Monthly archives: October, 2023

Art Out and About: Exhibitions Here and Abroad

It’s a fall full of cultural attractions — across the US and abroad. Hope you can take in one or two!

Tamiko Kawata’s Self Portrait, 1996 and Vertical Wave, 1986

Tamiko Kawata: Beyond Edge, Beyond Surface
November 1- 28, 2023
Opening Reception November 1 6-8 p.m.
Pollock Gallery
Meadows School of the Arts
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas–opening-reception/

The artist will create an onsite installation on October 29 – 30th

Weaving at Black Mountain College:
Anni Albers,Trude Guermonprez, and Their Students
through January 6, 2023
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Asheville, NC

Weaving at Black Mountain College Installation. photo by BMCM+AC staff featuring The Weaver, painted on the weaving studio door by Faith Murray Britton in 1942.

Weaving at Black Mountain College: Anni Albers,Trude Guermonprez, and Their Students will be the first exhibition devoted to textile practices at Black Mountain College (BMC). Celebrating 90 years since the college’s founding, the exhibition will reveal how weaving was a more significant part of BMC’s legendary art and design curriculum than previously assumed.

BMC’s weaving program was started in 1934 by Anni Albers and lasted until the College closed in 1956. About 10% of all Black Mountain College students took at least one class in weaving. Despite Albers’s elevated reputation, the persistent treatment of textile practices as women’s work or handicraft has often led to the discipline being ignored or underrepresented in previous scholarship and exhibitions about the College; this exhibition brings that work into the spotlight at last. The exhibition will also feature work by selected contemporary artists whose work connects to the legacies of the BMC weavers: Kay Sekimachi, Jen Bervin, Porfirio Gutiérrez, Susie Taylor, and Bana Haffar. They’ve produced a catalog for the exhibition, too, that will be available October 31st. 

Folding Silences
through November 9, 2023
D21 Art Projects
Paeo Las Palmas
Providencia, Chile

Installation shot, Folding Silences exhibition. Photo by Jorge Brantmayer.

Through November 9th, the exhibition Plegando Silencios by international artist Carolina Yrarrázaval can be visited at gallery D21. The exhibition consists of a series of 12 tapestries that the artist has worked on in recent years experimenting with materials of plant origin, mainly with coconut fiber, which is intervened to obtain suggestive reliefs, textures, and transparencies that demand a new look at the artist’s work. The creative act of dyeing, folding, and incorporating raw material is transformed into the initial structure of a textile work that s, the gallery says, “seduces and incites the search for new sensations.”

Woven Histories: textiles and modern abstraction
through January 21, 2024
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA

Ed Rossbach, Damask Waterfall, 1977, LongHouse Reserve, © Ed Rossbach, photo © Charles Benton, courtesy The Artist’s Institute. Ed Rossbach, Lettuce Basket, 1982, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. Milton and Martha Dalitzky (M.2021.163.1), © Ed Rossbach, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.

Woven Histories sheds light on a robust, if over-looked, strand in art history’s modernist narratives by tracing how, when, and why abstract art intersected with woven textiles (and such pre-loom technologies as basketry, knotting, and netting) over the past century. Included are 150 works by an international and transhistorical roster of artists that includes Ed RossbachKatherine Westphal, Anni Albers, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Kay SekimachiLenore Tawney, and Sheila Hicks. The exhibition reveals how shifting relations among abstract art, fashion, design, and craft shaped recurrent aesthetic, cultural, and socio-political forces, as they, in turn, were impacted by modernist art forms. It is accompanied by a book of essays and images, that can be purchased at

Takaezu & Tawney: An Artist is a Poet
through March 25, 2024
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Bentonville, AK

Portrait of Lenore Tawney and Toshiko Takaezu at browngrotta arts’ exhibition Lenore Tawney: celebrating five decades of work, 2000. Photo by Tom Grotta

