Tag: John McQueen

Books Make Great Gifts 2016

Another year of widely divergent books. Art, biology, history and biography are all represented in the answers we received to the questions we asked of artists that work with browngrotta arts: What books cheered you? Inspired you? Provided an escape?

Dona Anderson, wrote that she is reading Herbert Hoover: A Life by Glen Jeansonne (NAL, New York, 2016) who calls Hoover the most resourceful American since Benjamin Franklin. “I recently had a birthday and remember that my mother went to vote on the day I was born, November 6th, and she voted for Herbert Hoover. Consequently, I started to think about what the political atmosphere was like then — as ours was so crazy and even more so now. When I went to the library in October, the Hoover book was brand new and it appealed to me.” Rachel Max is reading Materiality, edited by Petra Lange-Berndt (MIT Press, Cambridge, 2015), one of the latest additons to the Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art series. It’s a fantastic series. Each volume in the series focuses on a specific theme and contains many thought-provoking essays from theorists and artists. Materiality not only addresses key geographical, social and philosophical issues, but it also examines how artists process and use materials in order to expand notions of time, space and participation. As the publisher notes, “this anthology focuses on the moments when materials become willful actors and agents within artistic processes.” Max has also been dipping into the diaries of Eva Hesse. “They are extremely private and were never meant for publication. But, as a huge fan of her work it is interesting to read her thoughts,” Max writes.

Gyöngy Laky recommended, highly, Daughters of the Samurai, A Journey From East to West and Back by Janice P. Nimura (W.W. Norton, New York, 2016). “This book is a fascinating biographical history chronicling the lives of three young Japanese girls sent to America in 1871 by the just barely 22-year-old Empress, Haruko. Their mission was to become educated and to bring back to Japan western ideas to advance the role of women and to help Japan adopt western knowledge and technology. Haruko […”something of a prodigy: reading at the age of three, composing poetry at five, studying calligraphy at seven and plucking the koto (a stringed instrument) at 12] had earlier married the 16-year-old Emperor who ascended the throne in 1868. He had adopted the name, Meiji, or Enlightened Rule—to usher in the beginning of a new era. The new era was a plunge into modernization. Sending three young girls to the West turned out to be more enlightened than expected. Sutematsu Yamakawa, 11; Shige Nagai, 10 and Ume Tsuda, the youngest, a tender, 6, remained in the U.S. for 10 formative years and then changed the future and subsequent history of Japanese women forever.

Nimura’s skillful crafting of a can’t-put-it-down narrative of their experiences on two sides of the Pacific is a vividly rich visual, as well as historical, account. She produced for the reader, through captivating descriptions illuminating the startling differences between these two very different cultures, the contrasting worlds we could easily visualize.

Stacy Shiff, Pulitzer Prise-winning author of Cleopatra wrote: “Nimura reconstructs their Alice-in-Wonderland adventure: the girls are so exotic as to qualify as ‘princesses’ on their American arrival. One feels “enormous” on her return to Japan.” It is just this Alice-in-Wonderland aspect of their story that caught my imagination. As in Louis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it is the environment and the material culture that sets the stage for remarkable events. The tangible aspects of two vastly contrasting cultures – intellectually, technically, behaviorally and in terms of the accoutrements of every day life, express well the often conflicting, peculiar and unexpected events in the girls’ lives. The girls move from Japanese clothing, furniture and customs to western style and then back again feeling more comfortable in western settings than in their birth homes kneeling on the floor and lavishly swathed in yards and yards of embroidered silks.

In the late 19th century the US was bursting with inventions and change. Planning begun in the 1850s for the Chicago World’s Fair was well under way, ushering in the Gilded Age of rapid industrial growth, design innovation and expansion of popular culture. A startlingly appropriate time for the girls’ cultural experiment to take place. Nimura, who moved to Japan for three years with her Japanese/American nesei husband, was adept at utilizing her keen sense of design and broad knowledge of the two disparate material cultures. She skillfully brought to life the vast differences between the two civilizations through masterful and insightful descriptions of clothing, hairstyles, furniture, interiors, architecture as well as the cities in which they existed. This, combined with her extensive research, presents the reader with many insights into the relations between the two countries and their intertwined histories through the lives of these exceptional girls and their extraordinary adventures.

