Tag: Mariette Rousseau-Vermette

Art Update: April Openings and Closings Here and Abroad

Beyond the Trees: Dona Look and Dorothy Gill Barnes. Photo courtesy of the Wood Turning Center

Beyond the Trees: Dona Look and Dorothy Gill Barnes. Photo courtesy of the Wood Turning Center

It’s a Spring chock full of interesting exhibitions in the US and abroad. You’ve have just a few days remaining to see Beyond the Trees: Dona Look and Dorothy Gill Barnes http://centerfor
artinwood.org/
exhibition/dorothy-
gill-barnes-dona-
look-beyond-the-
trees/ at the Center for Wood Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two browngrotta artist are featured in this exhibition, which closes April 23rd.

photo by Tom Grotta, Green From the Get Go, Morris Museum

Photo by Tom Grotta, Green From the Get Go, Morris Museum

Their work can also be seen through June 26th at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey in Green From the Get Go: Contemporary International Basketmakers, curated by browngrotta arts. In New York, New York, the Experiments in Art & Digital Technologies includes innovative bga artist Lia Cook, http://www.liacook.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/EADT-Press.pdf who will lecture in New York on May 5th https://creativetechweek2016.sched.org/event/6DN5/weaving-and-digital-innovation.

12 of 32 Lia Cook Su Series Tapestries

12 of 32 Lia Cook Su Series Tapestries

Work by Lia Cook is also front and center in a San Francisco, California exhibition, Lines that Tie: Carol Beadle and Lia Cook http://sfmcd.org/press-release-lines-that-tie/ the exhibition is curated by bga artist, Deborah Valoma. Cook will lecture there tomorrow, April 21st. Identify Yourself, in Honolulu, Hawaii http://honolulumuseum
.org/art/exhibitions/
15320-identify_yourself/
, which closes this week, on April 24th, also features work by Lia Cook. Two events in Wilton, Connecticut to attend. Hickory, Ash and Reed: Traditional Baskets, Contemporary Makersat the Wilton Historical Society, http://www.wiltonhistorical.
org/exhibitions.html
, Includes several baskets by the late Marian Hildebrandt, whose work is represented by browngrotta arts and whose work is also currently on exhibit in Green from the Get: International Contemporary Basketmakers at the Morris Museum.

Detail of Nordic Gold by Birgit Birkkjaer. Photo by Tom Grotta

Detail of Nordic Gold by Birgit Birkkjaer. Photo by Tom Grotta

Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mide-Century, Mid-Career is open at browngrotta arts for just 10 days, from April 30th-May 8th http://arttextstyle.com/
2016/04/19/art-barn-
2016-artboom-
celebrating-artists-
mid-century-mid-
career-wilton-ct-
april-30th-may-8th/
.

MER LUMINEUSE and J'AI MA LA MER S'ILLUMINER by Mariette Rousseau-Vermette. Photo by Tom Grotta

Mer Lumineuse and J’ai Ma La Mer S’illuminer
by Mariette Rousseau-Vermette. Photo by Tom Grotta

In the halls of the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nomadic tapestries, an exhibition of some of the extensive contemporary collection of the Toms Pauli Foundation, traces in the evolution of textile art from the 1960s to 2000s,
http://www.musees
.vd.ch/en/museem-
beaux-arts/
exhibition/past-
exhibitions
/tapisseries-
nomades-fondation
-toms-pauli-collection-xxe-siecle/
. browngrotta arts has work available by twelve of the artists included in this very significant international survey of art textiles — Magadalena Abakanowicz, Lia Cook, Sheila Hicks, Jan HladikRitzi Jacobi, Naomi Kobayashi, Maria Laszkiewicz, Jolanta Owidzka, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, Wojciech Sadley, Sherri Smith and Hideho Tanaka. The exhibition will be on view through May 29th. In Tilburg, the Netherlands the Textile Museum is hosting a major retrospective of American artist and textile pioneer Sheila Hicks, born 1934 http://www.textielmuseum.nl/nl/tentoonstelling/sheila-hicks. Internationally renowned, thanks to her participation in numerous large solo and group exhibitions, this is her first appearance in the Netherlands for many years. The exhibition extends through June 5, 2016.


