acquired both Keiji Nio’s Red Area and Code d’accés. The Museum, which is located in the historic centre of Angers on an ancient medieval site, consists of several buildings from various epochs.
Gudrun Pagter – Danish Arts Foundation
The Danish Arts Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark has acquired a piece from artist Gudrun Pagter. The piece, Red Horizontal Line, is now on display at the Aalborg University, Institute for Architecture and Media Technology.
Dona Look – Museum of Wisconsin Art
The Museum of Wisconsin Art acquired one of Dona Look’s baskets. The basket, which is made from white birch bark and waxed silk thread was a gift of Dennis Rocheleau and the GE Foundation. This is the Museum of Wisconsin Art’s third acquisition of Look’s work.
Last year, Artsy took a look at why old women had replaced young men as the “new darlings” of the art word. Its twofold explanation: as institutions attempt to revise the art-historical canon, passionate dealers and curators have seen years of promotion come to fruition and these artists have gained attention as blue-chip galleries search for new artists to represent among those initially overlooked.
Artsy points at Carmen Herrara, Carol Rama, Irma Blank, and Geta Brătescu and others to make its point. Mary Sabbatino, vice president at Galerie Lelong, is quoted as saying, “They’re fully formed artists, they’re mature artists, they’re serious artists. They’re not going to burn out as sometimes happens with younger artists…and normally the prices are far below the other artists of their generation, so you’re offering a value to someone.” Barbara Haskell, a curator at the Whitney Museum in New York, says museums everywhere are realizing that “there’s been a lopsided focus on the white male experience” in art history, and are working to correct that.”
This week, we stopped by Norma Minkowitz’s studio to pick up a few new pieces. Minkowitz, who has worked with browngrotta arts for over 20 years, is not afraid to let her imagination run wild. Minkowitz’s studio, which was built by her husband Shelly, is a place like no other.
Immediately upon entering you are exposed to a vast array of Minkowitz’s work. Pen and ink drawings, crocheted wall hangings and figures, collages and three-dimensional mixed media sculptures are scattered throughout the studio. Crocheted birds in various stages of progress sit in flocks on tables and shelves. Various sized models of heads peer down at the happenings beneath them. The heads, some of which are models of Minkowtiz’s own head (some shrunken and some enlarged), are used to create pieces such as Victim.
Below the heads sits Minkowitz’ “cabinets of curiosity.” The contents of every cabinet drawer are a surprise. In one drawer, crocheted dead birds and the molds that were used to created them sit beside horseshoe crab skeletons. Whether you find doll heads with crocheted bodies or small animal bones, you are sure to stumble upon oddities of all sorts.
A few steps over in the other side of Minkowitz’s studio, a wall of shelves holding various spools of thread spans the width of the room. Underneath, drawers house hundreds of bundles of thread in every color imaginable. Minkowitz incorporates detailed embroidery in much of her work, carefully choosing the colors and types of stitches for each piece. For example, while working on Русское сердце (Russian Heart), a piece inspired by her mother, Minkowitz carefully selected a color palette that mirrored the colors her mother wore throughout her life.
The uninhibited and personal nature of Minkowitz’s work make not only make it eye-catching, but incomparable. To see more of Minkowitz’s work visit http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/minkowitz.php
In the first week of June we shared Åse Ljones’ I Mirror You. While making I Mirror You Ljones drew inspiration from her childhood on a little farm near the fjord in the Norwegian countryside. Naturally, the environment and weather were close elements.“ The fjord and the waves were always changing rhythm and changing colors,” says Ljones. After being selected to participate in a major exhibition at Arthouse Kabuso, Ljones’ made I Mirror You as a thank you to the people and landscape of her youth.
In making Blue Sea Mary Merkel-Hess drew inspiration from the Florida Everglades. “I don’t usually step out of my own Midwestern environment for inspiration, but for Blue Sea I did,” Merkel-Hess explains. In addition to being able to examine a new type of grassland, Merkel-Hess had the opportunity to study the oceans various colors and moods. The continuous movement of the wetland coupled with the beautiful blues of the Atlantic Ocean came together for Merkel-Hess as she made Blue Sea.
