Category: Books

Books Make Great Gifts, Part II

More great book reading ahead. This week, fiction and philosophy and recommendations from browngrotta arts and our artists.

Cloud Cuckoo Land Black Water
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr and Black Water by Kerstin Ekman

In Cloud Cuckoo Land, Wendy Wahl writes, “Anthony Doer takes the reader on a kaleidoscopic ride that is expansive and intimate. His characters include those from the past, present, future, and multi-species beings bound together on a journey about the love of books in general and one in particular. I was drawn in from the beginning by the thought of young girls tied to needle and thread embroidering liturgical garments. Each of the storylines brought up unexpected emotions. I will return to this novel again and again. Learn more about this amazing tale from this NPR review: https://www.npr.org/2021/09/28/1041004908/anthony-doerr-cloud-cuckoo-land-review

Both Gjertrud Hals and Jane Balsgaard are fans of Swedish writer Kerstin Ekman. Hals says Ekman is her favorite autjor. She just read Löpa Varg, (only in Swedish, for now) and her big book about the woods Herrarna i slogan, from 2007. The Free Online Library says of Herrarna i slogan, “Appropriately, the title is ambiguous. Ekman is writing about the forest (skogen); more precisely, about the vast Swedish acreage of forested land, a forest paradigm as good as any. The first word in the title (herrarna) means either “the men/ gentlemen” or “the masters/lords.” These are the men, real or fictional, who have lived with the forest and known it and turned it into what it is today, be they masterful industrial foresters or crouching botanists, lumberjacks or poets, Sir Olof in a sad medieval folksong or Dr. Astrov in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanja.”  Balsgaard read Blackwater (in English) a thriller by Ekman that gave her“the feeling of the soul from old Sweden.” 

Things I don’t want to Know by Deborah Levy and Power of Gentleness; Meditations on the Risk of Living by Anne Dufourmantelle

A few of the recommendations are more philosophical. Things I Don’t Want to Know, by Deborah Levy is recommended by Stéphanie Jacques, who read it in French, and also the other two volumes in her Cost of Living series. “Great books,” says Jacques. “I loved her voice, her writing, the way she looks at life. She talks about creation and how to continue but not only that.” Jacques also recommends Power of Gentleness; Meditations on the Risk of Living by Anne Dufourmantelle. “Also a great author, and a book that helps us through life.” Yeonsoon Chang is rereading the Asian classic, Book of Changes (The I Ching). “This book inspires me,” she says.

Book of Changes (The I Ching) and Forest Breathing: How Trees Can Bring You Health and Happiness

Nancy Moore Bess has been pursuing an interest in Shinrin Yoku, or Forest Breathing. “It was formulated by a Japanese government agency in the early 1980s,” she writes, “but I feel there’s a strong connection to Shintoism and its respect for and connection with nature. Practicing Shinrin Yoku is a form of meditation that draws calmness from being in nature. I have often experienced this sense of peace and calm when alone in a bamboo grove. I guess this is a good time in my life to remember those moments. Wish I could capture them again.” Want to know more? Amazon lists Forest Breathing: How Trees Can Bring You Health and Happiness as having 4.5 stars from 777 reviewers. 

At browngrotta arts we also have a group of recommendations — all of which are found on our website. First, our most recent book, Gyöngy Laky: Screwing with Order — assorted art, actions and creative practice with text by Mija Reidel, David M. Roth, and design by Tom Grotta. At 328 pages, it is the first comprehensive monograph on the work of this exceptional artist. It looks at her life from three perspectives: “Laky’s personal story of immigration and education is narrated by arts and culture writer, Mija Reidel. An assessment of the evolution and impetus for Laky’s work is given by David M. Roth, editor and publisher of Squarecylinder, a San Francisco Bay Area online visual art magazine. Finally, images of forms, vessels, and wall works provide insight into Laky’s studio practice, activism, and philosophy of sustainable art and design, original thinking, and the value of the unexpected.” (“Celebrating Gyöngy Laky,” Selvedge Magazine, July 17, 2022).

Gyöngy Laky: Screwing with Order — assorted art, actions and creative practice and Ferne Jacobs: Building the Essentials

An expansive catalog was also created in conjunction with the retrospective of Ferne Jacob’s work at the Craft in Americagallery in Los Angeles. You can obtain a copy of Ferne Jacobs: Building the Essentials on our website. Jacobs has been at the forefront of the revolution in fiber art since the 1960s, She has pioneered ways to create a new category of sculpture. Transforming materials and pushing boundaries, she builds solid structures with coiled, twined, and knotted thread. This exhibition was the first to survey more than 50 years of Jacobs’ pivotal and timeless work through the present. Jacobs’ intimate drawings and collage diaries, which had never been publicly displayed, were included providing an additional lens into her vision, inspiration, and philosophical perspective. 

Crowdsourcing the Collective. a survey of textile and multimedia art and Allies for Art: work from NATO-related countries

Two of our 2023 exhibition catalogs are available from our store. Crowdsourcing the Collective. a survey of textile and multimedia art (148 pages) features 42 international artists whose work illustrates the vitality of art textiles, ceramics and mixed media. The artists come from four continents and work in a wide varity of materials and techniques: tapestries of silk and agave, sculptures of seaweed, seagrass and willow, wall works made of sandpaper, hemp and horsehair, and ceramics of Shigaraki clay. Our most recent catalog, published in October is Allies for Art: work from NATO-related countries (148 pages). It showcases work by nearly 50 artists from 21 countries made from the 1960s through the present. The diverse fiber works and sculpture in the exhibition were created by artists who fled repressive regimes, who have worked under and around government restrictions and who have been influenced by current political instability in Europe. The catlog includes 132 photos and an essay by Kate Bonansinga, Director, School of Art, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Good gifting and good reading!!


Books Make Great Gifts, Part 1

Another year, another interesting and eclectic round up of reading recommendations. There are so many good choices from our artists this year that we are dividing them into two posts. This week, a plethora of art books. Next week, a mix of fiction, nonfiction and browngrotta arts’ suggestions.