browngrotta arts Returns to SOFA Chicago, November 5-8th

627mr PapelionIidae, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette wool, steel, 54” x 54” x 16”, 2000

627mr PapelionIidae, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette
wool, steel, 54” x 54” x 16”, 2000

After a few-year hiatus, browngrotta arts will return to the Sculpture, Objects, and Functional Art Exposition at the Navy Pier in Chicago next month. We’ll be reprising our most recent exhibition, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, with different works for a number of artists, including Naoko Serino, Kay Sekimachi, Anda Klancic, Ritzi Jacobi, Randy Walker, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, Carolina Yrarrázaval and Lenore Tawney. Other artists whose work will be featured in browngrotta arts’ exhibit are Magdalena Abakanowicz, Adela Akers, Lia Cook, Sheila Hicks, Masakazu Kobayashi, Naomi Kobayashi, Luba Krejci, Jolanta Owidzka, Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smith, Carole Fréve, Susie Gillespie, Stéphanie Jacques, Tim Johnson, Marianne Kemp, Federica Luzzi, Rachel Max, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, Michael Radyk and Gizella K Warburton. SOFA will publish a related essay, Fiber Art Pioneers: Pushing the Pliable Plane by Jo Ann C. Stabb,
on the origins of the contemporary fiber movement.

1cy AZUL Y NEGR Carolina Yrarrázaval rayon, cotton 116" x 40.5”, 2003

1cy AZUL Y NEGR
Carolina Yrarrázaval
rayon, cotton
116″ x 40.5”, 2003

Now in its 22nd year, SOFA CHICAGO is a must-attend art fair, attracting more than 36,000 collectors, museum groups, curators and art patrons to view museum-quality works of art from 70+ international galleries. After a nationwide competition, SOFA CHICAGO recently placed #7 in the USA Today Reader’s Choice 10 Best Art Events.New this year, SOFA CHICAGO will unveil a revamped floorplan created by Chicago architects Cheryl Noel and Ravi Ricker of Wrap Architecture. The re-envisioned design will create a more open and cohesive show layout, allowing visitors to explore the fair in a more engaging way. Changes include a new, centrally located main entrance where browngrotta arts’ booth, 921, will be located. Cheryl Noel of Wrap Architecture adds, “The most effective urban contexts contain distinct places within the larger space, corridors with visual interest and clear paths with fluid circulation. We believe this new floorplan will capture the spirit of the art and be an expression of the work itself, exploring form and materiality, with the same level of design rigor applied.”

1rw SAW PIECE NO.4 (AUTUMN) Randy Walker, salvaged bucksaw, steel rod, nylon thread 42" x 96" x 26", 2006, Photo by Tom Grotta

1rw SAW PIECE NO.4 (AUTUMN)
Randy Walker, salvaged bucksaw, steel rod, nylon thread
42″ x 96″ x 26″, 2006, Photo by Tom Grotta

On Friday, November 6th, from 12:30 to 2:30, Michael Radyk will be at browngrotta arts’ booth to discuss his Swan Point series, Jacquard textiles created to be cut and manipulated after being taken off the loom, in which Radyk was trying “to bring the artist’s hand back into the industrial Jacquard weaving process.” SOFA opens with a VIP preview on Thursday, November 5th, from 5 pm to 9 pm. The hours for Friday and Saturday are 11 am – 7 pm; and 12 to 6 pm on Sunday the 8th. SOFA is in the Festival Hall, Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60611. Hope to see you there!


Last Chance: TWO WAYS-STUDIOS

Mariette Rousseau-Vermette
and Claude Vermette:
Creators of Modern Québec
through October 12th
Contemporary Museum of Art,
Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec, Canada