As Miriam Kingsberg of the Los Angeles Review of Books wrote, “Daughters… is, perhaps, less a story of Japanese out of place in their country, than of women ahead of their time.” Laky adds that while she was a professor of art and design at the University of California, Davis, she encouraged her students to study abroad. “This book illustrates how education and experience in a foreign country enhances understanding of other cultures and peoples – perhaps more important today than in the 1870s and 80s. I believe travel also greatly inspires creativity.”

The Box Project, edited by Lyssa C.Stapleton (Cotsen Occasional Press, Los Angeles, 2016), “is one of the very best catalogs I have ever seen and not only the precious book binding!,” wrote Heidrun Schimmel. “I´m still reading the important essays again and again…and I´m learning again and again…” The Box Project is a limited edition book. It will be available at browngrotta.com next week. John McQueen wrote that The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben (Greystone Books, Vancouver, 2016), will change your next walk in the woods. “Trees will never seem the same again. This is a scientific study on how trees communicate with each other among many other things that I, for one, never thought about.”

Currently, Jane Balsgaard is reading The Wind is my Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman by Marcellus “Bear Heart” Williams and Molly Larkin (revised edition, Berkeley Publishing Group, New York 2012) and Diary of an Stupid Man, by Uschi Tech, published in Denmark by Forlaget Helle.
It is a sad and exciting story about a typical lonely man in today’s Denmark, she wrote. “Written in a wonderful language – so one can just imagine him, by reading it and it is just as sad as StonerMary Merkel-Hess has three recommedations. “I heard Cornelia Mutel read from her book, A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland (University Of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 2016), last March just after it was published” she writes. “I bought it immediately. Connie Mutel is a trained scientist but in this book she has written a very personal account of climate change occurring in her own small woodland here in Johnson County, Iowa. She has woven stories of her own life into observations of the possibly irreversible changes that are happening around us. It is a beautifully written and thoughtful book, but not a hopeless one. She ends with a discussion of things that we can do and strategies for our policymakers.”
Her second recommendation is Food Power: the Rise and Fall of the American Postwar Food System by Bryan L. McDonald. Bryan is Merkel-Hess’s son-in-law, a history professor at Penn State and long-time student of security issues. This book details how the unprecedented abundance of food mid-century was used to advance U.S. goals and values around the world. That food can influence global policy is an issue that Merkel-Hess never considered until now, but one she found fascinating.
The third book, is one for the Sinophiles and academically inclined among us, is The Rural Modern: Constructing the Self and State in Republican China by Kate Merkel-Hess. Merkel-Hess has another academic connection: Kate is her daughter and also a history professor at Penn State. This book about rural reform in China before the Communist revolution documents a desire for modernity rooted in Chinese rural traditions and institutions. Merkel-Hess found it interesting that American foundation money and the YMCA were involved in these early modernizing efforts.
We also have two limited-edition, artist-designed books to highlight: Judy Mulford: 80 Chairs by Judy Mulford and Marian Bijlenga: Miniatures, An autobiographical archive reflecting 30 years of work by Marian Bijlenga. In each case, the artist has created a reflective work — celebrating a full and accomplished career. The books are available at http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/books.php.

As always, enjoy!


Art Events — From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature

From The Ground Up Banner Bendheim Gallery . Photo by Tom Grotta

From The Ground Up Banner Bendheim Gallery . Photo by Tom Grotta

We are pleased to have partnered with the Greenwich Arts Council for From the Ground Up: ART Inspired by Nature, at the Bendheim Gallery in Greenwich through October 29th. The exhibition is beautifully installed by Gallery Director and the gallery space is quiet and contemplative. There are three small galleries and a dramatic entry space, where works by Jane Balsgaard, Gyöngy Laky and Stéphanie Jacques join Dawn Mac Nutt’s willow figures, companions to the bronze MacNutt figure that stands in front of the Arts Council Building.