Garden, by Derek Jarman, Art Forms in the Plant World by Karl Blossfeldt, and  Champs D’Oeuvre by Frank Stella
Garden, by Derek Jarman, Art Forms in the Plant World by Karl Blossfeldt, and  Champs d’Oeuvre by Frank Stella

Art books always make up a good portion of our list, and this year is no exception. Shoko Fukuda told us about three books: Garden, by Derek Jarman, Art Forms in the Plant World by Karl Blossfeldt, and  Champs d’Oeuvre by Frank Stella. Heidrun Schimmel says that “in spite of all the trouble and problems with the documenta fifteen exhibition in Kassel, Germany this year,  it was an important exhibition event with a good catalog: Documenta Fifteen: Handbook, (English ed., Hatje Cantz, Stuttgart, Germany, 2022). 

Documenta Fifteen: Handbook, Lee Bontecou
Documenta Fifteen: Handbook and Lee Bontecou

Stéphanie Jacques discovered an artist that she did not know this year and a catalog about her, Lee Bontecou, that was “a good door to go inside her world.” Jacques says she was “overwhelmed by her sculptures and her engravings, her drawings. And how she always continued to invent and manufacture her unusual materials.”

Conversations Avec Denise René and Was ist ein Künstler? by Verena Kreiger
Conversations Avec Denise René and Was ist ein Künstler? by Verena Kreiger

From Korea, Young-ok Shin read the following book “with great interest” this year: 5000 Years of Korean Textiles: An Illustrated History and Technical Survey by Yeon-ok Sim (available in libraries). She also recommends Conversations Avec Denise René (in French). Denise René was a gallerist in France who specialized in kinetic and op art. And, another look at art (in German), Was ist ein Künstler? by Verena Kreiger.

Artist Begins Her Life's Work at 72, by Molly Peacock and Last Light, How 6 great artists made old age a time of triumph by Richard Lacayo
The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, by Molly Peacock and Last Light, How 6 great artists made old age a time of triumph by Richard Lacayo

This year, Polly Barton “loved” The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, by Molly Peacock. “Mary Delaney’s work with color, dyes and flowers through collage, as well as her life story was deeply inspiring to me,” Barton writes. “In the contemplation of each flower as a product of a period in the artist’s life, I found myself reflecting on my own forty years of work in woven ikat. It is a quiet, absorbing, book. The images a treat for the eyes.” She highly recommends it. Polly Sutton found the stories of older artists of interest, too. She has been reading Last Light, How 6 Great Artists Made Old Age a Time of Triumph by Richard Lacayo. “The book is heavy in more ways than one, while reading myself to sleep!” she writes. “But it is compelling to understand these artists’ productive later years.” Gertrud Hals also recommended 

Simone Pheulpin: Cercle d’art and  Kiki Smith, Camille Morineau, SilvanaEditoriale
Simone Pheulpin: Cercle d’art and  Kiki Smith, Camille Morineau, Silvana Editoriale

Simone Pheulpin: Cercle d’art (available from browngrotta arts) about the 81-year old French artists’ unique works of cotton tapes and stainless steel pins and the monograph from Kiki Smith’s major exhibition in France in 2019 and 2020, Kiki Smith, Camille Morineau, Silvana Editoriale.

Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel and What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter
Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel and What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter
How Art Can Be Thought by Allan deSouza and Cy Twombly: The Sculpture by Hatje Kantz
How Art Can Be Thought by Allan deSouza and Cy Twombly: The Sculpture by Hatje Kantz

Aby Mackie tells us that her “all-time favorite art book” is Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel. The publisher describes the book as, “Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of 20th-century abstract painting — not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they worked, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and countless others to come.” Aby has been reading this year, and recommends, an additional group of art books: What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter and How Art Can Be Thought by Allan deSouza; and Cy Twombly: The Sculpture by Hatje Kantz. 

Teresa Lanceta Weaving as Open Source by MACBA and Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child by Hatje Kantz
Teresa Lanceta Weaving as Open Source by MACBA and Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child by Hatje Kantz

Two of the recommended books reference weaving:  Teresa Lanceta Weaving as Open Source by MACBA and Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child by Hatje Kantz, which documents that artist’s fiber works from the last two decades of her life.

The Story of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel
The Story of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel

Her last recommendation is a book that redresses an historic imbalance: The Story of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel which promises you will have “your sense of art history overturned and your eyes opened to many artforms often ignored or dismissed,” through 300 works of art from the Renaissance to the present day.

Chunghi Choo and Her Students: Contemporary Art and New Forms in Metal and Magdalena Abakanowicz, Writings and Conversations
Chunghi Choo and Her Students: Contemporary Art and New Forms in Metal and Magdalena Abakanowicz, Writings and Conversations

Just out this past fall, Chunghi Choo and Her Students: Contemporary Art and New Forms in Metal, a large-sized book of lush photographs of Choo’s work in fiber and metal, is recommended by Mary Merkel-Hess (and browngrotta arts). “Jane C. Milosch, the editor, has written a fascinating biography of Choo’s life from her childhood in South Korea through her study at Cranbrook, her teaching at the University of Iowa and her rise as a world-famous artist,” she writes. The book also includes short sections and photographs of work by 30 of her students, including Mary Merkel-Hess, Sun-Kyung Sun, Jocelyn Chateauvert and Sam Gassman. The students’ works show how techniques learnt in a metal program are impressively transferred to other fields of art.

Last, but certainly not least, Rachel Max calls out a “amazing” book: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Writings and Conversations, which she is reading after seeing the brilliant Abakanowicz show at the Tate in London. “It’s an incredible compendium of archival material and a fascinating insight into Abakanowicz’s creative mind,” Rachel says. “She talks of her necessity to create and of soft materials and weaving as something which enabled her to realize her ideas. She also talks of her pieces as compositions in space, of their scale and sense of movement and ours as we walk through her installations. Her Abakans, she says, are ‘shelters’, objects of protection, a second skin and even to some extent mobile homes, giant pockets of interior and exterior spaces. Hardly surprising given that Abakanowicz’s whole life was in her own words, ‘formed and deformed by wars and revolutions of various kinds’.  Art, she says, tells about reality because it springs from the reality from which it develops.” Rachel wishes to some extent that she’d started reading this book before visiting the exhibition, that artist’s “voice feels so present and strong and her words and thoughts so insightful.”

So many books, so little time!

Good gifting and great reading.