Mariette Rousseau-Vermette & Claude Vermette. Portraits by Tom grotta

Mariette Rousseau-Vermette & Claude Vermette. Portraits by Tom Grotta

Two-Way Studios – Mariette Rousseau-Vermette and Claude Vermette: Creators of Modern Québec, at the Contemporary Museum of Art at Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, invites visitors to wander through more than five decades of artistic creation The art of Mariette Rousseau-Vermette (1926-2006) and Claude Vermette (1930-2006) offers a view of a way of life that emerged in Québec in the late 1950s. Their works were sometimes monumental and could readily be integrated in the architectural context. They express, according to the Museum, a basic tenet of the “Quiet revolution” that aligns cultural production with social progress. Throughout the 60s, these couple merged modernist values and traditional craft, aiming to express a cultural identity that could be both ultra-contemporary and remain respectful of the past. The exhibition displays the production of these two artists in a series of “chapters” themes. Through a chronological approach, viewers are able to make comparisons. The exhibition reveals a common spirit, strong affinities, correspondences, and, of course, emotional and intellectual ties, set within a single historical and sociological context, crossing an important period of recent history.

Virtual Exhibition: You can take a video walkthrough of the exhibition and the artists’ separate, but adjacent studios, in Ste. Adele, Canada at: http://www.hdmedia360.ca/english/visite-virtuelle/hd/cbphgpWJl-mac-baie-saint-paul-rousseau-vermette.html. More images: See a review in Vie des Arts Magazine: http://www.viedesarts.com/article790-Precurseurs.

Vermette spent 30 years creating ceramics for architecture — bringing warmth and color to stark, cold constructions. He created new forms of clay composition, modules for tiles and bricks and new patented enamels. These innovations improved the sustainability of ceramics for the Canadian climate and its gruelling winters. His bricks and tiles earned him a First Prize in 1962 for industrial design. His large-scale ceramic compositions grace more than 100 public buildings, including pavilions and buildings connected to the Montreal World’s Fair in 1967, at Osaka in 1970, at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal. as well as in many schools, churches, courthouses, universities, more than a dozen Montreal subway stations and other buildings, including General Motors in New York City, MacMillan Bloedel in Vancouver and Bell Canada in Toronto. The last 30 years of his career, Vermette devoted to painting. His paintings have been collected and exhibited in Canada and abroad including a 910-foot wall of paintings at Bell Canada’s Trinity Square office in Toronto.

Born in 1926, in Trois-Pistoles, Québec, Mariette Rousseau married Claude Vermette in 1952. She received her training at both the École des beaux-arts du Québec (1944-1948) and at the Oakland College of Arts and Crafts, in California (1948-1949). She and Vermette travelled extensively to Europe and Asia, allowing Rousseau-Vermette to broaden and deepen her understanding of different tapestry techniques. She was honored several times in Québec and abroad, winning numerous awards throughout her career. She has exhibited in Canada, the United States, in several European countries — including at several Lausanne Biennials of International Tapestry — and in Japan. Her tapestries are held in many major public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, the Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, in Kyoto, the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Contemporary Art Museum of Montréal. She was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her storied career was the subject of an article by Anne Newlands, in the Journal of Canadian Art History,“Mariette Rousseau-Vermette: Journey of a Painter-Weaver from the 1940s through the 1960s” (2011). You can watch a video (in French) about a careful restoration and installation of a large Rousseau-Vermette tapestry at Simon’s department store in Montreal at: SIMONS: Des
The Contemporary Museum of Art at Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec is at 3, rue Ambroise-Fafard, Baie-Saint-Paul, G3Z 2J2. Telephone: (418)435-3681. Fax: (418)435-6269. For more information, visit: http://www.macbsp.com/exhib_tocome.aspx.


Art Abroad: Exhibitions in Canada, Europe and the UK

A host of important exhibition featuring art textiles is in store this summer in Europe, the UK and Canada.

Rijswijk Textile Biennial 2015
May 9 – September 27th
Museum Rijswijk, the Netherlands

Mille Fleur by Ane Henriksen

Mille Fleur by Ane Henriksen

In the 2015 Textile Biennial, Museum Rijswijk is showing textile artworks by nineteen international artists including Caroline Bartlett and Ane Henriksen. Apart from the great diversity of textiles and applications, there are common threads evident among the participants this year. All the Submitted works provide material for thought and reflection. Vintage textile, wool, embroidery floss and flax are used in combination with techniques including weaving, cross-stitching and knitting to conjure up loving memories, melancholy or even alienation through a contemporary idiom. For more information, visit: http://www.textielfestival.nl/symposium/rijswijk/rijswijk.php.

