Tag: Tapestry

ART ASSEMBLED FEATURED IN JUNE

The start to summer has been quite busy for browngrotta arts. At the beginning of June browngrotta arts’ opened Plunge: explorations from above and below in collaboration with the New Bedford Art Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Soon after came the launch of Cross Currents: Art Inspired by Water, an online companion exhibition to Plunge. We’ve featured four works on our website as New This Weekthree sculptures and a tapestry.

Reaching Out by Karyl Sisson

Reaching Out by Karyl Sisson, vintage zipper tape and thread, 8″ x 56″ x 45″, 2013

Made with vintage zipper tape and thread, Karyl Sisson’s Reaching Out cloaks the floor in a deep red. Many of Karyl’s sculptures resemble sea creatures, Reaching Out, which can be viewed in Plunge, resembles an octopus lingering along the seafloor. Rather than starting with a set idea of what she wants to create, Sisson lets the materials and processes dictate the form of her pieces.

61hh

On the Dock by Helena Hernmarck, wool, 43″ x 57″, 2009

Helena Hernmarcks’ tapestry On the Dock depicts two women enjoying the sunshine. Hernmarck. On the Dock can also be viewed with other water-influenced works in Cross Currents, at browngrotta.com.  

Peninsula by Mary Merkel-Hess

Peninsula by Mary Merkel-Hess, paper, paper cord
22” x 22” x 44”, 2016

Peninsula, a sculpture made with paper and paper cord, reflects Mary Merkel-Hess’ study of the natural world. Using a technique of her own creation, Merkel-Hess builds each piece using a combination of collage and paper mâché with inclusions of materials such as reed, paper cord, wood, and drawings.  

Intrusion by Dail Behennah, scorched and waxed white willow; silver black patinated and plated pins, 2″ x 22″ x 22″; 2014

Intrusion, a white willow basket made by Dail Behennah draws in the eye with its grid-like basket architecture. Dail drew inspiration for this piece from igneous intrusions into landscapes. As the softer rocks are worn away the peaks and tors remain hard-edged outcrops on the surface.


Art Assembled: Featured in December

Dona Look White Birch Bark Baskets

Dona Look
10dl #10-1, white birch bark and waxed silk thread, sewn with wrapped edge
12.6” x 10” x 10”, 2010
10dl #13-2, woven white birch bark, sewn and wrapped with waxed silk thread
13.75” x 8.5” x 8.5”, 2013
9dl #15-2, white birch bark and waxed silk thread sewn exterior, woven interior and wrapped edge
11.75” x 11.75” x 11.75”, 2015.
Photo by Tom Grotta

Each week of the year at browngrotta.com, we draw attention to a work, a book or a project by one of the artists we represent. Beginning this December, we’ll be providing a monthly round up of these works here on arttextstyle.com. This month on browngrotta.com we featured four very disparate works. First, baskets of white birch by Dona Look, who harvests the bark herself in Wisconsin where she lives. “Look carefully selects bark from large, healthy trees that will soon be logged—evaluating the diameter of each tree and the bark’s thickness, for its unique markings and flexibility,” explains Jane Milosch in “The Entanglement of Nature and Man,” Green from the Get Go: Contemporary International Basketmakers (browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT 2016). “Collecting and preparing the bark is painstaking and must be done in the spring when the sap is running. Unfortunately, her work has become increasingly difficult of late as not all of the trees are in a natural cycle, and some are dying due to climate change, such as white birch trees, once prevalent in northern Wisconsin forests.” The simple geometric patterns of some of her works, writes Milosch, “recall the patterns of Native American parfleche pouches, which were a kind of geographical depictions of the surrounding land, at the same time her basket preserves the radiant splendor of birch.”

steel weaving by Kyoko Kumai

31kk Kyoko Kumai, Sen Man Na Yu Ta, stainless steel filaments, 44″ x 38″ x 7.75″, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

A strikingly different sensibility is evident in Sen Man Na Yu Ta, Kyoko Kumai’s wall sculpture of stainless steel. The steel filaments, mass-produced in a factory, are inorganic and monotonous by themselves, but when they are woven, twisted or bundled together they take on an organic appearance that serves to express various aspects of wind, air and light.

