Tag: Tamiko Kawata

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.


Looking Forward/Looking Back: Tamiko Kawata

Tamiko Kawata installations

Safety pin has been my primary medium for some time.  It functions variously as thread, yarn, clay or truss in my work process.  Safety pins entered my life soon after I arrived from Japan, out of the necessity to shorten the all-too long American clothing.

In the beginning, I made simple flat pieces, finding ways to interlock the pins as if weaving.  Each piece was an experiment and each piece took me to another unexpected stage.  Slowly and naturally I found constructing systems as I went along, using only the inherent structural properties of the pins, and I can now create from anything from drawing-like works to three-dimensional self-standing works and jewelry forms.

In 1999, I was given the opportunity to install these works outdoors.  It is a challenging and exciting practice, to expose this very domestic, usually hidden thing,  to the open, rough environment of nature, where it must face all kinds of weather and is susceptible to damage and decay.  Working outdoors gives me another angle to express my concept.

White City Detail by Tamiko Kawata, photo by Tom Grotta

I like to use materials suitable for expressing my belief in respect for common people and small lives, and things that reflect my feelings toward the American life that I have happily adopted.  The impact of the differences between these two countries, in the lifestyles and the philosophies is so great that it still preoccupies my mind, even though I have lived longer here than I lived in Japan.  Unconsciously, I continually connect two cultures.

I like to interweave these thoughts through my works… it is my diary in visual form.

Tamiko Kawata

September 2012


Quiz: Sleight of Hand: Can You Identify these Remastered Materials?

Sleight of Hand, currently on exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, celebrates artists, including Lia Cook and Norma Minkowitz, who create works of art that challenge viewers’ perception, through their innovative use of materials and textile techniques. There are a several other artists represented by browngrotta arts who do the same. Inspired by the concept, we created a quiz.  See if what you can guess about the materials and methods used to create the works in these images. The short answers appear at the end. You can click on each answer to see a larger version on our website (but not until you’ve made a guess!).

Ed Rossbach, Axel Russmeyer, Sue Lawty, Adela Akers, Karyl Sisson, Kazue Honma, Tomiko Kawata, Kate Hunt, Dani Marti, Merja Winqvist, Heidrun Schimmel, Wendy Wahl, Toshio Sekiji, Simone Pheulpin, Heidrun Schimmel

 

Answer Key:
a) Ed Rossbach – plastic tubing
b) Axel Russmeyer – bobbins with thread
c) Sue Lawty – woven lead
d) Adela Akers – linen, horsehair, paint and metal wine foil
e) Karyl Sisson – cloth measuring tapes
f) Kazue Honma – Japanese strapping tape, tannin
g) Tamiko Kawata – safety pins on canvas
h) Deborah Valoma – woven copper
i) Dani Marti – marine rope — polypropylene and nylon
j) Merja Winqvist – florist paper
k) Kate Hunt – newspaper, gold leaf, burnt plaster
l) Wendy Wahl – industrial paper and yarn
m) Toshio Sekiji – newspapers from Japan. China and Korea
n) Simone Pheulpin – folded cotton
o) Heidrun Schimmel – heavily stitched cotton, large sewing needle

 


Books Make Great Gifts 2010: Artist Recommendations, Part I

I asked the artists whose work browngrotta arts represents to weigh in with book recommendations again this year. Specifically, I asked them to provide a list of any or all of the following: “What book(s) inspired you in the past?” “What book(s) continue to inspire you?” “What book(s) remain among your favorite(s)?” and/or “What was the best book you read in the last year?” As always, people responded swiftly and thoughtfully, with enough suggestions to fill a few posts. Here are ten suggestions to start.

For Lena McGrath Welker, books that provide past and continuing inspiration include Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore, which has an excellent section on creativity, Wabi-Sabi, the original text by Leonard Koren, and poems by Anna Ahkmatova (You Will Hear Thunder and Complete Poems) and Anne Carson (Nox, Decreation and Glass, Irony and God, among others). Welker has been very involved in preparing her one-person exhibition this year (currently at the North Dakota Museum of Art – more on that in an upcoming blog) but she says the best book she listened to this year was Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

Debra Sachs says, “I mostly prefer fiction but after hearing Barbara Strauch in an interview I decided to read her book, The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind. It is so affirming to those of us of a certain age who feel like our minds are constantly betraying us.” Sachs adds; “How does it influence the artist me? I can’t remember!!!”

Heidrun Schimmel has been very interested in books about New York as “the metropolis of modern and contemporary art,” including  Just Kids by Patti Smith and Fifth Avenue by Stephan Wackwitz, of the Goethe Institute in New York. Fifth Avenue was published this year by S.Fischer Verlag in Frankfurt and has not yet been translated into English. Wackwitz’ previous work, An Invisible Country, is available in English.

The Life of Isamu Noguchi: Journey Without Borders, is recommended by Tamiko Kawata. The serious and studious book looks at the life and art and racial problems that faced the artist, who once said that his “longing for affiliation” was source of his creativity.

Scott Rothstein recommends Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection and the Stella Kramrisch Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz are collectors of American Outsider Art. In Kantha, which are made by self-taught artists, they saw the same spirit and vision as in the art they have acquired over the last 25 years. Scott played a role in growing the Kantha collection for his hometown museum’s collection, having discovered some of the Kathas in the Bonovitz collection while he lived in India. Scott shares the couple’s appreciation for Outsider Art. See his blog: Art Found Out: for more on Outsider Art around the world.

More to come.

Technorati Tags: Lena Welker, Heidrun Schimmel, Tamiko Kawata, Scott Rothstein


Check It Out: All in the Family

The fashion line, Vena Cava boasts fans from Maggie Gyllenhaal to Rita Wilson to the Gossip Girls set. Started in 2003 by a two graduates of Parsons School of Design, who had been friends since high school, the line received back-to-back nominations for the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Award in 2007 and 2008 and has garnered well-deserved acclaim for its “fresh spin on vintage mixed with an arty palette and hand-drawn prints.” Vena Cava collections have been inspired by Japan, Egyptian history and this year, wall murals of South Africa’s Ndebele tribe.

Admittedly, we are not so fashion forward around here. But we do love the Vena Cave blog, Viva Vena Cava at blogspot. http://www.vivavenacava.blogspot.com/ There are interesting textile finds — a Navajo rug, a beaded wall hanging. And lots of other posts of interest, from a Safety Pin Vest (a DIY version of the Safety Pin Camisole from the designers’ Spring 2010 line ) to photos of elaborately carved Sculptures of Cheese. But why did we check it out in the first place? Because Sophie Buhai, one of the firm’s principals (the other is Lisa Maycock) is Tom’s second cousin. And we’re proud. Check it out.