Ceca Georgieva’s Memory from the Future

Water-Land, International Competition
Textile Festival
Leiden, the Netherlands
May 2015
Fifty-four works were selected from 175 entries. Ceca Georgieva’s Memory from the Future was the only entry selected from Bulgaria Bulgaria and was awarded 3rd Prize. The jury wrote of Georgieva’s work that, “The use of the material, the thistles, is extraordinary surprising. It is a unique concept in an own technique. The fishes are worked on gauze, that holds the thistles together. It is worked with a lot of imagination. The tessellation shows a proper modesty, the open spaces are an essential part.”For more information, visit: http://www.textielfestival.nl/wedstrijden/genomineerden.php

Sonia Delaunay Tate Modern
The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay
April 15 – August 9th
Tate Modern, London, UK
The Eyal Ofer Galleries, Level 3

Garnering critical acclaim is the Sonia Delaunay retrospective at Tate Modern in London. Delaunay (1885–1979) was a key figure in the Parisian avant-garde who became the European doyenne of abstract art. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, she celebrated the modern world of movement, technology and urban life, exploring new ideas about color theory together with her husband Robert Delaunay. The exhibition features a wide range of media — the groundbreaking paintings, textiles and clothes she made across a 60-year career. Can’t get to the exhibition? A comprehensive survey of her work, Sonya Delaunay, was published to accompany the exhibition. http://shop.tate.org.uk/exhibition-books/sonia-delaunay/invt/16460.

Claude and Mariette Rousseau-Vermette. Photos by Tom Grotta

Claude and Mariette Rousseau-Vermette. Photos by Tom Grotta

TWO WAYS-STUDIOS – Mariette Rousseau-Vermette and Claude Vermette: Crafters of Modern Québec
June 20 to October 12th
Contemporary Museum of Art, Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec, Canada

Two-Way Studios — Mariette Rousseau-Vermette and Claude Vermette: Crafters of Québec Modernity, invites visitors to wander through more than five decades of artistic creation. The art of Mariette Rousseau-Vermette (1926-2006) and Claude Vermette (1930-2006) offers a view of a way of life that emerged in Québec in the late 1950s. The work of the Rousseau-Vermettes most often in the form of murals or tapestries, were sometimes monumental and could readily be integrated in the architectural context. Their works, according to the Museum’s publicity, express a basic tenet of the “Révolution tranquille” that aligns cultural production with social progress. Throughout the 60s, these couple managed to merge modernist values and traditional craft, aiming to express a cultural identity that could be both ultra-contemporary and respectful of the past. For more information, visit: http://www.macbsp.com/exhib_tocome.aspx.

Anda Klancic

Growth 2- Crescita 2 by Anda Klancic


2015 Miniartextil Como
Everyone to the Table
May 9 – June 21st
Former Church of San Francesco
Lake Como / Milan, Italy

This year’s Miniartextil exhibition in the ex church of San Francesco at Como and in Villa Bernasconi in Cernobbio, is the 25th anniversary of the Miniartextil, the unique contemporary fiber art exhibition that annually takes place in Como, Italy and moves to Montrouge /Paris, Caudry and Venice. Fifty-four artists from 25 countries, including Anda Klancic of Slovenia, were invited to exhibit small works (20x20x20 cm). Several artists, including

Naoko Serino Como Installation, photo by Naok Serino

Naoko Serino of Japan, were invited to create large-scale works for the Miniartextil. Serino’s work, Generating-12 can be viewed in the Villa Bernasconi in nearby Cernobbio, Italy. For more information, visit: http://www.miniartextil.it.