Takaezu & Tawney: An Artist is a Poet debuts 12 new acquisitions to the Crystal Bridges collection that tell the story of a remarkable friendship between Toshiko Takaezu and Lenore Tawney. Curated by Windgate Curator of Craft Jen Padgett, the exhibition highlights how these two women shaped craft history in the US by expanding and redefining the possibilities of their preferred mediums: Takaezu in ceramics, Tawney in weaving. Takaezu and Tawney had a close relationship for decades, from 1957 until Tawney’s death in 2007. From 1977 to 1981, Tawney lived at Takaezu’s Quakertown, New Jersey, home and the two shared studio space.

through January 14, 2024
Victoria & Albert Museum
London, UK

Louise Gray 2011. For her iconic collection ‘Up Your Look’, photo by Michael McGurk

If you are a fan of tartan (as we are), the V&A’s exhibition is for you. Tartan offers a thrilling view of over 300 mesmerizing objects showcasing tartan’s timeless appeal and rebellious spirit across fashion, architecture, art and design. See tartan worn by Bonnie Prince Charlie, a Scottish soldier’s unwashed kilt from the trenches of WWI, and the Bay City Rollers trousers handmade by a lifelong fan.

And there is always our Artsy Viewing Room that you can visit without leaving home: Glen Kaufman: Retrospective 1980 – 2010.


Visit our Artsy Viewing Rooms

We are continuing our celebration of our Fall exhibition, Vignettes: one venue, three exhibitions in three Viewing Rooms on Artsy now through December 20, 2023. 

Glen Kaufman: Retrospective 1960-2010 on Artsy

The first of these, Glen Kaufman: Retrospective 1980 – 2010.viewable through November 6th, features 50 years of work by this master weaver and designer. The expansive collection of works in the Glen Kaufman Viewing Room include double weaves, macramés, a sculpture of polypropylene and collages of fabrics gathered from flea markets in Japan. Also included are woven works silk-screened with gold, silver or copper paste — a technique Kaufman pioneered to create elegant and eloquent works that blend Eastern and Western sensibilities. The work reflects his varied career, which included teaching at at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and University of Georgia, a Fulbright in Scandinavia, work at Dorothy Liebes’s New York studio, and time spent working in Japan over 14 years.

Works by Dorothy Gill Barnes from Dorothy Gill Barnes: in collaboration with nature. Photo by Tom Grotta

The second Vignettes Viewing Room, Dorothy Gill Barnes: in collaboration with nature, will begin on November 7th and run through November 28th. In this VR, you’ll find works by Barnes, a renowned sculptor, known for weaving bark, transforming natural materials, and for her experiments with glass artists, resulting in objects that mix glass and bark and branches in intriguing ways. Among Barnes’ innovations were “dendroglyphs,” markings she’d make on live tree bark, which she allowed to develop into readable scars for months or years before harvesting and using the resulting bark “drawings” in her works.

Installation of Abundance of Objects, one of the three Vignettes exhibitions. Photo by Tom Grotta

Last, but scarcely least of the the three Viewing Rooms will be An Abundance of Objects, which will run from November 29th through December 20th. The right object in the right space has the power to prompt memories, evoke feelings, and exert a palpable energy on one’s surroundings. An Abundance of Objects celebrates that power. You’ll see an eclectic collection of sculptures, ceramics, baskets, and mixed media works that inspire awe, admiration and, sometimes, sheer delight, Notable for its diversity — 80 objects in all — An Abundance of Objects celebrates the acquisition process.

040gk Kyoto Kawara IV, Glen Kaufman, yarn-dyed woven silk, copper leaf, 15″ x 14″ x 2.5″, 1995. Photo by Tom Grotta
11mg Anointed Rank, Mary Giles, waxed linen, wire, bone, paint, gesso, 10” x 31,” 1997. Photo by Tom Grotta

Hope you’ll visit the Artsy Viewing Rooms in October, November and December. Check out the catalogs we produced for each of these exhibitions at

Fall 2023 Art for a Cause — cARTie the Mobile Art Museum

Each year, we host two exhibitions at browngrotta arts — one in the Spring; one in the Fall. With each, we try to identify a nonprofit to promote as our Art for a Cause. Our hope is to bring the group visibility and donated funds. Previous Art for a Cause groups have included

cARTie bus
cARTie at Edgewood School. Photo courtesy of cARTie.