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Stéphanie Jacques, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Dawn MacNutt. Photo by Tom Grotta

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Stéphanie Jacques, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Dawn MacNutt. Photo by Tom Grotta

Paintings are interspersed with photographs and sculptures of natural materials, providing viewers a varied view of nature as envisioned by artists. There are 12 in this exhibition, from the US and abroad: Jane Balsgaard, Laura Cunningham, Stéphanie Jacques, Donald Landsman, Gyöngy Laky, Dawn MacNutt, John McQueen, Kyle Norton, Ángel Mieres, Lizzy Rockwell, Hisako Sekijima and Masako Yoshida.

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Hisako Sekimachi, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by tom Grotta

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Hisako Sekimachi, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by tom Grotta

The exhibition includes paintings by Ángel Mieres, born in Caracas, Venezuela, whose vibrant, bright works are an abstract exploration of fragile, natural motifs, such as butterflies or flowers.

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by tom Grotta

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, John McQueen, Kyle Norton, Photo by tom Grotta

Kyle Norton, who studied photography at Rochester Institute of Photography, takes lush photographs of fruits and vegetables, magnifies their size from a few inches to a dramatic three feet or so — offering nature up close and personal, as it were.

John McQueen‘s three-dimensional works are made of natural materials — twigs, bark, cardboard — he prides himself on not needing to go the arts supply store. In Same Difference, for example, the juxtaposition of detailed sculptures of the Hindu god, Ganesh, a bonsai and a sump pump is visually engaging. When McQueen explains the simple and smart connection amongst the three —all soak up water, through a trunk, root system or a pump — the work can be appreciated on additional level.

From the Ground Up; Greenwich Art Council, John McQueen, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by Tom Grotta

From the Ground Up; Greenwich Art Council, John McQueen, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by Tom Grotta

In front of the building that houses the Bendheim Gallery stands Dawn MacNutt’s Timeless Form and viewers have an opportunity to hear her speak about it’s creation through a mobile device link. You can hear her here:

Dawn Macnutt Timeless Figure bronze Sculpture and Otocast in front of the Greenwich Arts Council. Photos by Tom Grotta

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature, will be at the Bendheim Gallery, Greenwich Arts Council, 299 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT, 06830 . P 203.862.6750 F 203.862.6753 . info@greenwicharts.org through October 29th. The Arts Council’s Gala, Arts Alive will be on October 17th at the Art Center. To buy a ticket, go to: http://www.greenwichartscouncil.org/Arts-Alive.html.


John McQueen: Established Artist Award Exhibition Opens in New York

John McQueen talking about his piece Teeter at the opening of TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen, the exhibition opening

John McQueen talking about his piece “Teeter” at the opening of TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen, the exhibition opening

Last May, John McQueen was surprised to learn he had been awarded the second annual Established Artist award (for artists over 40 years old) from the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York. McQueen, who has lived in the area for more than a dozen years, was pleased, telling Amy Biancolli of The Time Union, “You don’t know you’re up for it, so [it’s] the idea that I’m just here by myself, making stuff, and no one else in the Capital Region would even know – and suddenly I’m recognized.” Recognition has come from elsewhere before now, however. McQueen’s work is found in dozens of museums and private collections, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Racine Museum of Art in Wisconsin and the Philadelphia Art Museum in Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the the American Craft Council and a winner of the Master of the Medium award from the James Renwick Alliance, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.

attendees viewing "Same Difference" by John McQueen

attendees viewing “Same Difference” by John McQueen

TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen, the exhibition that accompanies the award, opened on Friday, January 30th at the Arts Center. McDaniel is the winner of the companion Emerging Arist award for 2014. In TOO, the two artists work in repetition within their chosen materials, meticulously creating pieces that concentrate on form and texture. McQueen’s three-dimensional works are made of natural

John McQueen Reading from his piece "Bird Brain" at TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen

John McQueen Reading from his piece “Bird Brain” at TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen

materials — twigs, bark, cardboard — he prides himself on not needing to go the arts supply store. In Too, his several-part sculpture, Teeter, includes shingles from a lake house and a hand, originally created as the mold for another project. Raillery is made of the corrugated cardboard that surrounded a Murphy bed. McQueen’s works invoke word and world associations. Some of these are made by the viewer, others are there in the artist’s intent. In Same Difference, for example, the juxtaposition of detailed sculptures of the Hindu god, Ganesh, a bonsai and a sump pump is visually engaging. When McQueen explains the simple and smart connection amongst the three —all soak up water, through a trunk, root system or a pump — the work can be appreciated on additional level. For Bird Brain, one is initially awed by the form — a book of cursive words created of tiny willow twigs tied with waxed linen — then challenged to decipher the names, like “Frogmouth,” and “Lyre bird.”

