Women Artists Take on Heavy Metal

Mary Giles Lead Relief Detail

Mary Giles, Lead Relief Detail

The National Museum of Women in the Art’s new exhibition Heavy Metal comes to an end this Sunday, September 16th. Heavy Metal is the fifth installment of the NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, which seeks to increase the visibility of female artists who are working in innovative ways within a wide variety of creative communities.

Why metal? Well, because “metal is a material that is typically associated with the work of men,” points out associate curator Ginny Treanor. Metal is “a material that often requires physical strength and endurance to bend, shape and mold.” Nonetheless, women have a long history of working with metal. Additionally, metal is indispensable to our everyday lives, it holds up the buildings we live and work in, forms the frame of the cars we drive every day and adorns our bodies.

Life had turned around Detail by Carole Fréve

Life had turned around Detail by Carole Fréve

Women artists who work with browngrotta arts work in all manners of metal, including bronze, copper, steel and titanium. Kyoko Kumai is one of many browngrotta arts artists that use metal as their material. In making Blue/Green as a metaphor Kumai combined titanium tapes and stainless steel fibers to create a metal weaving. Kumai prefers using these materials because of their light, fade-resistant and hard properties which allows them to retain the image she gives them for many years.

Mary Giles preferred working with metals is because of their varying physical properties. Giles used a variety of metals in her work, including copper, tinned copper, iron, lead and brass. The malleability of these metals when heated allowed Giles to not only alter their shape but their color. Giles was able to alter the blend colors from dark to brights, which enabled her to recreate the natural gradients which she was seeing in real life.

Nancy Koenigsberg Current, coated copper wire

Nancy Koenigsberg, Current, coated copper wire

Metalworking has long been a family affair for Canadian artist Carol Fréve. Fréve followed in the steps of her grandfather, a blacksmith in Quebec in the early 1900s who forged shoes for the horses that pulled copper from mines. Over the years, Fréve has taken the traditional skills and methods her grandfather once used and experimented with them to create her own artistic process. When creating one of her wire sculptures, Fréve electro forms her copper wire knittings so they have a three-dimensional shape.

Linked copper and stainless steel wire are the materials of choice for sculptor
Tsuruko Tanikawa and weaver Nancy Koenigsberg. When placed in light, the lace-like layers of wire in Koenigsberg’s Solitary Path, create an array of shadows and space. The open, yet connected nature, of the metals aid Tanikawa and Koenigsberg in exploring space, shade and light. “I  am interested both in a part in light and in a part in shadow,” explains Tanikawa.“The shape of my work is made by deleting a part from a complete form.”

Tamiko Kawata White City, saftey pins, acrylic on canvas

Tamiko Kawata, White City, saftey pins, acrylic on canvas

Artist Tamiko Kawata collects discarded metal materials, such as safety pins, when creating her assemblage inspired pieces. Kawata’s use of discarded safety pins as her sole material elevates the pins’ “prosaic object-roles and endows them with elegance and grandeur.” Just as Kawata breaks the utilitarian role of safety pins by using them as a material to create fine art, women are altering the masculine narrative associated with metalworking.

Heavy Metal will be on display at NMWA through Sunday, September 16th. For more information on the exhibition and the museum’s hours of operation click HERE.


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 August

The Path which Leads to Center 18-05, Chang Yeonsoon, abaca fiber, barberry roots dye, 100% pure gold, 17” x 17” x 6.5”, 2017.

On tap in August were spectacular pieces by Chang Yeonsoon, Norma Minkowitz, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila and Marian Bijlenga.


We kicked off August with Chang Yeonsoon’s The Path which Leads to Center 18-05. In much of her work, Yeonsoon dyes her fibers with indigo. However, in making The Path which Leads to Center 18-05 she used barberry root dye and 100% pure gold leaf. The process which Yeonsoon uses to apply the gold lead is a Korean technique called geumbak. Though geumbak is usually used with natural lacquer, Yeonsoon was able to create a new lacquer with gold leaf.

Trove, Norma Minkowitz, mixed media, 38” x 19” x 19”, 2018


On our trip to Norma Minkowitz’ studio this summer, which you can read about in our blog post HERE, we picked up
Trove. The sculpture is made using small trinkets Minkowitz has collected throughout her life, therefore the reason why she named it Trove. To take a closer look at Trove watch the video we made HERE

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


Next up, we had Eduard Portillo and Mariá Eugenia Dávila’s wall-hanging Transición. The wall-hanging’s vibrant purple hue makes the woven “mosaic” impossible to go unnoticed. Portillo and Dávila source and create all of their own materials. The Venezuelan couple grows their own mulberry trees on slopes of the Andes (Mulberry trees are the sole food source for silkworms), rear their own silkworms, obtain the silkworm threads and color the threads with their own natural dyes to use in making textiles.