Hot Off the Presses! Gyöngy Laky: Screwing With Order Now Available

Rib Structure, 1988 and her book Gyöngy Laky: Screwing With Order, Assembled Art, actions and creative practice. Photo by Tom Grotta.

We are thrilled to report that copies browngrotta arts’ latest book, Gyöngy Laky: Screwing With Order, Assembled Art, actions and creative practicehave arrived in the US from our publishing partner arnoldsche art publishers in Stuttgart, Germany. Order a copy on our website: http://browngrotta.com. Designed by Tom Grotta, with text edit assistance from Laky and Rhonda Brown, and featuring Tom’s photography and that of several other photographers, the book examines the career of renowned textile artist and sculptor Gyöngy Laky from three perspectives. First, is Laky’s personal story of immigration and education narrated by arts and culture writer, Mija Reidel. Second, is an assessment of the evolution and impetus for Laky’s artwork by David M. Roth, editor and publisher of Squarecylinder, a San Francisco Bay Area online visual art magazine. Third, are images of forms, vessels and wall works, 249 pages, divided into seven sections: Drawings in Air, Grids, Vessels, Words & Letters, Signs & Symbols, Site Installations, and Abstractions.

Sun Stream, 1995 and Flat Figure, 1992

Laky has been described as a “wood whisperer.” Her highly individual, puzzle-like assemblages of timber and textiles helped propel the growth of the contemporary fiber-arts movement. Laky’s art reflects an extraordinary personal story: Born amid the bombings of World War II, escaping from post-war, Soviet-dominated Hungary to a sponsor family in Ohio, attending grade school in Oklahoma, studying at the University of California, Berkeley and in India, then founding Fiberworks Center for Textile Arts in the 1970s and fostering innovations as a professor at the University of California, Davis. And, since the late 60s, she has been creating individual works and installations in the US and abroad. 

Line, 1992 and Oll Korrect, 1998

Laky’s oeuvre, which reflects those experiences, “defies easy classification,” writes David M. Roth. “It draws on the history of indigenous people using found or harvested objects to create art and basic necessities; the 20th-century tradition of using found objects in collage,assemblage and sculpture; and the design and engineering principles that undergird contemporary architecture.“ Symbols and three-dimensional words feature in much of Laky’s work — using wood in this way, Roth posits, is akin to learning a foreign language, and Laky is conversant in more than a dozen,”becoming conversant in the dialects ‘spoken’ by each species.” Pieces like Line have been described as “cheeky.” Letters in works like Lag can be read in more than one way — in this case, as “Gal,” a statement on the hiring of women faculty at the University of California. “[It’s] an intellectual kind of play,” says Bruce Pepich, executive director and curator of collections at the Racine Art Museum, in Wisconsin.”It’s not a conventional sense of humor, but it’s the kind one gets from walking into various layers that exist in objects …You can take them at face value, but the more questions you ask, the deeper your engagement goes.” You can engage with more of Laky’s story and her art in Screwing with Order. The book provides insight into Laky’s studio practice, activism, and teaching philosophy, which champions sustainable art and design, original thinking, and the value of the unexpected.

Detail: Natura Facit Saltum, 2011 . Photo by Tom Grotta.

Books Make Great Gifts 2021, Part Two: Novels, Art Books and the Like

2021 has brought us a bumper crop of book recommendations. In Part One, we looked a biographies and autobiographies. This week. in Part Two will look at a broader list — novels, art and reference books, politics and philosophy and a charming children’s biography of Ruth Asawa that we didn’t discover until after Part One was posted.

Nocturnes by Kazue Ishiguro and Netsuke Soseki And Then
Putas asesinas / Murdering Whores

Novels:

Wlodmierz Cygan recommended Nocturnes, Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Tamiko Kawata is rereading another Japanese novelist, Soseki Netsuke, while on an exercise bike — currently SorekaraCarolina Yrrazaval is finding  Putas Asesinas by Roberto Bplagno, Murdering Whores in English, “very interesting.”

Bauhaus Textiles, Art for the built environment in the Province of Ontario
Soft Art and Te Aho Tap
Beyond Craft: the art of fabric and Anna Albers on Weaving

Art and Reference Books:

Young Ok Shin offered us a sampling of favorite books from her bookshelf — those of lasting import:

Bauhaus Textiles (T&H, London, 1993), by Sigrid Wortmann Weltge (who wriote the essay in our catalog, Lenore Tawney: celebrating five decades of work); Art in Architecture, Jeanne Parkin (Visual Arts, Ontario 1982); Soft Art, Erika Billetier (Benteli 1980); Te Aho TapuThe Sacred Thread, Mick Pendergrast (Reed Publishing, NZ, 1987). This book is based on the Te Aho Tapu exhibition of traditional Mâori clothing, mainly cloaks, put on by the Auckland Institute and Museum; Beyond Craft: the art fabricMildred Constantine and Jack Lenor Larsen (Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, 1973) and On WeavingAnni Albers (Wesleyan University Press, 1974).

Basketry and The Grotta Home by Richard Meier

Stéphanie Jacques has a classic that she returns to again and again: Hisako Sekijima’s  Basketry, projects from baskets to grass slippers (Kodansha USA, 1986).

Woman Made and Japandi

The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft (Arnoldsche, 2019) remains Dawn MacNutt’s “fave and inspiration.” She kindly shared a comment on the book from her correspondence with the late Jack Lenor Larsen: “Have you seen the newest Grotta Book?. It’s spectacular and a durable tribute to Son and Author.” Well, we can’t argue with that! At browngrotta arts we recommend Women Made: Great Women Designers (Phaidon 2021). The Wall Street Journal says it’s: Thoroughly international in scope… a compendium of disarming surprises.” We’d also recommend our Japandí catalog (Japandí: shared aesthetics and influences, browngrotta arts 2021our best-selling catalog of the year.

Webster's Third New International Dictionary

“Recently, I had to discard our family dictionary that I’ve depended on for 50 years,” Wendy Wahl, writes. “I could no longer engage daily with my trusted lexicon because every time I turned the pages to discover a new word it released its microbial matter causing me to sneeze. As much as I loved this book I knew it was time to let it go. This Webster’s Third New International Dictionary has been temporarily replaced by a two-volume World Book Dictionary set from my collection of encyclopedic materials reserved for artwork. Fortunately, WTNID, while not cloth bound, is still in print and available from amazon.”