You have until March 31st to see TOO: Melinda R. McDaniel and John McQueen, http://www.artscenteronline.org/too-melinda-r-mcdaniel-john-mcqueen/13161/. Or see browngrotta arts’ online folio of the John McQueen works in the exhibition at: http://www.browngrotta.com/digitalfolios/McQueen.Digital%20Folio.2015/FLASH/index.html


Art Out and About: Exhibitions Across the US

Coast-to-coast cultural opportunities to enjoy in August and through to November.

Traced Memories by Adela Akers, photo by Tom Grotta

Traced Memories by Adela Akers, photo by Tom Grotta

San Francisco, California
Adela Akers: Traced Memories, Artist-in-Residence
Through August 31st
Wednesdays–Sundays, 1–5 pm, plus Friday nights until 8:45 pm
Artist Reception: Friday, August 29, 6–8:30 p.m.
Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco de Young/Legion of Honor
Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, California
https://deyoung.famsf.org/programs/artist-studio/august-artist-residence-adela-akers-traced-memories
Textile artist Adela Akers has moved her studio to the de Young for a month. Visitors to the new studio will learn how each choice in her art-making process contributes to the unique character and quality of her work. Throughout her residency, Akers will invite visitors to engage in hands-on activities that explore her creative process—from inspiration and research to preparation of the materials she has selected to convey her concept to creation and final presentation of the finished artworks. Akers’s work has been influenced and informed by pre-Columbian textiles and, most recently, paintings by women of the Mbuti people of the Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Journeying from one point to another has been a physical and transformative reality in her life, increasing her self-confidence and expanding her vision of the world. Akers feels fortunate to have made these geographical voyages and to have experienced country living’s broad horizons and quiet strength, the power of nature and the palpitating rhythm of cities.

Athena by Nancy Koenigsberg, photo by Tom Grotta

Athena by Nancy Koenigsberg, photo by Tom Grotta

Brockton, Massachusetts
Game Changers: Fiber Art Masters and Innovators
Through November 23rd
Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street
Brockton, MA
http://fullercraft.org/press/game-changers-fiber-art-masters-and-innovators/
“Game changers” are artists, past and present, who continuously revisit traditional techniques and materials while developing revolutionary approaches in the realm of fiber art. Every work in the exhibition was chosen to showcase the individual practice of each invited artist. These creators epitomize the dynamism and fluidity of work in fiber. Artists featured in the exhibition include: Olga de Amaral, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Mary Bero, Nancy Moore Bess, Archie Brennan, John Cardin, Lia Cook, John Garrett, Jan Hopkins, Mary Lee Hu, Lissa Hunter, Diane Itter, Michael James, Naomi Kobayashi, Nancy Koenigsberg, Gyongy Laky, Chunghie Lee, Kari Lonning, Susan Martin Maffei, John McQueen, Norma Minkowitz, Michael F. Rohde, Ed Rossbach and Kay Sekimachi.

Midland Museum Forming: The Synergy Between Basketry and Sculpture, photo by Jennifer Falck Linssen

Midland Museum Forming: The Synergy Between Basketry and Sculpture, photo by Jennifer Falck Linssen

Midland, Michigan
Forming: The Synergy Between Basketry and Sculpture
Through September 7th
Alden B. Dow Museum
Midland Center for the Arts
1801 West Saint Andrews Road
Midland, Michigan
http://www.mcfta.org/ab-dow-museum-announces-summer-exhibitions-press-release/
The works by eight artists featured in Forming: The Synergy Between Basketry and Sculpture, including Jennifer Falck Linssen, were designed and executed as alternative approaches to sculptural form, in which the line dissolves between traditional basketry and contemporary sculpture. A selection of artists from across America inquisitively open our eyes to new alternatives in basketry and fiber-based sculptural form. The craftsmanship is superb, the creative and technical finesse is complex while the vision is beyond today yet with inspiration from long-revered fiber traditions.