Glass and paper boat

32jb Glass Boat, Jane Balsgaard, plantpaper, twigs and glass, 14″ x 13″ x 1.5″ 2015. Photo by Tom Grotta

Our third choice, Jane Balsgaard’s Glass Boat, deftly blends a sail of lightly processed handmade paper and a hull of glossy glass. Finally, in Process Piece, Ed Rossbach takes on construction, deconstruction and reconstruction in one work. First, he printed an image onto fabric, then he unraveled the fabric and finally re-constructed it into a new version. “I thought he was crazy,” his wife, artist Katherine Westphal told us.
The four works create a fine sentiment for 2017: Seek the splendid, airy, shiny and light; be willing to re-envision and remake.

Ed Rossbach Weaving

159r Process Piece, Ed Rossbach, 15″ x 15″ x 2.5″, 1981. Photo by Tom Grotta


Influence and Evolution Introduction: Federica Luzzi

Frederica Luzzi Black and Red Installation, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Art…then and now

Frederica Luzzi Black and Red Shell Installation, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Art…then and now. Photo by Tom Grotta

A series of Federica Luzzi’s intricate sculptures of linen rope will be featured in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Art…then and now. The Italian artist’s 2014 work, White Earth Shell, won the prestigious Montrouge Prize at the 10th annual Miniartetextil á Montrouge, produced by Arte&Arte in France ​​and was acquired by the city, becoming part of the

10th annual Miniartetextil á Montrouge poster. photo by Federica Luzzi

 

collections of the town hall, and, in 2015, gracing the invitations and posters for the 11th annual contemporary textile art event. Her work has also been exhibited at the Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland, the Jean Lurçat Museum of Contemporary Tapestry, Angers, France (comparing her work with that of Jagoda Buic), the Alvar Aalto Museum in Finland and the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels, Belgium. “My artistic research deals with nature,” the artist explains, “in particular leaves, barks, but above all seeds of plants, pods that give me great fascination and the reason I entitle my works Shell, the English equivalent for the Italian “conchiglia”, conch. The term “shell” is based on the linguistic valence of covering, when shapes shut themselves up:

Frederica Luzzi Black Shell Detail, photo by Tom Grotta

Frederica Luzzi Black Shell Detail, photo by Tom Grotta

carapace, cuirass, frame, carcass, skeleton, projectile, appearance, scale.” She uses a vertical loom which allows her to work thefibers from their frame to three-dimensions. She presents her works in a dimensional installation, “as if they were fragments of a galaxy: macrocosm and microcosm together; disseminations, sowing of fragile bodies aggregated magnetically and arranged in constellations or in an unknown writing.” A “constellation” of Luzzi’s black knot-like pieces is among the works by this artist that will be on display at Influence and Evolution, which opens at 3pm on April 24th. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 12pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 26th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier or later, call: 203-834-0623.


25 at 25 at SOFA NY Countdown: Carolina Yrarrazaval

Silk, Carolina Yrarrazaval, Photo by Tom Grotta


Chilean artist Carolina Yrarrázaval is one of the 25 artists whose work browngrotta arts will feature at SOFA NY. Throughout her career, Yrarrázaval has investigated and adapted traditional textile techniques from diverse cultures, especially Pre-Columbian techniques.
indigo wall sculpture

Matrix II-201011 by Chang Yeonsoon, indigo dyed abaca fiber26.75” x 26.5 “x 10”, 2010

“Abstraction has always been present as an aesthetic aim,” she says, “informing my choice of materials, forms, textures and colors.” She works with simple proportions, guided by an intuitive sense and avoiding the use of mathematical formulas. This simplification and freedom from conceptual constraints combine says the artist, “to reveal a language that conjures up other impressions, such as emptiness and the need for austerity and sensuality, silence and aloneness.”Yrazzával’s work has ben exhibited in the National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago Chile; Interamerican Bank Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Pre-Columbian Arts Museum, Santiago, Chile; Le Recoleta Cultural Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland (International Triennial of Tapestry); Graz, Austria (International Textile Symposium); Goethe Institute, Santiago, Chile; Montevideo, Uruguay (Latin American Mini-Textile Exhibition); Valparaiso, Chile (Concurso de Arte Joven); Havana, Cuba (IIIrd Havana Biennial) and the Chilean Consulate Gallery, New York, New York.