MONTANA DEL FUEGO, Magdalena Abakanowicz, 1983, photo by Tom Grotta

MONTANA DEL FUEGO, Magdalena Abakanowicz, 1983, photo by Tom Grotta

Objective Station
June 5- June 14th
Toms Pauli Foundation
Rumine Palace/Espace Artaud
Lausanne, Switzerland

The exhibition in Lausanne, presented by the Toms Pauli Foundation, recalls the prominent role played by the Lausanne Biennials (1962 – 1993) in the history of the New Tapestry, currently experiencing a revival in Paris, Wolfsburg, London and the US. Photographic prints large format give to see bold and monumental installations. At the Espace Arlaud, the public is invited to rediscover the production of Magdalena Abakanowicz, textile artist and Polish sculptor who exhibited in Lausanne and gained importance as one of the major figures of the New Tapestry. For more info: http://polemuseal.ch/media/filer/2015/05/04/150504_dp_objectif_gare_light.pdf

6fl Earth White Shell n.2, Federica Luzzi, linen cord, 4" x 5” x 6”, 2015, photo by Tom Grotta

6fl Earth White Shell n.2, Federica Luzzi, linen cord, 4″ x 5” x 6”, 2015, photo by Tom Grotta

Opus & Light Year XVIII
May 30 – June 24th
Madonna del Pozzo, Porta Monterone,
Spoleto, Italy
Studio A87 in collaboration with Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive

Opus & Light features Installations of works, in this case White Shell, created by Federica Luzzi, that complement the specificity of the venue, which is decorated with a fresco cycle that encompasses an entire century of the history of Italian painting (1493-1600). “This place has given me immediately the particular detail of the apse in the altarpiece of Brera of Piero della Francesca — the shell which stands an egg hanging by a thread, slightly misaligned with respect to the median axis,” says Luzzi. For more information visit: http://www.artapartofculture.net/2015/05/30/white-shell-federica-luzzi/


Influence and Evolution: The Catalog is Now Available

Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture...then and now catalog cover artwork by Federica Luzzi

Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now
catalog cover artwork by Federica Luzzi

Our Spring exhibition Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now explored the impact of artists – Sheila Hicks, Ritzi Jacobi, Lenore Tawney, Ed Rossbach and others – who took textiles off the wall in the 60s and 70s to create three-dimensional fiber sculpture. In Influence and Evolution, we paired early works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lia Cook, Kay Sekimachi and Françoise Grossen — artists who rebelled against tapestry tradition — with works from a later generation of artists, all born in 1960 or after. Fiber sculpture continues to evolve through this second group of artists, including María Eugenia Dávila and Eduardo Portillo of Venezuela,

Influencers Title page  Influence and Evolution catalog

Influencers Title page Influence and Evolution catalog

Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium, Naoko Serino of Japan and Anda Klancic of Slovenia. In our 160-page color exhibition catalog, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, you can see the works in the exhibition. Each artist is represented by at least two works; images of details are included so that readers can experience the works fully. The catalog also includes an insightful essay, Bundling Time and Avant-garde Threadwork by Ezra Shales, PhD, Associate Professor, History of Art Department, Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Influence and EvolutionShales write in his essay, “poses rich comparisons and asks the mind to sustain historical linkages. We feel the uneven texture of time, luring us into a multiplicity of artistic pasts and an open road of varied fibrous futures. An emphasis on plural possibilities makes this exhibition quite distinct from a tidy biblical story of genesis or masters and apprentices. We witness multiple intra-generational passing of batons as well as many artists changing horses midstream, as well they often do.” The three works in Influence and Evolution by Adela Akers that traverse five decades provide a fascinating view of the artistic progression Shales refers to. The curvilinear, draped forms of Summer and Winter 

Influence and Evolution, Adela Akers spread

(1977; restored 2014), he notes, resemble “both a ruffle and a row of ancient mourners.” Midnight, from 1988, by contrast, is hard-edged, “a monumental window into an alternative architectural space.” And Akers recent work, Silver Waves, completed in 2014, is “an intimate surface with linear imagery” whose horsehair bristles “almost invite a caress if they did not seem to be a defensive adaptation.” Juxtapose Silver Waves with American Michael Radyk’s Swan Point (2013) and and Dutch artist, Marianne Kemp’s Red Fody (2013) that also features horsehair,  and catalog readers are likely to understand  Shales’ query: should we categorize woven forms as a logical temporal narrative or inevitable sequence of linked inquiries? Shales is a guest curator of Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and

Influence and Evolution, Sheila Hicks spread

Influence and Evolution, Sheila Hicks spread

Today currently at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York which features more than 100 works, by a core cadre of women—including Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks, Karen Karnes, Dorothy Liebes, Toshiko Takaezu, Lenore Tawney, and Eva Zeisel—who had impact and influence as designers, artists and teachers, using materials in innovative ways. To order a copy of Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and nowour 43rd catalog, visit browngrotta.com.