Midland, Michigan
Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art

Cocoon by Jiro Yonezawa, photo by Tom Grotta

Cocoon by Jiro Yonezawa, photo by Tom Grotta

Through September 7th
Alden B. Dow Museum
Midlands Center for the Arts
1801 West Saint Andrews Road
Midland, Michigan
http://www.mcfta.org/ab-dow-museum-announces-summer-exhibitions-press-release/

Bamboo is a quintessential part of Japanese culture, shaping the country’s social, artistic, and spiritual landscape. Although bamboo is a prolific natural resource, it is a challenging artistic medium. There are fewer than 100 professional bamboo artists in Japan today. Mastering the art form requires decades of meticulous practice while learning how to harvest, split, and plait the bamboo. Modern Twist brings 38 exceptional works by 17 artists, including Jiro Yonezawa, to U.S. audiences, celebrating the artists who have helped to redefine a traditional craft as a modern genre, inventing unexpected new forms and pushing the medium to groundbreaking levels of conceptual, technical, and artistic ingenuity.

29ww EB mixed editions #12, Wendy Wahl, Encylodpedia Britanica pages, poplar frame, 24" x 32" x 1.5",  2011 photo by Tom Grotta

29ww EB mixed editions #12, Wendy Wahl, Encylodpedia Britanica pages, poplar frame, 24″ x 32″ x 1.5″, 2011
photo by Tom Grotta

Jamestown, Rhode Island
PAPER-MADE
Through August 30th
Wed. – Sat. 10am – 2pm
Jamestown Arts Center
18 Valley Street
Jamestown, Rhode Island
http://www.jamestownartcenter.org/exhibitions
Paper art is emerging as a global phenomenon. PAPER-MADE explores paper’s transformation from an everyday object into an exquisite three dimensional sculptural artwork. The exhibit’s title PAPER-MADE is a reference to Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the “ready-made,” since paper is an everyday object. The alchemic transformation from simple paper to art highlights the artist’s creativity and demonstrates the limitless potential of the art form. Eighteen showcased artists, including Wendy Wahl, explore this material’s ephemeral nature and beauty. Each artist explores different qualities of paper, from hand-made paper and paper string, to site-specific installation made of book pages, from Korean joomchi paper to found lottery tickets and archival photographs.


Objects of Desire Gift Guide: Part 3 -The Natural Order

Choose among baskets, sculptures and wall works of natural materials including wood bark, cockle burrs, leaves and feathers.

Natural Order Objects

1) HAYSTACK RIVER BASKET, Dorothy Gill Barnes
early river teeth, 14.5″ x 21″ x 16″, 2011

2) PANIER-MAISON II, Stéphanie Jacques
wood, willow, raw clay coated and limewash, 16.5″ x 21.25″ x 21.25″, 2010

3) MARAG, Lizzie Farey
willow, wax and galloway pebble, 
16.5″ x 11.5″ x 11.5″, 2006

4) GUARDIAN II, Jan Buckman
waxed linen and hawthorne branches, 
27″ x 7.5″ x 7″, 2002

5) BIRD BRAIN, John Mcqueen
woven willow twigs, waxed string , 26″ x 23.5″ x 23″, 2002

6) CAMPHOR, Lawrence LaBianca
glass with photo, branch, steel, 12″ x 22″ x 7″, 1999

7) EMU, Virginia Kaiser
pine needles, Emu feathers, stitched with linen, 14″ x 5″ x 5″, 2011

8) PUSSY WILLOW XIIII, Markku Kosonen
willow, 8″ x 12″ x 12″, 1996

9) LEAF BOWL, Kay Sekimachi
skeleton of big leaf maple, 8″ x 5″ x 5″, 2011

10) FITTINGS V, Hisako Sekijima
cherry and maple, 
8″ x 10″ x 9″, 1999

11) CRADLE TO CRADLE, Gyöngy Laky
apple, commercial wood, screws, 16 x 30″ x 30″, 2007

12) CHINESE LANTERN, Ceca Georgieva
burdock burrs, chinese lantern, 16” x 8.25” x 4.75”, 2012