Craft An American History

Annette Bellamy and James Bassler both recommended Craft: An American History by Glenn Adamson (who wrote the essay in our Volume 50 catalog in 2020). “Well worth reading!,” says Bellamy.

Undinge and Say it Loud

Politics and Philosophy:

“The most important book for me this year is Un-Dinge written by the philosopher Han, Byung-Chul,” says Heidrun Schimmel (Ullstein, Berlin 2021)There are some essays about ” our hand”, meaning “working by hand,” today in our digital world, she says. “This fact is very interesting for me as ‘craft artist.'”

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Say it Loud by Randall Kennedy (Random House, 2021) is Polly Sutton’s choice. It’s a collection of provocative essays exploring the key social justice issues of our time—from George Floyd to antiracism to inequality and the Supreme Court. The New York Times says Kennedy is “among the most incisive American commentators on race.” James Bassler has just begun Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House, 2020) highly recommended last year, too, by Gyöngy Laky.

biography of Ruth Asawa

One more biography:

While gift hunting this season, we discovered Andrea D’Aquino’s biography of Ruth Asawa (A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa (Princeton University Press, 2019) for children. It is lovely and informative. D’Aquino is an artist. The book is charmingly illustrated, describing Asawa’s interest in spider webs and education in wire work in Mexico. It includes additional factual information in the back and also an activity guide.

To a Year of Good Reading in 2022!


Books Make Great Gifts Part One: the Lives of Others

We don’t know about you, but we’ve gotten a sort of voyueristic pleasure out of seeing people’s kitchens, living rooms and even bedrooms on Zoom calls and tv interviews for the last year and a-half. We’ve enjoyed seeing the art and decor and occasional cat, dog or child walk by. Is that the same impulse that spurred browngrotta arts’ artists to go heavy on memoirs and biographies this year? We can’t say for sure, but they surely have. Here are their recommendations and one of ours, as well.

Fate and Art

Gyöngy Laky wrote eloquently about her re-reading of Fate and Artthe illustrated autobiography of pioneering Polish sculptor, Magdalena Abakanowicz, whose organic installations explored the politics of space in presciently fresh ways.

This work it is not a woven Abakan nor a Bronze Crowd,” writes Laky. “It is Abakanowicz speaking to us directly herself in a most intimate and electrifying way.  The first edition of Fate and Art, a monologue in her own words, was published in 2008.  This second edition was initiated and overseen by Mary Jane Jacob, renowned American curator, writer, and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  It was published in 2020 in the midst of an unexpected and deadly virus pandemic that is responsible for the deaths of nearly 800,000 Americans, more than in all the wars in which the US engaged since 1898.” In the current struggle, Laky sees an echo of WWII’s horrific conflict. Abakanowicz was 9, growing up in Poland, when the Nazis invaded. “Experiences that might have defeated others forged an artist whose works express the power, intensity and mystery of human existence,” Laky observes.

“Abakanowicz writes in English, an adopted language – every sentence honed to poetic perfection with each recounted episode providing the strong intellectual and emotional impact so characteristic of the muscle and might of her sculptures and installations,” says Laky.

“She was absorbed by the physical world around her.  She writes of her childhood, ‘The urge to have around me, to touch, to hoard —twigs, stones, shards and bark— continued.  They embodied stories with which I wanted to live.’  Those stories she absorbed and magnified to build the large themes of her work.”

Laky recommends that, if you did not read this captivating book in 2008, you should read it now.  “Given the magnitude of the struggles we face today, Abakanowicz’s life and art will renew inspiration to hope, to act and to create.  This monologue will regenerate belief in human resilience, so well expressed through her stirring and thought provoking narrative and in her art.” 

Everything She Touched: the life of Ruth Asawa and Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fugimura

Tamiko Kawata also recommended an artist’s biography, Everything She Touched: the life of Ruth Asawa. Mary-Merkel-Hess did, too: Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fugimura. “I have been following Makoto Fugimura,” Merkel-Hess writes.. He is a Japanese American, a Christian, a writer as well as an artist and recently had a show at the High Line Nine Gallery in Manhattan. As a Japanese artist and a Christian he was an advisor to Martin Scorsese during the filming of the movie Silence based on the 1966 novel by Shisaku Endo also called Silence. Both the book and the movie tell the story of the martyrdom of Japanese Christians in the late 17th century.” Fugimura’s book Silence and Beauty is an extended reflection on Endo’s novel, the nature of art and how Fugimura’s faith journey overlaps with Endo’s. Fugimura recently published another book called Art and Faith: A Theology of Making (2020).

Anita Pittoni's diaries and articles

Stéphanie Jacques has been reading Anita Pittoni’s diaries and articles, Anita Pittoni: Journal 1944-1945, and a postface by Christina Benussi, Journal 1944-1945 (Editions La Baconnière, Genève). The author was a textile designer,  an artist, a writer and an editor. The book is in French, but she provided us a translated passage: “For me, writing is made exactly like a fabric, it brings me back to my humble artisan work (…); the same law governs me, makes me perform the same movements, so that the material and the structure of the fabric, made of stitches that are linked rather than tight threads, follows the thread of my thought.” Also on Jacques’ nightstand, a memoir of Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Incarneune abstraction /Embodying an abstraction, bilingual edition French-English (Actes Sud, 2020) summarizing her career and artistic aims. Shaped by 40 years of research and risk-taking, she takes the reader on a journey — each chapter is inspired by major encounters: from Constantin Brancusi and Trisha Brown to Johann Sebastian Bach and Pythagoras.

The Luminous Solution

Lizzie Farey is reading The Luminous Solution by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin, 2021) “Drawing on research and decades of observant conversation and immersive reading,” Farey writes, “Wood shares what artists can teach the rest of us about inspiration and hard work, how to pursue truth in art and life, and how to find courage during difficult times.” Charlotte Wood is one of Australia’s most provocative and gifted writers, Farey notes, an award-winning author, and, just happens to be, Lizzie’s cousin. In the Preface, Wood writes, “A rich inner life is not just the preserve of the arts. The joys, fears and profound self-discoveries of creativity — through making or building anything that wasn’t there before, any imaginative exploration or attempt to invent — I believe to be the birthright of every person on this earth.  If you live your life with curiosity and intention – or would like to — this book is for you.”