Americans for the Arts, Ports of Cause, The Woven Community, Connecticut Institute for Immigrants and Refugees, Sunflower of Peace, and the World Affairs Council.

We are excited to announce that this Fall our Art for a Cause organization is cArtie, the mobile art museum. browngrotta arts is pledging 5% of the profits from sales during our Fall in-person exhibition, Vignettes: one venue, three exhibitions (October 7 – 15th) to cARTie, a passionate nonprofit organization committed to empowering communities through art and education. By attending our exhibition and purchasing artworks, visitors directly support cARTie’s cause. Additionally, we are collecting cash and check donations made out to “cARTie,” onsite helping us make an even greater impact.

You can also contribute online or by mail. Send your checks to cARTie, 326 Navajo Loop, Shelton, CT 06484. Your contribution, whether through art purchases or donations, goes a long way to foster creativity and education. Join us in creating a brighter future for aspiring artists and learners.

cARTie bus students
cARTie-at-Northeast-Academy-(Clare-Murray). Photos courtesy of cARTie.

More about cARTie:

  1. cARTie is Connecticut’s first and only nonprofit mobile art museum bus committed to bridging inequities in education and arts access across the state. cARTie’s programming is focused on high-school student-artists, entire communities, and PreK-2 students with limited access to the arts in education. 
  1. cARTie ensures all young children positive and prolonged early introductions to museum-based learning and opportunities for developing critical and creative thinking dispositions. 
  1. cARTie will work with 5,000+ PreK-2 students this year and 27 elementary and pre-schools across the state with limited access to the arts in education (up from 17 last year and 7 the year before). cARTie visits these partners multiple times throughout the year, to help nurture students’ critical and creative thinking, as well as their museum habits of mind.

You can learn more about about cARTie on its website:

Schedule your visit to Vignettes: one venue, three exhibitions, and its three included exhibitions, Dorothy Gill Barnes: a way with wood; Glen Kaufman Elegant Eloquence; and An Abundance of Objects on Eventbrite.

Vignettes: one venue, three exhibitions
Vignettes: one venue, three exhibitions at browngrotta arts. Photos by Tom Grotta

Vignettes opens this week: Who’s New? Lissa Hunter

1lh The Gathering, Lissa Hunter, eleven-piece nesting basket set with handmade elements, 7” x 16”, 1994.

An Abundance of Objects, this Fall at browngrotta arts, will feature The Gathering, an interesting 1994 work made by Lissa Hunter, whose work we have not shown previously at the gallery. Hunter earned a BA in painting and an MFA in fibers at Indiana University. Choosing to work in both two and three dimensions has allowed Hunter to explore numerous materials and techniques and to push her art in many directions. “Lissa Hunter’s choice of materials is modest, yet impactful.  Raffia, paper, charcoal, clay, thread and an array of natural and found objects. These seemingly ordinary elements, devoid of intrinsic value or distinctive identity, serve as the foundation for her artistic process.Techniques such as coiling, drawing, hand building, sewing and mark making elevate these unassuming materials to a realm of significance,”explains Angela Truscott of FibreArts Take Two, in its recent video interview of Hunter.

1lh The Gathering, Lissa Hunter, eleven-piece nesting basket set with handmade elements, 7” x 16”, 1994.

In the 90s, Hunter would create coiled baskets, then coat them with handmade paper, apply acrylic medium, “age” them with watercolor, and add decorative elements. The result were baskets that resembled ancient artifacts. Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf, the authors of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, observed thatHunter “was looking for spiritual embodiment, and Native American objects seemed a good model. But she labeled her borrowings, so to speak, by applying a tribal pattern in crochet so it was clear that she was quoting rather than copying the traditions.” The authors conclude that Hunter “demonstrates the satisfactions of making and repeating, the pleasures of materials and the symbolic importance of objects, charting a course between the Scylla of sentimentality and the Charybdis of illustration.”

lh The Gathering, Lissa Hunter, eleven-piece nesting basket set with handmade elements, 7” x 16”, 1994.