13) MOTHER  & CHILD, Dawn MacNutt
twined willow, 
36″ x 9″ x 9″, 2009, $3,000

47db TWENTY FIVE SQUARES14) TWENTY -FIVE SQUARES, Dail Behennah
willow silver plated pins, 
37.5″ x 37.5″ x 3″, 2007


Eco-Art Update: Images for Earth Day

Many of the artists promoted by browngrotta arts address nature and environmental concerns in their work.  In honor of Earth Day, we present a series of images of works from Europe, Asia, the US and the UK.  These include outdoor sculptures by Chris Drury and Ceca Georgieva,  ethereal sculptures of jute by Naoko Serino and a complex new basket, A Panic of Leaves by John McQueen, made of sticks and strings.
Green Leaves by Ceca Georgieva, photos by Ceca Georgieva

Green Leaves by Ceca Georgieva, photos by Ceca Georgieva

These are images of some of Ceca Georgieva’s “park art experiments.” Georgieva is a textile artist working in the field of nature art. “Working with natural materials not only brings me joy,” she says, “but also much wisdom. In even the smallest piece of grass there is incorporated history, meaning and purpose. I admire and learn from her genius “installation” of design, color, smell and light … It is a great challenge to enter her laboratory and to be able to add my own thing.”

Window on Blood and Water by Chris Drury, photos by Chris Drury

Window on Blood and Water by Chris Drury, photos by Chris Drury

Window on Blood and Water is a temporary installation at Abbaye Jumieges, near Rouen in France created by Chris Drury for the region’s festival of Water. The work takes the shape and dimensions of the arch of the ruined church and fills it with a flow pattern of water and blood from the heart, drawing a link to the nearby river Seine and the Abbey’s violent history over the centuries. The work is 78.75 feet x 26.25 feet and is made from split logs and stones from the ruin. The exhibition of six works opens on May 14, 2013 and runs through the Summer/Autumn season.
Naoko Serino Detail, photo by Naoko Serino

Naoko Serino Detail, photo by Naoko Serino

Works made entirely of jute are created by Naoko Serino of Japan. Moon Lee says that in Serino’s work,”the golden sheen and sinuous strands of jute yield a most spectacular softness and luminosity. The natural fibers are spun densely or pulled thin, making for infinite gradations of densities. Irregular shapes in varying degrees of transparency provoke an effect that is strongly biological. Spheres, tubes, tubes contained within spheres, spheres contained within cubes, and rows of coiled strands evoke thoughts of phospholipid bilayers of cell membranes, veins, sea sponges, and so forth.” http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/naoko-serino-spins-vegetable-fiber-into-golden-sculptures.
A Panic of Leaves by John McQueen, photo by Tom Grotta

A Panic of Leaves by John McQueen, photo by Tom Grotta

John McQueen’s vessel form celebrates leaves — their diversity of shape and color. McQueen often “draws” with sticks, in ways that make a viewer consider his or her relationship to the world. “Steel is natural,” he says, “because it comes from an iron ore in the ground. But when you look at steel, you don’t connect it with the ground because it’s been processed so many times, whereas there’s a direct visual connection between looking at my work and seeing the world.”

 

 


November 26th: Our Online Exhibition Opens With an Offer for CyberMonday

On Monday, November 26th, browngrotta arts will present an online version of our 25th anniversary exhibition,Retro/Prospective: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture at browngrotta.com. The comprehensive exhibition highlights browngrotta arts’ 25 years promoting international contemporary art. Viewers can click on any image in the online exhibition to reach a page with more information about the artists and their work.

“Some works in Retro/Prospective: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture reflect the early days of contemporary textile art and sculpture movement,” says Tom Grotta, founder and co-curator at browngrotta arts. “There are also current works by both established and emerging artists, which provide an indication of where the movement is now and where it may be headed.”

Since Monday the 26th is CyberMonday this year, sales of art, books, catalogs, videos or dvds placed online or by telephone that day will be discounted 10% (excluding tax and shipping). In addition, bga will make a donation to the International Child Art Foundation for each sale made from November 24th through December 31, 2012. Visit browngrotta.com. For more information call Tom at 203.834.0623 or email us at art@browngrotta.com.