Poet Warrior

Poet Warrior is a beautifully written memoir by Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as U.S. poet laureate, recommended by Annette Bellamy. Harjo shares with readers the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice.

Michelangelo in Ravensbruck

Polly Sutton referred to us Michelangelo in RavensbruckThe inspiring and beautifully written memoir records a neglected side of World War II: the mass murder of Poles, the serial horrors inflicted by both Russians and Nazis, and the immense courage of those who resisted. The memoir is of Countess Karolina Lanckoronska, a professor and wealthy landowner, who joined the Polish underground in 1939, was arrested, sentenced to death, and was held in Ravensbruck concentration camp. There she taught art history to other women who, like her, might be dead in a few days. 

The remarkable life story of the pioneering surgeon, Samuel Pozzi, is the subject of The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes, which was recommended by Włodzimierz Cygan. Pozzi was a society doctor, free-thinker and man of science with a famously complicated private life who was the subject of one of John Singer Sargent’s greatest portraits. Barnes’ story of Belle Epoque Paris features Henry James, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Proust, James Whistler, among others and holds more parallels to our own age than we might imagine.

, (Nina M. Schjønsby (ed.) Arnoldsche). This monograph tells the story of Sætrang (b. 1946) and he

We would add to this list, Bente Sætrang, (Nina M. Schjønsby (ed.) Arnoldsche). This monograph tells the story of Sætrang (b. 1946) and her 40-year commitment to the medium of textile. She is known for her intensive investigation of trompe l’oeil drapery, bold textile printing, monumental abstract color studies, and charcoal drawings. She was Norway’s first professor of textile art, and her political engagement and unique knowledge of color and textile qualities permeate her work. Through essays, poems, interviews, montages, and rich imagery, this monograph sheds light on the different phases of Sætrang’s artistic practice.

1000 years of Joys and Sorrows

Last, but certainly not least, Ai Weiwei’s much-anticipated memoir, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir (Random House) is just published. It tells a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father, the nation’s most celebrated poet and is, according to Michiko Kakutani, “an impassioned testament to the enduring powers of art.” Edward Snowden’s notes on the book and what it has to tell us about freedom (“The message that emerges from Ai’s work is that the truest resistance to the oppression of conformity is the riot of human diversity,….”) can be found here: https://edwardsnowden.substack.com/p/culturalrevolutions

This list may offer you enough reading inspiration for all of 2022, but there are more recommendations on the way! Watch for Books Make Great Gifts, Part Two: Novels, Art Books and the Like on arttextstyle next month.


Books Make Great Gifts 2020 Edition

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures
Photo from Amazon. The book was dampened
and inoculated with Pleurotus (oyster mushroom) mycelium. The mycelium then digested the pages – and the words – of the book, and sprouted over the
course of seven days. Pleurotus can digest many things – from crude oil to used cigarette butts – and is one of the fungal species that shows the most promise in mycoremediation. It is also delicious when fried lightly with garlic and will make it possible for the author to eat his words. Photo Credit: DRK Videography

Book sales are up nationwide and the artists promoted by browngrotta arts have done their share of reading this year. Polly Sutton pulled Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King (Penguin) off her shelf where it had been sitting for years. “Worth it,” she says. Nenna Okore recommends 50 Women Sculptors, from Aurora Metro Books. The book, which challenges the perception that sculpture is a male pursuit, features Okore’s work and that of Louise Bourgeois, Ruth Asawa, Yayoi Kasuma and others.

“If you’re curious about the weird wonderful world of mushrooms and how we are related to the Fungi Kingdom, then Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures (Random House) is a literary journey to take,” writes Wendy Wahl. “Merlin Sheldrake stitches together a story of our co-evolution offering scientific and historical analysis in a captivating and thought-provoking way. The author transports the reader into the Fungi Kingdom revealing the mysterious maneuverings of this powerful part of nature’s network and the filament threads that binds us together. In two hundred and twenty five pages followed by chapter notes and bibliography, this is a book with doors to unusual discoveries and pathways of connecting in all directions.”


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (independently published) is excellent”, says Gyöngy Laky. “Difficult and painful… a must read for every adult person in the U S… should be mandatory reading in high school.” 

L’art du fil, by Marie-Madeleine Masse


Randy Walker recommends a new book from France, L’art du fil, by Marie-Madeleine Masse, published in October by Alternatives press. From the book’s press notes,  photos and embroidered ceramics, arachnean sculptures or totem tapestries … the thread never ceases to inspire contemporary artists from here and elsewhere, as superbly evidenced by the 80 international designers selected in this book one of whom is Walker. “The book is inspiring to me,” he writes,” because it exemplifies how fiber-based work is translated to many scales and contexts and that small, gallery-scale work can and should be celebrated alongside larger works.” 


Objects USA 2020

At browngrotta arts we took note of three beautiful art books that arrived in 2020. First up, Objects USA 2020 (Monacelli Press), with essays by Glenn Adamson and others. In 1969, the Objects: USA  exhibition opened at the Smithsonian Institution, travelling to 22 venues. The exhibtion defined the American studio craft movement. Objects: USA united a cohort of artists inventing new approaches to art-making by way of craft media. Objects: USA 2020 revisits this revolutionary exhibition and its accompanying catalog–which has become a bible of sorts to curators, gallerists, dealers, craftspeople, artists, and auction houses–by pairing fifty participants from the original exhibition with fifty contemporary artists representing the next generation of practitioners to use–and upend–the traditional methods and materials of craft to create new forms of art.

Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock

Another visually striking volume, Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock (Arnoldsche) traces Amaral’s career over five decades, features more than 40 key pieces of work, and examines the artist’s oeuvre through the lens of contemporary and fiber art. Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock celebrates an artist who for decades has gracefully produced across traditional divides: fine art and craft, local and universal, ethereal and material. Published to accompany an exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills (US), between 19 November 2020 and 7 March 2021, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (US) between 27 June to 19 September 2021, and at Museum of Arts and Design, New York (US), between 21 October 2021 and 27 February 2022.