Hunter’s work can be found in the collections of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco, California, among others.

See works by Hunter — and 30+ other artists — at An Abundance of Objects, part of browngrotta arts’ Fall 2023 “Art in the Barn” exhibition, Vignettes: one venue; three exhibitions this October 7th through October 15th. Reserve a time to visit on Eventbrite.

Vignettes Opens This Week: An Abundance of Objects Opens this Week

An Abundance installation
An abundance of objects installation works by Mary Merkel-Hess, Lizzie Farey, Yashusia Kohyama, Polly Adams Sutton, Stéphanie Jacques, Mary Giles. Photo by Tom Grotta

We’ve found that objects — art, collectibles, mementos — contain magic. The right object in the right space has the power to prompt memories, evoke feelings, and exert a palpable energy on one’s surroundings. As Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer, authors of How to Live With Objects: A Guide to More Meaningful Interiors (Clarkson Potter 2023), observe“It matters less whether your interior is perfectly appointed and more that it’s authentically personal, unique, and filled with the objects you feel a connection to …. Imbued with the stories of where they came from and why we chose them, our objects radiate meaning into our space, triggering us to remember, feel, or think while giving our guests a tangible sense of our personality.” 

An Abundance of Objects installation
Vignettes installation: Mary Merkel-Hess, Paul Furneaux, Toshiko Takaezu, Kogetsu Kosuge, Norma Minkowitz, Markku Kosonen, Simone Pheulpin. Photo by Tom Grotta

An Abundance of Objects (October 7 – 15, browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT) celebrates that power. In it we have combined an eclectic collection of sculptures, ceramics, baskets, and mixed media works that inspire awe, admiration, and, sometimes, sheer delight. Glowing wall-hung silk cubes by Kiyomi Iwata share the gallery with woven “quivers” by Gary Trentham,  a vessel of tickets from Karyl Sisson, an elegant, asymmetrical form of clay by Yasuhisa Kohyama, and a folded textile cast in bronze by Eduardo Portillo and Maria Dávila.  

An abundance of Objects installation
from left to right works by: Willa Rogers, Neil and Francina Prince, Karyl Sisson, Norie Hatekayama, Stéphanie Jacques. Photo by Tom Grotta

Dedicated to the meticulously crafted and conceived, browngrotta arts is a unique source for impactful objets d’art. We promote the work of more than 100 artists from 32 countries, Our curation is a partnership — every item exhibited by browngrotta arts has been approved by both co-curators. It must be a piece each co-curator wants to live with and which gives us a spark of enjoyment that we want to share with gallery visitors. We’ve found a receptive audience for this approach. “It’s about the juxtaposition,” designer Pina Manzone says of the works found here, “the yin and the yang, the hard and the soft. Modern design has the feel of the handmade but it’s smooth and organized. These objects are tactile.” 

clockwise: Noriko Takimaya, Naomi Kobayashi, Jin-Sook So. Photo by Tom Grotta

In An Abundance of Objects there is much to admire and desire. There are works that reference nature, like Norie Hatakeyama’s wall-hung Complex Plaiting Two-force, which resembles an organic item, like coral or honeycomb. There are works that pay homage to past techniques like Tim Johnson’s Wall Pocket, using an ancient techniques that pairs daubing earth, ashes, and natural resins on a woven structure, and Willa Rogers’s basket of coiled pine needles a technique used by Native Americans and others. Still others, including Stéphanie Jacques’s one-legged figure, reimagine the human form. 

There are dozens of objects in Abundance. We hope this grouping will further collecting narratives and, for some, unleash the transformative magic that objects contain.

Schedule your visit on Eventbrite.