80.89

Influence and Evolution, Stéphanie Jacques spread


Art in the Mad Men Years — A Fond Farewell

mad-men-mid-season-finale-megan-draper-going-die-plane-crashWe’ll be sad to see the last of Don Draper and Peggy Olson tonight (is it just me, or does anyone else think that Peggy and Jimmy Olsen could be related, except for the spelling, of course?). The series is set in between 1960 and 1970 — remember Pete’s father dying on American Airlines Flight #1 in 1962; Kennedy’s assaination the day before Roger’s daughter’s wedding in 1963; Don getting tickets to see the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965 and this season’s premier with Don watching Nixon announcing troops in Cambodia in 1970?. The series’ sets and costumes are carefully designed, to highlight the clothing, furniture and design of the period. That’s a period that we are nostalgic about. Happily, we live with some classic furniture from those years, including a desk, server and beds by the late Edgar Anderson, a couple of Kennedy rockers, Bertoia side chairs, a Saarinen table, re-issued Uten.silo Wall-Alls and an Arredoluce Monza Triennial floor lamp. We also have the good fortune to promote important artworks from that period, which was a seminal one for contemporary textile art. Here, in honor of Don, Joan, Peggy and rest of the guys, a gallery of fiber art from the Mad Men years.

1962

52r WARP IKAT SPIRAL, Ed Rossbach, 3’ X 9’, 1962

52r WARP IKAT SPIRAL, Ed Rossbach, 3’ X 9’, 1962, photo by Tom Grotta

1964

1ma/r  Studium Faktur, Magdalena Abakanowicz sisal 54" x 43" x 9", 1964

1ma/r Studium Faktur, Magdalena Abakanowicz
sisal
54″ x 43″ x 9″, 1964, photo by Tom Grotta

1965-66

21t PATH II, Lenore Tawney, linen 74" x 30", ca. 1965-66, photo by tom grotta

21t PATH II, Lenore Tawney, linen
74″ x 30″, ca. 1965-66, photo by Tom Grotta

1966

146mr Eclate de Braise, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, wool, 33" x 24", 1966, photo by Tom Grotta

146mr Eclate de Braise, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, wool, 33″ x 24″, 1966, photo by Tom Grotta

1967

1jo/r WARSZAWA Jolanta Owidzka wool, linen and metallic thread 90" x 68",1967, photo by Tom Grotta

1jo/r WARSZAWA
Jolanta Owidzka
wool, linen and metallic thread
90″ x 68″,1967, photo by Tom Grotta

1968

2ws Untitled, Wojciech Sadley , mixed media, 32” x 24”, 1968, photo by Tom Grotta

2ws Untitled, Wojciech Sadley , mixed media, 32” x 24”, 1968, photo by Tom Grotta

1969

Talking Trudeau-Nixon by Helena Hernmarck shown at the Lausanne Biennial in 1969, 51" x 153", photo by Helena Hernmarck

Talking Trudeau-Nixon by Helena Hernmarck
shown at the Lausanne Biennial in 1969, 51″ x 153″, photo by Helena Hernmarck

1970’s

2lk Primitive Figures Bird and insects, Luba Krejci, knotted linen, 40.5" x 44.5" x 2", circa 1970s, photo by Tom grotta

2lk Primitive Figures Bird and insects, Luba Krejci, knotted linen, 40.5″ x 44.5″ x 2″, circa 1970s, photo by Tom Grotta

(For still more on mid-century design, there’s Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today currently at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, which considers the important contributions of women to modernism in postwar visual culture. In the 1950s and 60s, when painting, sculpture, and architecture were dominated by men, and women had considerable impact in alternative materials such as textiles, ceramics, and metals.)