Signe Mayfield

Published in 2018, but new to us is Anchors in Time: Dominic di Mare by Signe Mayfield (Fine Arts Press). The book includes insightful essays, but much of it features full-page photos of DiMare’s meticulously crafted constructions and detailed oil paintings.The book was produced in conjunction with an exhibition of DiMare’s work at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, California in 2018. 

Agneta Hobin

Last but nowhere near least, Agneta Hobin oversaw the publication of Agneta Hobinthis year which features lush photographs of her work, a passel of family and historical photos and text in English and Danish. You can puchase the book at browngrotta arts http://store.browngrotta.com
/agneta-hobin/.


The Artful Gift Guide: 5 under $400

As we spend more time in our homes — working, playing, learning —the desire to surround ourselves with artful items that inspire is all the more acute. Here are five unique items from $55 to $400 to delight you or a friend or family member at the holidays and beyond.

The small print: Order for the holidays by December 14th and we’ll ship by the 15th (though due to COVID we can’t guarantee the shippers’ delivery schedule). If you’d like us to gift wrap your purchase, email us at art@browngrotta.com, as soon as you have placed your order. To ensure we know you want gift wrapping, don’t wait to contact us — we generally ship as soon as the orders are received. Quantities are limited.

Volume 50: Chronicling Fiber Art for Three Decades Catalog
Volume 50: Chronicling Fiber Art for Three Decades
Essay by Glenn Adamson, Photography and design by Tom Grotta,
164 full color pages, 9″ x 9″, 221 color images
published by browngrotta arts
$55.00
Handmade Japanese Silk Shawls by sisters Chiaki and Kori Maki
24km Tesu Shawl, Kaori Maki
malda and tassar silk, dyes/harad, indigo, 86″ x 25”; 1998
$380
1chm Silk Shawl/Check, Chiaki Maki
80% malda and tassar silk, 20% wool, yarn dyed by natural material, 82″ x 31″, 1998
$400
Small Red Basket by Danish basketmaker Birigit Birkkjaer
Birgit Birkkjær
65bb.17 Ode for the Ocean 17
linen and stones, shells, fossils, etc. from the sea
2.5″ x 3″ x 3″, 2019
(other colors available)
$130
Japanese Bamboo Vase by Jiro Yonezawa
70jy Ladybug, Jiro Yonezawa
bamboo, glass, kiribako box
7″ x 5″ x 5″, 2009
$400
Coffee Table Book The Grotta Home by Richard Meier
The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft
with contributions by Glenn Adamson, Matthew Drutt, Sheila Hicks,
Joseph Giovannini, Louis Grotta, Jack Lenor Larsen, John McQueen,
Richard Meier, Wendy Ramshaw and David Watkins
336 pp., 28 x 30 cm, approx. 300 ills, hardcover English
$85.00

We Get Good Press

Maybe you’ve heard the buzz? In the past six months, both browngrotta arts and Tom’s book project, The Grotta House by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft, which features many of the artists we work with, have gotten great coverage in the Connecticut publications, nationally and elsewhere in the world.

Collectors Crafty in More Ways Than One. New York Times Article By Ted Loos
New York Times Article By Ted Loos

In December, the illustrious New York Times, profiled Sandy and Lou Grotta, their 300+ collection of Modern Craft  which are beautifully featured/illustrated in The Grotta House book. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/arts/design/show-us-your-wall-grotta.html So did Art in America online.

At in America Book Release


https://www.artguide.pro/event/ book-release-the-grotta-home-by-richard-meier-a-marriage-of-architecture-and-craft/ Tom got a shoutout as the photographer in both articles as well. Next up was TLmag, True Living of Art and Design, a Brussels-based, international biannual print and online magazine dedicated to curating and capturing the collectible culture. 

Interview with Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown: Originators in the Field of Fibre Art. TL Magazine
Interview with Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown TL Magazine
1st dibs Introspective Magazine Article Tour a Richard Meier-Designed House That celebrates American Craft by Osman Can Yerebakan

Also in February, the Grotta house and browngrotta arts were covered by Introspective, the online magazine produced by 1st Dibs, In the piece titled, “Tour a Richard Meier-Designed House that Celebrates American Craft,” author Osman Can Yerebakan, observes that the Grottas, are “[l]ed by intuition, they simply let an affinity for objects, and for the people who make them, guide their unerring eye.”https://www.1stdibs.com /introspective-magazine/richard-meier-grotta-house/?utm_term=feature2&utm_source=nl-introspective&utm_content=reengagement&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2020_02_23&emailToken=2277332_1a3d078b2c480b774c0897f7484ece12b4545b9bb006358a40eba4b7215550ce

browngrotta arts presents Transforming Tradition: Japanese and Korean Contemporary Craft in Artfix Daily
Transforming Tradition:
Japanese and Korean Contemporary Craft
in Artfix Daily

On March 1st, Artfix Daily covered our online exhibition in “browngrotta arts presents Transforming Tradition: Japanese and Korean Contemporary Craft.” http://www.artfixdaily.com /artwire/release/7876-browngrotta-arts-presents-transforming-tradition-japanese-and-kor. An article by Rhonda, “Active Collecting: Acquiring Experiences as Well as Art,” appeared in the Spring issue of Surface Design Journal,

Active Collecting: Acquiring Experiences as Well as Art by Rhonda Brown in Surface Design Journal
Active Collecting: Acquiring Experiences
as Well as Art in Surface Design Journal

describing the interactions between Sandy and Lou Grotta and the artists they collect. The couple have met many of those whose work they have collected or commissioned and have developed deep friendships with others, including furniture makers Joyce and Edgar Anderson and Thomas Hucker, jewelers Wendy Ramshaw and David Watkins, ceramist Toshiko Takaezu and weaver Mariette Rousseau-Vermette.

Art of Love, Love of Art n Wilton Magazine
Art of Love, Love of Art: Wilton Magazine

The Spring also saw a light-hearted story in the March/April issue of Wilton Magazine, on Rhonda and Tom, “Art of Love, Love of Art,” by Karen Sackowitz, noting that our creative synergy– for better or worse — has spanned decades (3 decades and 7 years to be precise). Other local publications have championed us as well — The Ridgefield Press, Wilton Bulletin and Connecticut Magazine have talked up our taking art online, nothing that, “Social distancing doesn’t mean people have to distance themselves from the arts” as area arts institutions like bga have taken to providing people with digital experiences on their websites and social media platforms to ensure people are still able to engage with art.