25 at 25 at SOFA NY Countdown: Lija Rage

Animal, Lija Rage, photo by Tom Grotta

At SOFA NY this April, browngrotta arts will introduce the work of Latvian artist Lija Rage. Rage’s work is influenced by different cultures that she plunges into with the help of literature. Rage says she is  particularly interested in drawings of ancient cultures on the walls of caves in different parts of world; Eastern culture with its mysterious magic, drawings of runes in Scandinavia, Tibet and the mandala, Egyptian pyramid drawings. “World culture,”she says, “seems close and colorful to me due to its diversity.” For Rage’s work Animal, one of two that browngrotta arts will display at SOFA NY, Rage was inspired by prehistoric cave drawings. These drawings illustrate myths, Rage explains, “not only about our past, but about masculine and feminine, about pagans and Christians, about God and good and evil and about the eternal meaning of human existence.” Rage used silk and copper threads in Animal, to illustrate the mystical effect that cave drawings have on her.

Animal, Lija Rage, silk, metallic thread, flax, 46" x 65", 2006 photo by Tom Grotta

Rage’s work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the Decorative + Applied Art Museum, Riga, Latvia; Contemporary Art Museum, Liege, Belgium; Cheongju, Korea; Artist Union of Latvia Art Collection, Riga; Art Museum of Oulu, Finland; Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, England; Exhibition Hall Arsenals, State Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia; Beauvais, France; Artist Union Gallery Riga Latvia ; Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn, Estonia; Riga Gallery, Latvia; Kaunas, Lithuania; UNESCO Exhibition Hall, Paris, France.
Rage received the Special Prize in the 5th Cheongju International Craft Biennial and the Grand Prix, at the Baltic Applied Art Triennial.


25 at 25 at SOFA NY Countdown: Susie Gillespie

SETTLEMENT detail by Susie Gillespie, photo by Tom Grotta

Susie Gillespie’s weavings contain many influences besides those of ancient textiles that have survived the millennia. The artist writes that she finds “beauty in the ruins of what once must have been new: the patterns in damp and crumbling plaster; the remains of paint on decayed wood; rotting bark; broken carvings; fallen monoliths. Some of these I express in broken borders, insets and slits; twining and wrapping; weaves of herringbone and twill; mends, darns, fraying; drawn threads and slits.” She seeks to reinvent the past to some extent, “Despite my weaving having roots in the past, I look forward to a future where we do not discard things because they are worn out or outmoded. Out of decay and disintegration I wish to express a sense of renewal.”

Settlement by Susie Gillespie, antique handspun linen & Nepalese nettle yarn, modern linen, cotton, natural pigments from caves. gesso, hand-made paper, 45.5" x 48" x 1", 2010, photo by Tom Grotta

At SOFA NY 2012, browngrotta arts will exhibit Gillespie’s 2012 work, Settlement, in which the artist has combined antique handspun linen yarn, handspun Nepalese nettle yarn, modern linen, cotton, natural pigments from caves, gesso and handmade paper to create a contemporary haptic artifact. Gillespie’s work has been exhibited at the Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth, UK; Somerset House, London, UK (Origin); Torre Abbey, Torquay, UK; Brewery Arts Centre. She is a recipient of the Theo Moorman Trust Weaving Award.