Fish Scale, Marian Bijlenga, dyed fish scales, 64 x 113 x 1 in, 2012


To wrap-up the month of August, we shared Marian Bijlenga’s
Fish Scale. Bijlenga is not afraid of challenging herself to work with new materials. In the past, she has worked with materials such as horse hair, viscose, paper and glass. Her piece Fish Scale is in fact made with extremely delicate fish scales. In making the piece, Bijlenga carefully connected a network of scales using very fine thread, giving the illusion that the scales are floating in mid-air. To see Fish Scale in detail, check out THIS video. 


App Haps: Accessing Art on Your Mobile Device

There are so many ways to see and make art these days. Technological advancements have granted people all over the world unprecedented access to art and knowledge about art. One series of these advancements, iPhone and Android Apps, puts art at people’s fingertips. We curated a list of some of our favorite creative apps:

Google Arts & Culture
The Google Arts & Culture skyrocketed to the top of the App Store this year after it unveiled a feature that can analyze your face and match it with a well-known painting, creating “masterpiece memes” as it were. However, it is the app’s wide variety of other features that makes it stand out. The app allows users to take virtual tours of some of the world’s most famous museums and iconic landmarks, helps locate museum and cultural events near the user and has an art recognition software that identifies pieces by pointing your device camera at the artwork, just to name a few. One of our personal favorite features is under the “Experiments” tab, which gives users the chance to experiment with new technologies created by artists and coders. The “Art Palettes” experiment helps users find art that matches their preferred color palette , while the “Curator Table” experiment delivers users with insights and connections between artworks scattered all around the world.
Cost: FREE

Artsy
The mobile version of Artsy is just as great as the online version. Arsty, an online platform that aims to connect collectors to art, helps users navigate and explore the many branches of the art world. The app grants you immediate access to over 2,500 of the world’s top art galleries, including browngrotta arts. Additionally, Artsy’s online magazine continually pushes out interesting and informative content for art lovers of all kinds. The Artsy app also allows users to follow their favorite artists and receive notifications when a new piece by them goes up on Artsy.
Cost: FREE

Typendium
If you love type and fonts and all things written this is the app for you. Typendium provides users with the opportunity to learn the stories behind some of the world’s greatest typefaces such as good ole’ “Times News Roman” and “Baskerville.” Though the selection of fonts is not huge at the moment, Typendium is sure to satisfy your craving for creative history.
Cost: FREE

Photo: Christian Zibreg


Lightroom
While most of Adobe Creative Cloud programs have sister apps, our favorite is Lightroom. Though the mobile version of Lightroom does not have all of the manipulative options the computer program has, mobile Lightroom allows users to edit their photos capture, edit, organize, store and share all of their mobile photos. Unlike many photo editing apps in the App Store, Lightroom doesn’t just give the option to apply a “one size fits-all” filter. Instead, Lightroom gives you the ability to make advanced adjustments with the tone curve to alter the color, exposure, tone and contrast in a way that you feel in adequate. This technique allows the user to make the adjustments they need while also preserving the integrity of the original photo.
Cost: FREE

It’s a Mystery — Can You Help Us Solve It?

This arresting tapestry is from the personal collection of Mariette Rousseau-Vermette of Canada. Rousseau-Vermette participated in several of the Biennials of International Tapestry in Lausanne, Switzerland. At the Biennials, artists for all over the world had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and inspiration and, in some cases, traded works of art with one another. Rousseau-Vermette also headed the Fibres Department at the Banff Centre for the Arts from 1980. In 1981, the Banff Centre hosted the third Fibre Interchange, a gathering of experts from the fiber arts world. Noted guests included: Parisian fibre artist Daniel Gaffin; MoMA’s Mildred Constantine; The Whitney Museum’s curator. Patterson Sims and acclaimed American artist Sheila Hicks. The Centre also hosted visiting artists from all over, including Jolanta Owidzka and Magdalena Abakanowicz so Rousseau-Vermette had another chance for art exchange. So, Rousseau-Vermette might have come by this work in either of those ways. The work is 13.25″ by 12″, made of wool and includes an interesting symbol –maybe a signature? — in the right-hand corner. We asked Jolanta Owidzka, but she did not recognize it. Maybe you do??
If you have an idea of who it might be, we’d welcome the information. The first three people to give us a clue will receive a copy of Advocates for Art: Polish and Czech Fiber Artists from the Anne and Jacques Baruch Collection. Please contact us at art@browngrotta.com.