Influence and Evolution Update: More Influencers, North America

Details of works by Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks, Françoise Grossen and Mariette-Rousseau-Vermette

Details of works by Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks, Françoise Grossen and Mariette-Rousseau-Vermette, Photos by tom grotta

Fiber art experimentation by artist in North America including Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks, Françoise Grossen (a Swiss living in the US) and Mariette Rousseau-Vermette in Canada was a feature of the 1960s. The Museum of Modern Art recognized this directional shift in the seminal 1969 Wall Hangings exhibition, curated by Jack Lenor Larsen and then-MOMA curator, Mildred Constantine. The last 10 years “have caused us to revise our concepts of this craft and view the work within the context of 20th century art,” the curators explained. The exhibition featured 13

Details of works by Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smithand Kay Sekimachi

Details of works by Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smithand Kay Sekimachi, Photos by Tom Grotta

artists from North American including Tawney, Hicks, Grossen, Rousseau-Vermette, Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smith and Kay Sekimachi. “The American works tend to be more exploratory and less monumental,” the curators noted, “as illustrated by the ‘sketchy’ and transparent quality of the free-hanging, gossamer piece of nylon monofilament by Kay Sekimachi.” Sherri Smith used gradated color to reinforce the three-dimensional effect of the expanded waffle weave that forms Volcano No. 10. Several of these American artists were featured in the 4th International Tapestry Biennial in Lausanne that the same year, across the Atlantic. “What an event!” writes Erika Billeter in her historical essay, “The Lausanne Tapestry Biennials,” (16th Lausanne International Biennial: Criss-Crossings, 1995, pp. 36-53). Sheila Hicks shows a free-hanging work inspired by ancient Peruvian techniques and Françoise Grossen approaches macrame, thought to be “old hat”, says Billeter, “with such freedom, she transforms it into a hitherto unexplored contribution to this avant-garde textile art.” By 1969, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette was already a “favorite” of the Biennials, getting noticed for her “abstract and highly pictorial pieces with their highly worked surfaces.” Lenore Tawney did not have work in the 4th Biennial, but she had an influence nonetheless, through Susan

Detail of Lia Cooks TRANSLUCENCE rayon, 56" x 40", 1978, photo by Tom Grotta

Detail of Lia Cooks TRANSLUCENCE rayon, 56″ x 40″, 1978, photo by Tom Grotta

Weitzman’s Homage to Lenore Tawney, a transparent mural leaf, made solely of warp yarn. Lia Cook would join this influential group a few years later, finishing her masters degree and gaining international recognition at the 6th Biennial in 1973, with a 10-foot by 12-foot black-and-white optic weaving entitled, Space Continuum. Also gaining recognition in the

Summer and Winter Detail by Adela Akers, Photo by Tom Grotta

Summer and Winter Detail by Adela Akers, Photo by Tom Grotta

1970s, was Adela Akers whose work was included in the Inaugural Exhibition of the American Craft Museum in New York. Her work illustrates how timeless these artists’ explorations have been. “Contextualizing Adela Akers,” writes Ezra Shales, in the catalog for Influence and and Evolution, “one could say that she was born in Spain and trained in Cuba as a pharmacist before she went to Cranbrook, or that she taught at Tyler for decades, but one could not, relying on eye and hand alone, place [her] works as a fixed chronology with any absolute surety.” Works by Tawney, Hicks, Grossen, Rousseau-Vermette, Rossbach, Smith, Cook, Sekimachi and Akers from the 1960s through the 2000s will be among those featured in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now at browngrotta arts, Wilton, Connecticut from April 24th through May 3rd. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 1pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 26th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier than 10am or later than 5pm, call: 203-834-0623.


Objects of Desire Gift Guide: Part Two — Spheres of Influence

A selection of rounds, orbs, spheres and circles in different sizes made from a myriad of materials, including paper, safety pins and silk.

Sheres of Influence
1) OVER EASY, Dona Anderson
paper armature covered with pattern paper as surface design. Frame (cover) is rounds reeds strengthened with pattern paper, polymer and black paint, 10″ x 14″ x 14″ , 2011

2) SMALL WILLOW BOWL, Dail Behennah
white willow, silver-plated pins, 9″ x 9″ x 9″, 2007

3) A BEGINNING, Kyoko Kumai
stainless steel filaments, 7” x 7” x 7”, 2007

4) AIR, Christine Joy
Rocky Mountain Maple with encaustic finish, 9.84″ x 9.84″ x 9.84″, 2012