Art into Text: Naomi Kobayashi’s Work Inspires a Plot Twist

KAKU 2000/106 & 104 Naomi Kobayashi, paper and thread, 17” x 13.5” x 2”

William Bayer, author of The Dream of the Broken Horses, Switch, Peregrine and Punish Me With Kisses, among other titles, has woven Naomi Kobayashi’s art into his upcoming novel – working title, In the Weave. Bayer is a collector of Kobayashi’s art work — weavings of thread and strips of washi paper on which she has written calligraphy. For his new book, Bayer envisioned a character with a secret recorded on paper that she protects by cutting the pages into strips and incorporating it into a weaving, which is then unraveled so the paper strips can be steamed and pieced back together to reveal the secret. When contacted for her advice, Kobayashi agreed that a weaving of paper strips and thread could be de-constructed and de-coded as Bayer planned; the paper strips would survive steaming and unraveling, she wrote, because handmade washi paper is strong. She worried, however, that the ink might blur during steaming and suggested that Bayer’s character use oil-based ink. We’ll let you know when the book is ready to hit  bookstore shelves. In the meantime. We’ve gotten Bayer’s permission to share a snippet of what’s to come:

From In the Weave, by William Bayer:

Kate and I are up in the A.I.R. loft. Liv’s weaving is spread out before us, reminding me of that T. S. Eliot line “like a patient etherised upon a table.” In fact, we have set TPR on the apartment dining table, and beside it have set out our instruments: scissors, needles, tweezers. Surgery is about to commence.

Kate smiles. “Nervous?”

How can I not be?

I think you should make the first cut,” she says.

I nod, gaze down at the weaving, so beautifully finely made. And then I take the scissors in hand, and begin.

We’ve discussed this deconstruction process at great length, and though we’re not certain if we’re right, we’ve decided to start by scissoring off the top selvage, snip the cotton warp in numerous places to try and loosen the weave, then pluck out the first several washi paper wefts. It’s our hope that if we steam these wefts, they’ll open up and flatten out. Then and only then will we be able to determine if there’s writing on them. If there is, we’ll repeat the process hundreds of times until we’ve removed and steamed open all the strips, and then try, as puzzle solvers, to reassemble these strips until we’ve reconstructed the original sheet of paper. Only then will we be able to read whatever Liv may have written on it. We know this process  will be laborious, will take us many hours, and may, in the end, come to nothing. In which case we will have destroyed her amazing work of art. But what choice do we have? If Liv did in fact “conceal my pain in the weave,” we must uncover it. And if she didn’t, we’ll be left with nothing but a heap of cotton thread and marked up paper strips, and a tremendous amount of remorse.


Installation News: Grethe Sørenson for Tronrud Engineering in Norway

Greyscale+Colour by Grethe Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

In 2010, Danish artist Grethe Sørensen was commissioned to produce a site-specific, large-scale work of textile art for Tronrud Engineering in Hønefoss, Norway. Tronrud Engineering specializes in developing machinery within the industrial automation area. The firm’s new location, designed by Norwegian architects Snøhetta (Snoarc), is situated at Eggemoen, the largest natural flat plateau in Norway.

Tronrud-Grey by Grethe Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

Detail Greyscale by Grethe Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

The work that resulted was Fjeld og li og fjord, a title taken from a quotation from a Danish song about Norwegian landscapes which means “mountain and meadow and fiord.” For the work’s motif, Sørensen took as a point of departure the contours of the landscape around Eggemoen, and rendered these contours in three variations on the same theme — Contour, Greyscale and Color — one theme for each floor in the building. The textiles are integrated into the structure of the building; placed opposite the entrance doors on three floors above each other covering walls of 15 square meters each. Each piece consists of 5 panels of jacquard-woven fabric.

Tronrud-Black by Grethe Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

Detail-Contour by Greteh Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

The first floor shows a color fantasy of the landscape theme. This image is the first impression to visitors and it may be seen as an expression of the creativity that is one of the main characteristics of Tronrud Engineering. The second floor has the Greyscale. From a distance it gives a three-dimensional impression of the landscape. On closer inspection, it’s evident that it is made up of different patterns in black and white – typical digital patterns. These patterns reference Norwegian a traditional knitting pattern, “lusekofte,” a Norwegian sweater pattern, dating from the 19th century. It features a black-and-white design, and the name means “lice jacket,” after the isolated black stitches. The Greyscale motif represents tradition combined with innovation as an expression of the versatility and wide-ranging skills represented by the people in the company. On the third floor is the pure black-and-white image of the landscape with contours and a line in red. This piece expresses the sharpness, seriousness and precision for which the firm is known.

