Tag: John McQueen

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….

 


The Next Big Thing: Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers

Jiro Yonezawa bamboo Bridge and Kay Sekimachi Leaf bowl. photo by Tom Grotta

We’ve had a busy fall season at browngrotta arts. First was Stimulus: art and its inception, which you can still see in the catalog http://www.
browngrotta.com/Pages/c36.php
 and online through the end of the month http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/StimulusOnlineExhibit.php. Next up, is Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers at the Wayne Art Center, Pennsylvania http://www.
wayneart.org/exhibition/green-from-the-get-go-international-contemporary-basketmakers
 which runs from December 2, 2011 to January 21, 2012.  Green from the Get Go is curated by Jane Milosch, former curator of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum in collaboration with browngrotta arts. The exhibition features an exciting compilation of more than 40 works by artists who take inspiration from nature and the history of basketry. Since prehistoric times artists and craftspeople have been highly attuned to the beauty and resources of the natural world, whether depicting a pristine landscape, untouched by man, or harvesting plants and minerals for pigments and brushes. Sustainability is part of the design and craft process, which requires a heightened sensitivity to materials, one that honors the caring for, replenishing and repurposing of materials. Artist Dorothy Gill Barnes captures this eco-friendly position well when she explains, “my intent is to construct a vessel or related object using materials respectfully harvested from nature.”

CROSSING OVER Dona Anderson bamboo kendo (martial art sticks), patterned paper, thread 15″ x 94″ x 30″ 2008. photo by Richard Nicol

 

Some of the sculptural baskets in Green from the Get Go are made from both flora and fauna, from bamboo, pine, sea grass, and willow to emu feathers and bayberry thorns. The tactile nature of these fiberous works stimulates all of the senses—sight, smell, touch and even sound. Each maker brings his or her own conceptual approach and expression to the design and fabrication process. Some works are small enough to nestle in the hand or rest table-top, while others are monumental or hang on the wall. Green from the Get Go stretches our imagination in terms of what materials and forms constitute a basket and how art bespeaks the interconnected relationship of man and nature.

The exhibition includes artists from Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, Scandinavia and the US, featuring innovators in the genre of 20th-century art basketry as well as emerging talent: Dona AndersonJane Balsgaard, Dorothy Gill Barnes,Dail Behennah. Nancy Moore Bess, Birgit Birkkjaer, Jan Buckman, Chris Drury, Lizzie Farey, Ceca Georgieva, Marion Hildebrandt, Kiyomi Iwata, Christine JoyVirginia Kaiser, Markku Kosonen, Gyöngy Laky, Dawn MacNutt,  John McQueenMary Merkel-Hess, Norma Minkowitz, Valerie Pragnell, Ed Rossbach, Hisako Sekijima, Kay Sekimachi, Naoko SerinoKlaus Titze, Jiro Yonezawa and Masako Yoshido.

PILLOW, Norma Minkowitz, fiber, wood, paint, 2011

 

The preview party for Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers and Craftforms 2011, juried by Elisabeth Agros of the Philadelphia Art Museum, takes place on the evening of December 2nd and we’ll be there. For more in formation, contact the Wayne Art Center: http://www.wayneart.org/events/?id=48.


Spinning Straw Into Gold: ACC Gold Medalists and Fellows at SOFA Chicago and Online

5R CEDAR EXPORT BUNDLE. Ed Rossbach, plaited cedar bark from Washington state with heat transfer drawing, waxed linen, rayon and rags, 5.5″ x 11″ x 9″, 1993, ©Tom Grotta, 2011

This year at SOFA Chicago (November 4-6) the American Craft Council (ACC) will recognize 28 artists who have been awarded an ACC Gold Medal between 1994 and 2010 in a display at the Navy Pier, curated by Michael Monroe. The ACC awards recognize those who have demonstrated outstanding artistic achievement and leadership in the field for 25 years or more.  Since 1981, the ACC has selected just under four dozen artists working in Fiber to receive a Gold Medal for consummate craftsmanship and/or join its College of Fellows.  We’ve mounted an online exhibition of 21 these artists on our website, browngrotta.com, under Awards. Many of these artists are featured in the catalogs published by browngrotta arts and in the videos and other publications we offer. http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/catalogs.php Works by Fellows and Medalists  Adela Akers, Dorothy Gill Barnes , Lia Cook, Helena Hernmarck, Gyöngy Laky, John McQueen and Norma Minkowitz are featured in our current exhibition,  Stimulus: art and its inceptionEnjoy the show.

 


In Print: Weave Arrived, in how to spend it, the Financial Times

weave.arrived.jpg

Basketry has graduated from country-fair staple to sophisticated urban art form, Emma Crichton-Miller wrote in Weave Arrived, an article in the December 5, 2009 issue of the Financial TImes‘ glossy weekly magazine, how to spend it. Over the last 15 years, Crichton-Miller observes, “basket-making has experienced not just a revival but a reinvention.” The transformation to an expressive medium has been led in the UK by Mary Butcher, recently designer-in-residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Butcher learned traditional skills from artisan basketmaker, Alwyne Hawkins, but as a research fellow she began to use the materials to create work that “slipped its leash” — cones that hang from the ceiling, chains of bark rings and densely woven sculptural shapes. Crichton-Miller notes that outside the UK, art basketmaking has had a high profile for sometime as a result of artists like Markku Kosonen of Finland, and John McQueen and Ed Rossbach in the US.

With the vessel no longer the “first priority,” says Butcher, basketmakers are able to address other exploratory concerns. Lizzie Farey’s willow spheres and soaring wall pieces are animated by her attachment to the landscape of Scotland, where she lives and works. Dail Behennah, who studied geography, creates forms of steel, willow and other woods that are constructed, rather than woven. Her grids, scaffolds and spheres explore ideas about line and light and shadow. Joe Hogan rescues ancient wood from bogs and the sea that he incorporates into his woven forms. The result is often unexpected, highly individual and energetic. Artists like these have ended “basketry’s 20th-century obsession with the past,” Crichton-Miller concludes, and entered “a new world of pure function-free aesthetic pleasure.”