The Collecting Couple Lives with a Rotating Cast of Craft Masterpieces by Casey Lesser in a Artsy Editorial
The Collecting Couple Lives
with a Rotating Cast
of Craft Masterpieces
by Casey Lesser: Artsy Editorial

Artsy, covered the Grottas and their home in April, in “This Collecting Couple Lives with a Rotating Cast of Craft Masterpieces,” by Casey Lesser https://www.artsy.net /article/artsy-editorial-collecting-couple-lives-rotating-cast-craft-masterpieces. Tom got a shout out, too. The author shared Lou’s collecting advice to “do your homework” as he recalled being told that “you have to see 50 works by an artist before you can start to understand what’s good.” Thanks to the internet, that’s much easier today than it was when he and Sandy started out. “Don’t fall in love with the latest stuff,” the author quotes Grotta. “Decide who you like and what you like.”

Dwell featured the Grotta House online

April also saw the Grotta house and book featured in Dwell online https://www.dwell.com /home/the-grotta-house-0257ab73 and in Archello https://archello.com/project/the-grotta-house. In progress (fingers crossed), a piece on The Grotta House by Richard Meier, a Marriage of Architecture and Craft in INTERIOR+DESIGN, a Russian publication.

Comp for upcoming June Interior+Design issue Featuring The Grotta House
Comp of the article to appear in INTERIOR + DESIGN

We hope to get press coverage for our upcoming events:

Online in June: Cross Currents – Arts Influenced by Rivers and the Sea, Vols. 38, 35

Online in July: Fan Favorites — Sekimachi, Sekijima, Laky and Merkel-Hess, Vols. 24, 19, 2, 3, 8, 5, 15, 16, 19

Online in August: Cataloging the Canon – Tawney, Stein, Cook, Hicks and So, Vols. 13, 28, Monographs: 1-3; Focus: 1

Live in September: Volume 50: Chronicling Fiber for Three Decades. Now rescheduled for September 12 -22. Details on how we will mix art viewing and safe practice to come.

Hope you’ll join us for all or some of these.

Stay Safe, Stay Distanced, Stay Inspired!!


Books Make Great Gifts 2019 Edition

From Tapestry to Fiber Art: The Lausanne Biennials 1962-1995

We’ve gathered another year of varied and interesting book recommendations. Gyöngy Laky recommends From Tapestry to Fiber Art: Lausanne Biennials 1962-95 by Giselle Eberhard Cotton and Magali Junet of Fondation Toms Pauli, Lausanne, Switzerland, a book bag recommends as well. “The book describes and illustrates the worldwide exuberance of an art movement that burst, with new energy, onto the world stage of avant garde art in the 1960s and 70s,” she writes.  “The title might fool a reader into believing that the artwork within is traditional weaving, but the cover shouts the excitement to be found within its pages. Nearly 6,000 miles away in Berkeley, California, my artist friends and I were inspired and energized by the sculptural works the Biennales Internationale de la Tapisserie presented at the Musee Cantonal des Beaux Arts.  Not only were many of the works exhibited monumental, they were also breaking with traditional forms and expanding what this astoundingly flexible art medium could be.” The first of Laky’s friends to be included in one of the Biennales, she recalls, was artist Lia Cook. Several years later, in 1989, Laky’s seven-and-a-half-foot high sculpture, That Word, was exhibited in Lausanne. It’s now housed in the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco.

Cotton and Junet are joined by other contributors who, together, give a thoughtful and well-researched view of the development of this art form from the early Biennales to present day.  “Reading this book and viewing the illustrations will provide an understanding of how this movement became so dynamic and why it continues to be so today,” Laky predicts. “Holland Cotter is quoted from a review in 2014, ‘The major art critics are acknowledging what artists have always known, that textile materiality with all its gravity, responsiveness and connections to life and loss holds tremendous capacity to speak to issues of our human condition.'”

Overwhelmed: Literature, Aesthetics, and the Nineteenth-Century Information Revolution


Earlier this year Princeton Press solicited an image of Wendy Wahl’s Branches Unbound, aninstallation at the Grand Rapids Arts Museum 2011, for the cover its forthcoming book by Maurice S. Lee. Wahl writes that she received her copy of Overwhelmed: Literature, Aesthetics and the Nineteenth-Century Information Revolution and, “I am completely delighted. My not-quite-natural trees of deconstructed Encyclopedia Britannica volumes are a fitting image for a book with chapters titled Reading, Searching, Counting and Testing. The author’s historically grounded exploration of the 19th and 20th centuries’ intersection of literature and information offers new ways to think about the 21st century digital humanities.

The Songs of Trees
The Overstory by Richard Powers


We received four recommendations from Chris Drury: The Songs of Trees by David George Haskell, The Overstory by Richard Powers, Underland by Robert MacFarlane and The Wisdom of Wolves by Elli H Radinger.

Underland by Robert MacFarlane
The Wisdom of Wolves

I’m really enjoying The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History by Kassia St Clair at the moment, reports Laura Thomas.

The book offers insights into the economic and social dimensions of clothmaking―and counters the enduring association of textiles as “merely women’s work.”

A House in Norway by Vigdis Hjorth


Stéphanie Jacques is reading A House in Norway by Vigdis Hjorth, a novel in which the main character is a woman who is also a textile artist. “You follow her,” she says, “in her creative process and in the difficulties with her neighbors.” Jacques also recommends Hisako Sekijima’s Basketry: Projects from Baskets to Grass Slippers.

Basketry: Projects from Baskets to Glass Slippers

“Not really a new one ;-),” she says, “but for me this book is a gift to get back to basketry in the spring.” 

The Buried: An Archaeology of The Egyptian Revolution

“My favorite book this year was The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution by Peter Hessler,” writes Mary Merkel-Hess. “The author is well known for his previous books about living in China. In 2011, he moved to Cairo with his wife and infant twin daughters to learn Arabic and write about the Middle East and soon found himself caught up in the Arab Spring. This book is about that political upheaval but also a very human story about living in Cairo, exploring ancient archaeological sites as well as navigating the political unrest of modern Egypt. I had the great good fortune to visit Egypt for several lengthy periods in 2007-8 and this book explained much about a culture that I found fascinating, baffling and at times, frustrating.”