Portrait of Grethe Sørensen¸photo by Bo Hovgaard

The samples were woven by Sørensen on a handloom with digital single-thread control. The final pieces were woven on an industrial jacquard loom at Digital Lab, at the Audax Textile Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands.


Dispatches: Helena Hernmarck’s Tabula Rasa at Purdue

Helena Hernmarck's Tabula Rasa at the Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue's College of Liberal Arts

In 2009, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana selected Helena Hernmarck to design and execute a tapestry for the Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts. Lisa Lee Peterson, Professor and Graduate Director of Department of Art and Design, was instrumental in Hernmarck’s selection by the university art committee.  “Of the artists working in tapestry today,” the University’s press materials quote Jack Lenor Larson, “Helena Hernmarck stands without peer.  Her works have been selected for scores of prestigious public spaces and are seen each year by millions of viewers.  The hallmark of Ms. Hernmarck’s work is her skill in creating the optical illusion of three-dimensional designs on flat but richly textured surfaces of tapestry.”

Helena Hernmarck and Lisa Lee Peterson in Front of Tabula Rasa at Purdue University. Photo by Skif Peterson

The University determined the location of the piece — the stairwell between the first and second floors — but left the other details to Hernmarck, who addressed two needs in her conception for the piece. She wanted the designed image to collectively represent the various art forms that are studied within the building — painting, ceramic, jewelry, textile, industrial design, theater, dance and music and she wanted the design to fit within the chosen area and increase the feeling of space in the stairwell.

Designed during the summer 2009, Hernmarck settled on a theme for the design: tabula rasa, the unwritten page, also a piece of ceramic that is scraped clean of marks after each use. Hernmarck’s Tabula Rasa would represent the beginning of the creative journey, whether at inception or at the commencement of an additional phase of the creative process.  During sketching, Hernmarck often finds the road to a final design through a process of changes or “scraping away” of initial ideas in such a way that previous marks still become part of the overall design. The early phase of Tabula Rasa is referenced in the few words written on a white page woven in the tapestry.

Hernmarck achieved the feeling of space for the stairwell that she envisioned by painting and then photographing small cut-up pieces of watercolors so that they cast shadows creating an image of being in flight. This enabled her to place the smallest of the elements of Tabula Rasa closest to the plane of the image, i.e. the place with the most sense of urgency. The final design includes a play on shadows to create a visual illusion on different levels which solved the challenge of designing the lower portion of the work to catch the eye of a person walking up the staircase.

Tabula Rasa, just off-the-loom on display at the Dalamas Museum, Falun, Sweden

Alice Lund Textiles, Borlange, Sweden produced the tapestry. The main weavers were Britt-Marie Bertilsson and Ebba Bergstrom. Tabula Rasa is the twenty-first tapestry of Helena Hernmarck’s design and technique to be woven at Alice Lund Textiles since 1975. The weaving took 30 weeks from beginning to finish. During this time, Hernmarck visited the studio periodically in order to oversee the quality of the work and to participate in both the weaving and the dying process of the wool with its numerous variations, shades and values. The colors were custom dyed at Wålstedts Textile Spinning and Dying Workshop in Dala-Floda. For Tabula Rasa the workshop dyed 24 kg of wool in 41 different colors. Hernmarck prefers to use of a variety of different qualities in the spun wool, such as thin gobeline, gobelin with rya wool, and single-ply rya wool. The final work includes hundreds of different colors and textures. A video of the weaving of  Tabula Rasa can be viewed at http://browngrotta.com/Pages/hernmarck.php.