Next up we featured Caroline Bartlett’s Pulse. Textiles are the core of Bartlett’s practice, providing her with the means and materials to process and articulate ideas. For Bartlett, the “imprinting stitching, erasing, reworking, folding and unfolding” of her creative process leaves defining characteristics on each piece of her work. In Pulse, which graces the cover of our newest catalog — Blue/Green: color, code, context— Bartlett integrates textiles (line/hemp and cotton) with porcelain.
Last but certainly not least is Kyoko Kumai’s Blue/Green as a Metaphor. Kumai, who lives and works in Tokyo, has been weaving tapestries with titanium and steel for 30 years. In an essay written in honor of Kumai’s exhibition at MoMa in 1991, Matilda McQuaid explains that “most indicative of the Japanese sense of beauty in Kumai’s work is the importance of light, both its presence and calculated absence.” Made with titanium and steel, Kumai’s Blue/Green as a Metaphor brings life to the room with its’ array of light-reflective, colorful titanium pieces.
From the 11th International Shibori Symposium in Japan to Metamorfizm Magdalena Abakanowicz in Poland, these international summer exhibitions are not to be missed:
11th International Shibori Symposium Nagoya, Japan
The 11th International Shibori Symposium will take place throughout June and July in three separate, yet connected regions of Japan: Tokyo, Nagoya, Yonezawa and Yamagata. The symposium will explore the regions shared legacies of craft and local industry revolving around Safflower, Indigo and Shibori. In addition to workshops and demonstrations, the symposium specially organized ten exhibitions chronicling the history and future of shibori. browngrotta arts artist Carolina Yrarrázaval’s work has been selected to be a part of International Contemporary Art of Shibori at the Tama Art University Museum in Tokyo (July 1 – August 19). This year’s topics of discussion include local industry, technology and tradition, global trade and material transformation. “Local industries create foundations for the community and environment which we build textile practices,” explains the World Shibori Network by “emphasizing sustainability, regional history and people and their skills, we showcase the enduring legacy of artisans and craftspeople who support traditions and inspire future generations.” For more information on the 11th International Shibori Symposium click HERE.
Jane Balsgaard: SKIBET OG BØLGEN at Kunsthuset Palæfløjen.
In Denmark, Jane Balsgaard has a new solo exhibition at Kunsthuset Palæfløjen. The exhibition’s theme revolves around the ship as an artifact with free interpretation of ships, the sea and waves. SKIBET OG BØLGEN highlights Balsgaard’s unique technique and impeccable craftsmanship. Balsgaard’s use of natural materials, such as handmade paper and found objects has made her a pioneer in the Danish Art Scene. In addition to displaying many of Balsgaard’s pieces, there is also a documentary by Torben Glarbo, in which you can see the production Silent Flight, Balsgaards installation in the Manchester Airport.SKIBET OG BØLGEN will run through June 24th, for more information on this exhibition click HERE.
Jun Tomita at Johanniterkirche in Feldkirch, Austria (September 14th, 2018 – Sometime in December depending on temperature)
Tim Johnson’s Lines and Fragments at Korbmacher-Museum Dalhausen
In Germany, the Korbacher-Museum Dalhausen will be hosting Tim Johnson’s solo exhibition Lines and Fragments. Johnson, who uses a variety of plant materials from his adopted home of Catalonia, combines the specific characteristics of the plant materials with different weaving techniques, both traditional and experimental, in order create endless possibilities for creativity and expression. Line and Fragments will display Johnson’s recent work, while also exploring his 20 years of braiding research. “As a basketmaker working today I look towards combining tradition and experimentation to lead me into new areas. Looking at traditional woven objects in museums and collections we find only part of the story of the making and are left to imagine the life of the object ourselves,” explains Johnson. “The rightness of design and signs of usage in old traditional baskets fascinate me and I hope to capture some of their magic in my own makings. While I’m neither a fisherman nor a farmer and my baskets are not functional, perhaps my work celebrates our woven cultural inheritance whilst creating something that has not existed before.” In the past, the museum has hosted strong exhibitions of traditional basketry work from Spain, Uganda and France. Johnson’s exhibition will be the first contemporary show the museum has ever done. Lines and Fragments will be on display at the Korbacher-Museum Dalhausen from July 15th until September 9th, after which it will travel to Lichtenfels in southern Germany. For more information on Lines and Fragments click HERE.