Coast to Coast — Exhibitions Around the US

Here’s a round up of exhibitions throughout the US that are worth traveling to see.  They are listed in date order — a few of them close this month or next; others are open through the fall.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Craft Spoken Here
Last Week – through August 12th

Artists in the exhibit include: clockwise; WATERFALL by Lenore Tawney; SPIRALS AND PATHS by Rebecca Medel; CERAMIC 42 by Yasuhisa Kohyama; BODY LANGUAGE by John McQueen; SEASIDE by Krystyna Wojtyna-Drouet; RAY by Mary Merkel-Hess

With Craft Spoken Here, curated by Elisabeth Agro, the Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art seizes the opportunity to experiment with its craft collection and to understand craft in an international context. Some 40 contemporary works from 1960 to the present in ceramic, glass, metal, wood, lacquer, paper and fiber—some by living, acclaimed artists, including Lenore Tawney, Rebecca Medel, Yasuhisa Kohyama, John McQueen,  Krystyna Wojtyna-Drouet, and Mary Merkel-Hess and others by lesser-known creators—are on view. Representing the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe, the works highlight formal qualities that cross cultures, time, and media. Hear Agro describe the evolution of the exhibition and the installation of Tawney’s Fountain of Water and Word, in a podcast at the art blog.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Perelman Building
2525 Pennsylvania Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19130
phone 215.763.8100
www.philamuseum.org

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
At First Light: The Katagami Sculpture of Jennifer Falck Linssen
through September 16, 2012

Handcrafted vessel of katagami-style handcarved paper. Materials include archival cotton paper, aluminum, waxed linen, paint, varnish, freshwater pearl, and sterling silver.

Utilizing the ancient Japanese paper carving technique of katagami, Colorado-based artist Jennifer Falck Linssen creates three-dimensional sculptures that explore the beauty of line and the delicacy of nature. Since 2003, Jennifer has been shaping katagami stencils into three-dimensional vessels and sculptures, combining the katagami paper carving with more traditional metal-smithing and basketry techniques to create contemporary sculptures that transform the two-dimensional stencil into a unique three-dimensional art form.

Myrtle Beach Museum of Art
3100 South Ocean Boulevard
(across from Springmaid Pier)
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
phone 843.238.2510
fax 843.238.2910
www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.org

East Hampton, New York
Accumulations NOW
through October 6th

Dawn MacNutt is one of the artists included in Accumulations NOW

Accumulations: NOW bills itself as, “[s]imply, the best of craft. NOW.” Cuurated by Jack Lenor Larsen, the exhibition at LongHouse Reserve features 500 works made in the last 100 years, including a number of important pieces from the collection of the late Dena Katzenberg. Artists shown in the NOW collections include, in fiber Anni Albers, Jun-ichi Arai, Dawn MacNutt, Ed Rossbach, Peter Collingwood, Ethel Stein, Helena Hernmarck and Chunghie Lee; in clay Hans Coper, Toshiko Takezu and Peter Voulkos; hollowware by Chunghi Choo; and furniture masters including Judy Kensley McKie and Edward Wormley. You can see the exhibition catalog and installation shots, here: Accumulations_Now_Catalog.pdf and here: http://www.longhouse.org

LongHouse Reserve
133 Hands Creek Road  East Hampton, NY 11937
phone 631.604.5330
http://longhouse.org

 

San Francisco, California
Fiber Futures: Japan’s Textile Pioneers
Part one through October 6th
Part two October 13 – December 29th

Takaaki Tanaka in front of his work at Fiber Futures when it was in New York at the Japan Society

If you missed this remarkable exhibition last fall at the Japan Society in New York (or in an earlier incarnation in Japan) you’ve got another chance. Fiber Futures explores a new art that is emerging from a remarkable fusion of Japanese artisanal and industrial textile making. Coaxed from materials as age-old as hemp and newly developed as microfilaments, a varied array of works by 30 artists from multiple generations, including Hisako Sekijima, Takaaki TanakaNaoko Serino, Hideho Tanaka, Naomi Kobayahsi and Kyoko Kumai, are on view in this important two-part exhibition.