Tabula Rasa by Helena Hernmarck Detail

Hernmarck’s unique technique combines different weaving methods and patterns with which she has experimented for more than 45 years. The Hernmarck tapestry technique creates a coarse texture much like the Impressionists’ painting style of the early 1900s. A full-scale enlargement of the image in black and white is created before beginning the tapestry. The cartoon is then adhered to the back side of the tapestry and draped over an aluminum tube that presses the cartoon up against the warp from underneath. The cartoon makes it possible to follow the forms and shadows that can be seen through the warp threads. In order to observe what the weaving will look like at a distance, the artist looks through a small pair of binoculars, turned backwards.  While the tapestry is woven on the horizontal loom, only 50 cm of the tapestry can be viewed at one time.  The ongoing action and reaction in changing colors and weaving techniques creates the overall beauty of the tapestry.

Tabula Rasa was unveiled at Purdue on October 12, 2010. The final size of the tapestry is 3 meters high x 4.45 meters wide (11′ x 14.3′); the weight about 50 kg. Hernmarck has created a related companion piece, Tabula Rasa 2, which is available for sale. http://browngrotta.com/Pages/newthisweek.php

Dispatches: Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts

It was the well worth the wait.  The first museum retrospective of Sheila Hicks‘ remarkable career has opened at the Addison Gallery and will travel to additional venues in the next few years, including the Institute of Contemporary Art of Philadelphia next March 2011 and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC in October 2011.

Addison Gallery

The Addison is an ideal showcase for the expansive exhibition, which includes more than 100 works, journals, videos and photographs. The classic architecture of the gallery provides an ideal counterpoint for Hicks’ brilliantly colored soft sculptures, for the more formal panels of stitched medallions and linen pony tails and for the minimes, framed miniature works, from various decades that are featured throughout the exhibition. When we arrived at sundown, the building was bathed in golden light an inviting complement to La Mémoire, the brilliantly colored series of wrapped cords to the left of the entrance and Bamian, the larger jewel-toned installation that can be seen in the distance in the gallery down the corridor.

Entrance to Sheila Hicks Exhibition at the Addison Gallery. Photo by Carter Grotta

The exhibition is comprehensive, addressing the remarkable reach of Hicks’ artistic life, which has included learning sewing and embroidery as a child in Nebraska, studying painting with Josef Albers at Yale, weaving in South America on a Fulbright and site commissions for public spaces including the Ford Foundation and Georg Jensen in New York, the Target corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, the Fuji City Cultural Center in Japan and the Banco de Mexico headquarters, with architect Ricardo Legorreta. In addition, Hicks has also published a magazine, created designs for commercial production, taught, founded workshops in Mexico, Chile, and South Africa, worked in Morocco and India, pursued interior and exterior architecture, sculpture, photography, book design and writing. To unravel this extraordinary range, the exhibition focuses on five related fields of inquiry: miniature weavings and drawings, site commissions for public spaces, industrially produced textiles and workshop hand-productions, bas reliefs and sculptures, and process works made of recuperated textiles, clothing and other found objects.

View from the top of the stairs: Sheila Hicks exhibition at the Addison Gallery. Photo by Carter Grotta

Regardless of the period, the works in the exhibit are strikingly original. We found ourselves constantly checking dates as 40-year-old works appeared as fresh as those made last year. The conclusion,  after viewing Sheila Hicks; 50 Years, is inescapable: Hicks has reinvented textile tradition, and, in the process, transformed the terrain that links art, design and architecture.

The exhibition is at the Addison through February 27, 2011 Addison Gallery of Art, Philips Academy, 80 Main Street, Andover, Massachusetts, 01810; 978 749 4000; http://www.andover.edu/Museums/Addison/Exhibitions/
OnViewNow/hicks/Pages/default.aspx

. We hope to see it in a least one of the venues that follows.  Hicks work has always been about inhabiting space; we’d like to see this exhibition reconfigured.

The exquisitely designed and lavishly illustrated accompanying volume from Yale Press,  Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, by Joan Simon and Addison Curator, Susan C. Faxon, with an essay by Whitney Chadwick, documents the full extent of Hicks’ work, from exquisite miniature weavings to major sculptural pieces to such large-scale commissions as The Four Seasons of Fuji.  It is available from browngrotta.com.