Mrinalini Mukherjee

were two books that we were pleased to add to browngrotta arts’ library this year. First was Mrinalini Mukherjee by Shanay Jhaveri. Mukherjee’s work, which is on exhibit in the new galleries at MoMA, was not exhibited in the US until after her death in 2015. As the book notes explain, “Within her immediate artistic milieu in post-independent India, Mukherjee was an outlier artists. Her art remained untethered to the dominant commitments of painting and figural storytelling. Her sculpture was sustained by a knowledge of traditional Indian and historic European sculpture, folk art, modern design, local crafts and textiles. Knotting was the principal gesture of Mukherjee’s technique, evident from the very start of her practice. Working intuitively, she never resorted to a sketch, model or preparatory drawing. Probing the divide between figuration and abstraction, Mukherjee would fashion unusual, mysterious, sensual and, at times, unsettlingly grotesque forms, commanding in their presence and scale.”

Lenore Tawney: Mirror of the Universe

The second was Lenore Tawney: Mirror of the Universe, Karen Patterson, Editor. The book notes, explain that Tawney was known for employing an ancient Peruvian gauze weave technique to create a painterly effect that appeared to float in space rather than cling to the wall. She was known, too, for being one of the first artists to blend sculptural techniques with weaving practices and pioneering a new direction in fiber art, in the process. Tawney has only recently begun to receive her due from the greater art world. She is currently the subject of a four-exhibition retrospective at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. This book accompanies the exhibition and features a comprehensive biography of Tawney, additional essays on her work and two hundred full-color illustrations, making it of interest to contemporary artists, art historians and the growing audience for fiber art.


A Couple Collects: Sandy and Lou Grotta of the Grotta Collection

Sandy and Lou Grotta in front of the Grotta House from The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft published by Arnoldsche, photo by Tom Grotta
Sandy and Lou Grotta in front of the Grotta House from The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft published by Arnoldsche, photo by Tom Grotta

Next month, we will showcase 40 artists whose works part of the remarkable collection of Sandy and Lou Grotta, acquired during their nearly 70-year relationship. “In quality and depth, the Grotta collection of contemporary craft outshines all others, including what is in museums,” writes designer and curator Jack Lenor Larsen. In Artists from the Grotta Collection we will feature important works of fiber, ceramic and wood – just as the Grotta Collection does.

"The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft"
The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Architecture and Craft

The Grottas’ acquisitions are housed in an architecturally significant home designed intentionally to showcase their art. The collection and their home are featured in a new book, The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: a Marriage of Architecture and Craftwhich was photographed and designed by Tom Grotta.

Lila Kulka, Pair, sisal, wool, stilon, 125" x 77", 1989
A couple-themed work by Lila Kulka on of the artists in the Grotta Collection. Pair, sisal, wool, stilon, 125″ x 77″, 1989, photo by Tom Grotta

A well-regarded interior designer, Sandy Grotta (then Sandy Brown) met her husband, Lou Grotta, at the University of Michigan in 1953. After enrolling in multiple art history courses together, the couple quickly developed a mutual admiration for contemporary architecture which would grow to encompass the work of dozens of renowned craft artists. “In the early 1960s, walking out of the Museum of Modern Art, we stumbled upon the Museum of Contemporary Craft next door, ” she says. “The Museum’s exhibitions, many of whose objects were for sale in its store, caused a case of love at first sight. It quickly became a founding source of many craft purchases to follow. It was the site of our initial sighting of the wonderful walnut wood work of Edgar and Joyce Anderson.” Soon after, the Grotta commissioned the first work of what evolved into their becoming the most important collectors of Joyce and Shorty’s limited output over the next 30 years. The Andersons introduced them to their friends, ceramists Toshiko Takaezu and William Wyman. “[T]he Andersons were our bridge to other major makers in what we believe to have been the golden age of contemporary craft,” says Sandy, “and the impetus to my becoming our decorator going to interior design school and entering the field.” Lou’s interest in modern architecture and Scandinavian art also stems back to his early years as a student at the University of Michigan. In the early 80s Lou reunited with his New Jersey friend from summer camp, Richard Meier, and, despite differing opinions about craft and differences in opinion concerning craft materials, they decided to collaborate on the creation of The Grotta House. Over a span of five years, the three worked together to design and build a house that combined the Grottas’ unique appreciation for contemporary art and Meier’s formal elements of design.

Sauvages Diptych, Stephanie Jacques, willow, 51" x 18" x 12", 2014
Stephanie Jacques’ couple of willow: Sauvages, Diptych, willow, 51″ x 18″ x 12″, 2014, photo by Tom Grotta


Sandy and Lou continue their curation, still seeking dimensional textile art, sculpture and fine craft that enhances their collection. When it comes to aesthetic decisions, Lou says, the two early disagree. “Since day one, we’ve always been blessed with an amazing like/dislike simpatico. On rare occasions when we disagree, we honor the other’s veto power.” The results of that unique creative collaboration are documented in the more-than 300 photographs that make up The Grotta Home, which will be celebrated in Artists from the Grotta Collection: exhibition and book launch runs from November 2nd to the 10th at browngrotta arts, 276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT.

Together Forever, Judy Mulford, mixed Media, 19.5” x 18.5” x 10”, 2012
This work by Judy Mulford, celebrates partnerships like Sandy’s and Lou’s: Together Forever, mixed Media, 19.5” x 18.5” x 10”, 2012, photo by Tom Grotta


The Artists Reception and Opening is November 2nd, 1 pm to 6 pm; the hours for November 3rd – 10th are 10 am to 5 pm. TheGrotta Home by Richard Meier: a Marriage of Architecture and Craft will be available throughout the exhibition and Tom will be available to sign it. For more info: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/calendar.php.

See Me, Norma Minkowitz, mixed media, 11.75" x 22" x 6", 2019
Two heads contribute to a singular vision. Norma Minkowitz, See Me, mixed media, 11.75″ x 22″ x 6″, 2019. photo by Tom Grotta