5) REVOLVING SIX ELEMENTS KYOUGI, Noriko Takamiya,
hinoki inner thin splint, 6″ x 6.75″ x 6″, 2012

6) BLUE SPOOLS SCULPTURE, Axel Russmeyer
bobbins, wood, copper wire
,, 4″ x 10″ x 10″, 2008

7) GOLDEN CRATER, Norma Minkowitz
mixed media, 18″ x 18″ x 18″, 2009

8) EUCALYPTUS BARK POD IN WOOD FRAME I Valerie Pragnell, 
eucalyptus bark, clay and bees  wax in wood frame, 
19″ x 15.5″ x 16″, 2001

9)  SILVER SPHERE,Tamiko Kawata
saftey pins,14″ x 14″ x 14″, 2004

SPHERES OF INFLUENCE

10) WARP IKAT SPIRAL, Ed Rossbach
3’ X 9’, 1962

11) HOMMAGE Á ROTHKOMariette Rousseau-Vermette
wool87″ x 84.5″, 1979

12) PODROZ (Journey) from the Kolodia seriesAgnieszka  Ruszczynska-Szafranska
linen, sisal, wool60″ x 56″, 1986


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.


Dispatches: Chicago’s Art institute, Contemporary Fiber Art from the Permanent Collection

Carter Taking Pictures on the entrance ramp that leads to the art institute

We made a hurried trip to the Art Institute on the

last day of SOFA to see Contemporary Fiber Art: A Selection from the Permanent Collection, the inaugural exhibition in the reopened Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, which were closed for five years during the construction of the Modern Wing. We walked there in the glorious morning sunshine, through a corner of Millennium Park, and entered the Institute from the bridge. Heading down to the textile galleries feels a bit like entering the basement, but once inside, the spaces are light and airy.

Posters for the two fiber exhibits photo by Carter Grotta

The holdings of the Department of Textiles at the Art Institute comprise more than 66,000 sample swatches and 14,000 textiles ranging from 300 BC to the present. Extensive holdings of ecclesiastical textiles, 16th- and 17th-century velvets, 18th-century silks, 18th-20th-century printed fabrics, and lace are included in the department’s impressive collection of European textiles. Other notable holdings include American quilts and woven coverlets, historical fashion accessories, dress and furnishing fabrics and Japanese and Chinese holdings.

Entering the Exhibition facing "Red Doors" by Robert D. Sailors photo by Carter Grotta

Helena Hernmarck's Mu1 and and its maquette next to Si Rothko M'etait Conte by Mariette Rousseau-Vermette photo by Carter Grotta

The Collection also includes more than 400 textiles and fiber art works from the 20th Century. These are not freestanding fiber works, sculptures vessels or baskets, for the most part, but wall hangings and ceiling-hung pieces. Sixty-one of these pieces are currently on display. Nonetheless it is an impressive grouping. The usual suspects are here – Lenore TawneySheila Hicks and Claire Zeisler, Peter Collingwood and the Poles, Magdalena AbakanowiczZofia Butrymowicz and Jolanta Owidzka. But there are some surprises. Red Doors, by Robert D. Sailors, which graces the entrance is a show stopper. The Cynthia Schira that is included is an excellent piece.  Helena (Barynina) Hernmarck’s 1965 abstract tapestry Mu1 is enhanced by the powerful painted maquette that is displayed alongside. The Mariette Rousseau-Vermette work, Si Rothko M’etait Conté (If Rothko Himself Had Told Me a Story)(which we assisted a client in donating) was luminous. We were delighted to see the tapestries  floating off the wall, as we recommend, giving added dimension to the works. One quibble, the works in the cases in the conference room, which include a piece by Scott Rothstein, need to be better lit. Maybe motion detection lights would work, which would minimize energy use and uv exposure but still enable the works to be seen when viewers enter the room.

The items selected work well together, as curator Christa C. Mayer Thurman, emerita of the Department of Textiles, intended. The exhibition’s stated aim — to explore how fiber art has developed as an art form from the middle of the 20th Century through today and illustrate how the flexibility and variability of the medium encouraged artists to explore the potential of different fibers and methods — has certainly been achieved.

View of exhibit centered around a work by Claire Zeisler photo by Carter Grotta