Additional works from Mariette Rousseau-Vermette’s collection include:

Warszawa, Jolanta Owidzka, wool, linen and metallic thread, 90″ x 68″,1967

2ws Untitled, Wojciech Sadley , mixed media, 32” x 24”, 1968


Art Acquisitions: Part 2

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.

Studium Faktur, Magdalena Abakanowicz, sisal, 54" x 43" x 9", 1964. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Studium Faktur,
Magdalena Abakanowicz, sisal, 54″ x 43″ x 9″, 1964. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Norma MinkowitzMuseum 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 AbakanowiczStudium 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.

Simone Pheulpin at The Design Museum in London. Photo: Maison Parisienne

Simone Pheulpin at The Design Museum in London. Photo: Maison Parisienne

 

 

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 

Morphus vii, Gizella K Warburton. Photo: Chris Large

Morphus vii, Gizella K Warburton. Photo: Chris Large

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 LinssenTexas 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.


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.”


Collaborations: Creativity x 2

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).

Dail Behennah’s Studio Work-board. Photo: Dail Behennah via In.Dialogue

“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's Woven Space at the Chatsworth House. Photo: The Chatsworth House Trust

Laura Ellen Bacon’s Woven Space at the Chatsworth House. Photo: The Chatsworth House Trust

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.

Sounding, Donald Fortesque and Lawrence LaBianca, 2008. Photo by Lawrence LaBianca

Sounding, Donald Fortesque and Lawrence LaBianca, 2008. Photo by Lawrence LaBianca.

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


Art Acquisitions: Part 1

Over the course of the last year many browngrotta arts artists have had pieces acquired by institutions all across the globe.

Untitled, monofilament, Kay Sekimachi, monofilament, 57” x 14” x 14”, circa mid-70’s

Untitled, monofilament, Kay Sekimachi, monofilament, 57” x 14” x 14”, circa mid-70’s

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.

Matrix II-201011, Chang Yeonsoon, indigo dyed abaca fiber, 26.75” x 26.5 “x 10”, 2010. Photo by Tom Grotta

Matrix II-201011, Chang Yeonsoon, indigo dyed abaca fiber, 26.75” x 26.5 “x 10”, 2010. Photo by Tom Grotta

 

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.

Red Horizontal Line, Gudrun Pagter, 280 cm x 240 cm x 0.5 cm, sisal and flax, 2016. Photo: Danish Arts Foundation

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.

 


In Praise of Older Women Artists

Simone Pheulpin at The Design Museum of London. Photo: Maison Parisienne

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.”

Primitive Figures Bird and Insects, Luba Krejci,
knotted linen, 40.5″ x 44.5″ x 2″, circa 1970s. Photo: Tom Grotta

Among the women artists working in fiber who belong on a list of those achieving belated recognition include Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks (mentioned in the Artsy article) Kay Sekimachi, Lenore Tawney, Ethel Stein, Simone Pheulpin, Sonia Delauney, Luba Krejci, Ritzi Jacobi and Helena Hernmarck. The international contemporary fiber movement was initiated by women who took reinvented tapestry, took it off the wall and drew global attention to an art form that had been synonymous with tradition to that point. Luba Krecji adapted needle and bobbin lace techniques to create, “nitak,” her own technique, which enabled her to “draw” with thread. In her use of line as “sculptural form,” Ruth Asawa,” provided a crucial link between the mobile modernism of Alexander Calder and the gossamer Minimalism of Fred Sandback, whose yarn pieces similarly render distinctions between interior and exterior moot,” wrote Andrea K. Scott last year in The New Yorker.

 

Damask 5, Ethel Stein, 1980-89. Photo by Tom Grotta

These artists continue their explorations though their seventies, eighties and nineties. An example, Kay Sekimachi, who created complex, elegant monofilament weavings in the 70s and 80s, bowls and towers of paper after that, and continues, at age 90, to create elegant weavings of lines and grids that are reminiscent of the paintings of Agnes Martin. After having received the Special Mention Loewe Craft Prize and exhibited at the  Design Museum of London, this year, Simone Pheulpin continues to create innovative work in her 70s, work that is part of the 10th contemporary art season at Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire and part of the exhibition “Tissage Tressage” at the Fondation Villa Datris.