Metamorfizm. Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930 – 2017) in Łódź, Poland
In Łódź, Poland, The Central Museum of Textiles and the Swiss Toms Pauli Foundation opened a collaborative exhibition to pay tribute to Magdalena Abakanowicz. Metamorfizm Magdalena Abakanowicz, which is set to run from May 17th through September 9th, seeks to shed a light on how Abakanowicz revolutionized the field of textile art. Abakanowicz’s international career started in Lausanne at the city’s first Tapestry Biennial in 1962. The exhibition has about thirty pieces of Abakanowicz’s work, ranging from mural creations, sculptures in relief and unusual collages. All of which celebrate the diversity and modernity of Abakanowicz’s artistic experimentation from 1965 to 1985. In addition to Abakanowicz’s work, there will be a screening of Kazimierz Mucha’s movie, accompanied by music composed by Bogusław Schäffer. Mucha’s movie footage examines Abakanowicz’s 1968 open-air art installation in Łeb. The installation’s organic material ’Abakans’ “surrender to the gusts of wind, move and integrate into the surrounding landscape of the wild dunes, accentuating their biological provenance.” Metamorfizm not only spotlights Abakanowicz’s work but also calls attention to the intellectual sources of Abakanowicz’s work. For more information on Metamorfizm click HERE.
Have some spare time on your hands this summer? Here is a list of opportunities browngrotta arts artists are offering to help you channel your creativity:
June 16, 11-5pm
The Artworkers Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London
Woven Tapestry with Sue Lawty”
Yalberton Farm House, Yalberton Road, Paignton, Devon, UK
“Field to Fabric with Susie Gillespie”
July 30-August 2
South Devon, UK
“Textile Art Techniques: Weaving, Stitching and Dying with Alice Fox and Susie Gillespie”
Maria and Eduardo Portillo
June 24-July 6
Penland School of Crafts – Textiles Summer Session Three, Bakersville, NC
Tama Art Museum, 11th International Shibori Symposium, Tokyo
Talk: “Modern Art Museum Exhibition, Chile”
“Finding Fibres – basketmaking with soft materials”
July 16-17, 10-5pm
FlechtSommer – Basketmaking Summer School, Korbmacher-Museum, Dalhausen, Germany
“Looping Techniques with Soft Materials”
July 22 – 27
West Dean College, near Chichester, England
Flexible basketry structures – looping, netting and knotting
July 6 – 8
Hawkwood College, UK
“Presence and Absense”
July 16-18, 10:30-4:30pm
City Lit, London, UK
“Textiles: manipulation, folding and fabric origami”
West Dean College near Chichester, UK
“Reshaping cloth — print and manipulation”
July 31-August 2
Hawar Textile Institute, Oldeberkoop, Netherlands
“Surfacing: Fold, Pleat, Form”
Big Cat Textiles, Newburgh, Scotland
“Between the Folds — Concealing and Revealing with Caroline Bartlett”
Missouri Basketweavers Convention
Talk: August 4, 7pm, “Basketry in Sardinia”
Workshop: August 4-5, “Cedar Knothole Cathead”
August 4, 8am-5pm, August 5, 8am-10am
Offering private classes throughout the summer on the fiber techniques of coiling, knotting and twining.
For more information on Jacobs’ offered classes contact her at email@example.com
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