Museum of Craft and Folk Art
51 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco, CA 94103
phone 415.227.4888
http://www.mocfa.org

Minneapolis, Minnesota
In Our Nature: Tapestries of Helena Hernmarck
through October 14th

Helena Hernmarck 2009 FOREST PATH , wool and linen, 6′ 7″ x 6′ 7

In Our Nature: Tapestries of Helena Hernmarck, is an assemblage of 19 large-scale tapestries by  legendary trompe-l’oeil weaver, Helena Hernmarck. Monumental works immerse the viewer in the best of nature: lush blooms, rich green forest scenes, and sunny poppy pastures. Hernmarck’s work represents a lifetime of closely honed weaving technique that combines intensely sensitive attention to color with one-of-a-kind combination of textures creating layered, shaded effects. The tapestries in In Our Nature: Tapestries of Helena Hernmarck are on loan from three major arts museums, several corporate and individual collectors, and from Hernmarck’s own collection.

American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55407
phone 612.871.4907
http://www.asimn.org


Upcoming: Events at SOFA New York this Week

Lectures, artist booth visits and more.  This week’s events include:

Sue Lawty, John McQueen and Norma Mnkowitz

April 19th

Opening – SOFA NY

VIP Cardholders Preview       5:00 – 9:00 pm       Invitation Only
Public Preview Gala*               7:00 – 9:00 pm       $100.00
* Available online in advance and at the door beginning at 5:30 pm
Park Avenue Armory
browngrotta arts: 25 at 25 at SOFA NY
browngrotta arts booth 208

April 20th

1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Artist booth visit
John McQueen
browngrotta arts booth 208

Detail of BODY LANGUAGE, by John McQueen

Meet with fiber artist and basketmaker John McQueen.
McQueen is one of 25 artists highlighted this year by
browngrotta arts.
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Lecture
Sue Lawty – rock-linen-lead
browngrotta arts booth 208

Sue Lawty working on a stone drawing

Lawty charts the journey of her understated and abstract works which are strongly influenced by a comprehensive engagement with remote landscape, geology and the passage of time. Seeking “an essential stillness,” Lawty’s constructed pieces and drawings in two and three dimensions explore repetition and interval in raffia, hemp, linen, lead, stone or shadow. 
4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Booksigning
Sue Lawty
browngrotta arts booth 208
Fiber and mixed media artist Sue Lawty will sign copies of her book, SUE LAWTY: rock-raphia-linen-lead.

April 21st
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Artist booth visit Norma Minkowitz

browngrotta arts booth 208

Detail of Remembrance by Norma Minkowitz

Meet with fiber and mixed media artist Norma Minkowitz.
Minkowitz is one of 25 artists highlighted this year by
browngrotta arts.

25 at 25 at SOFA NY Countdown: John McQueen

KNOT ANATOMY Detail, John McQueen, photo by Tom Grotta

At SOFA NY, browngrotta arts will  show the work of American artist, John McQueen. The sculptor began exploring abstracted basketforms of natural materials in the 70s. Each of his pieces, is complete in its expression, Elizabeth Broun, then-direcor of the of the National Museum of Art has written “[T]aken together, they constitute a new language capable of telling our most intimate concerns….His genius lies in finding a simple declarative means of speaking about paradox, excesses, and fundamental truth. Today, when abstraction is often found insufficient to our needs, McQueen proves again that abstract form can contain our deepest thoughts.” ( From John McQueen: The Language of Containment, Renwick Gallery of the National Musuem of American Art, 1992, p. 7.) McQueen has received National Endowment for the Arts fellowships  in 1977, 1979 and 1986 and is a Fellow of the American Craft Council. His work is included in a number of permanent museum collections including the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York, New York; Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan;

14jm KNOT ANATOMY, John McQueen, bark tied with string, 13" x 25" x 18", 2012, photo by Tom Grotta

National Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim, Norway; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, North Carolina; Museum of Arts & Design, New York, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin; Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington; and the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut. McQueen creates basket and vessel formsand wall works from materials that he finds near his rural New York State farm, including twigs, bark, flowers, weeds, and vines—anything that comes from the earth.  In other sculptures, he “draws” with sticks, creating three-dimensional letters, books and other forms. Of trees, so significant in many of his works, McQueen has written: When I go to the woods I know I am not a tree…I go to the trees knowing their names…Trees do not know their names…I undo their dimensional reality…I put them to use….