Tag: Aby Mackie

Save the Date: browngrotta arts Spring Art in the Barn

We’ve spent the first weeks of 2024 summing up 2023 and looking at this year’s trends in art and design. Now we’ve got a more concrete prediction — our Spring Art in the Barn exhibition will run from Saturday, May 4 through Sunday, May 12, 2024. Discourse: art across generations and continents will explore the diversity in art textiles and fiber sculpture.

Blair Tate, Warren Seelig header
Details of tapestries by Blair Tate made in 2022 and Warren Seelig made more than 40 years earlier in 1976. Photo by Tom Grotta.

In Discourse, browngrotta arts will assemble a large and eclectic group of artworks that celebrate artists from different countries, who work with varied materials, and represent distinct artistic approaches. More than 50 artists from 20 countries will be featured.Included will be works from the art form’s origins 60 years ago, current mixed media works and sculpture, and pieces created in the decades between — enabling an intriguing look at intergenerational differences, material breakthroughs, and historical significance in fiber art.

Details: John McQueen, Norma Minkowitz, Norie Hatekayama
Details: John McQueen, Norma Minkowitz, Norie Hatekayama. Photo by Tom Grotta.

structural explorations
Despite their distinctiveness, the artists in Discourse share a common trait. Each possesses “material intelligence,” what author Glenn Adamson describes as “a deep understanding of the material world around us, an ability to read that material environment, and the know-how required to give it new form.” The works in Discourse reflect this mastery. Artists like John McQueen and Norma Minkowitz of the US and Norie Hatekayama and Naoko Serino of Japan engineer imaginative structures of unexpected materials — plaited paper tape, molded jute, crocheted linen, and pieced twigs and branches. 

Details: Gudrun Pagter, Warren Seelig, Blair Tate
Details: Gudrun Pagter, Warren Seelig, Blair Tate. Photos by Tom Grotta

fiber art … an evolution
Discourse also offers viewers a chance to make intergenerational and cross-continental comparisons. Included will be starkly graphic weavings by Warren Seelig (US) made in the 70s and 80s, and ones by Gudrun Pagter (DK), and Blair Tate (US) made 40+ years later. We have often observed a different sensibility among artists from Eastern Europe and those in Western Europe, Asia, and the US. Artists in Eastern Europe have a history, which began after World War II, of using items at hand to create works – sisal, rope, hemp, goat hair. A fierce energy is seen in these works; they are rugged and raw. By contrast, for artists who worked elsewhere in more traditional tapestry materials like wool, silk, linen – quietly refined works were often the result. Discourse will spotlight such regional contrasts. 

Details: Marian Bijlenga, Shoko Fukuda, Marianne Kemp
Details: Marian Bijlenga, Shoko Fukuda, Marianne Kemp. Photo by Tom Grotta.

material matters
Viewers to Discourse will also see a wide range of to material and technique approaches. Several artists make vastly different uses of paper — scrolling of encyclopedia pages by Wendy Wahl (US), knotted paper objects by Shoko Fukuda (JP), and sculptural works of rice paper by Pat Campbell (US). Three other artists, Adela Akers (US), Marianne Kemp (NL), and Marian Bijlenga (NL), use horsehair in vastly different ways. 

Details: Laura Foster Nicholson, Irina Kolesnikova, Anneke Klein
Details: Laura Foster Nicholson, Irina Kolesnikova, Anneke Klein. Photos by Tom Grotta.

the medium is the message
Some of the artists in Discourse, including Laura Foster Nicholson (US) Gyöngy Laky (US), and Irina Kolesnikova (RU/DE), use the medium of fiber art to make explicit statements about the modern world — about personal anxiety, communication, and humans’ impact on the environment. “I like to tease the brain – to promote or even provoke or cajole, a visual dialogue with the viewer,” says Gyöngy Laky (US). Her work, Anticipation, which spells out the word “Who?“ in applewood branches, presents a question. “Given the challenges, concerns, conflicts and other dangers we face today,” Laky says, “this question, underlies the search for a way forward to a better day.” Anneke Klein (NL) is interested in communication: In Dialogue — Her work is made up of two layers that hang, one in front of the other. When you change your position in front of Dialogue, the interaction between the two layers changes, as it does between two speakers.

Detail: Lia Cook
Detail: Lia Cook. Photo by Tom Grotta.

experiments in technique
Contemporary fiber art is by definition experimental. It arose when a group of artists used tapestry techniques to create abstract sculptures that hung off the wall. A work of parallel optical lines from studies Lia Cook (US) did for her master’s thesis in the 1970s will be included along with works reflecting Neha Puri Dhir’s (IN) currrent experiments dying silk and baskets by Esmé Hofman (NL) of black willow and elm that also incorporate color.

Detail: Aby Mackie
Detail: Aby Mackie. Photo by Tom Grotta.

fiber art has emotional appeal
Fiber art — art textiles, tapestries, and three-dimensional sculpture — engages us on a deeply personal level. Our first memories are of cloth, fuzzy blankets, soft towels and they remain strong ones. Scientists have shown that different parts of the brain light up when we look at a woven image and a photographic image of the same item. Aby Mackie (SP) sources and recycles used fabrics from flea markets, fabrics laden with memory. She is captivated by these silent witnesses to a life lived; a worn bed sheet, a stained tablecloth, a moth-eaten gown. Such artifacts bear the marks and physicality of human nature, possessing a poetic power. She gilds this repurposed material in works like We Can All Be Saved, leaving viewers to consider what creates value.

We invite you to draw comparisons and gain new perspectives of your own. See you in May!

Exhibition Details:
Discourse: art across generations and continents
May 4 – May 12, 2024
browngrotta arts
276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT 06897

Gallery Dates/Hours:
Saturday, May 4th: 11am to 6pm [Opening & Artist Reception]
Sunday, May 5th: 11am to 6pm (40 visitors/ hour)
Monday, May 6th through Saturday, May 11th: 10am to 5pm (40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, May 12th: 11am to 6pm [Final Day] (40 visitors/ hour)
Schedule your visit at POSH

Safety protocols: 
POSH reservations strongly encouraged • No narrow heels please 

Catalog:
A full-color catalog, browngrotta arts’ 59th, Discourse: art across generations and continents, will be published by the gallery in conjunction with the exhibition.


Art Out and About: In the US and Abroad

So many exhibitions to visit this Spring from Sweden, Australia and the UK to California, Washington and New York — and two in Connecticut. Check them out.

Beauty and the Unexpected
Modern and Contemporary American Crafts
National Museum
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2
Stockholm, Sweden
March 30, 2023 – January 21, 2024

Gyöngy Laky Incident
Incident, Gyöngy Laky, from Beauty and the Unexpected exhibition in Stockholm, Natural and commercial wood, paint,
bullets for building (screws), 50” x 50” x 4.5”, 2012. Photo by Tom Grotta

National Museum has invited Helen W. Drutt English, pioneering craft educator and gallerist of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts since the 1960s, to assemble a collection of objects drawn from the field of “American Crafts.” The selection of 81 works from the 1950s until today will in future enrich National Museum’s collections and will provide a possibility to look at American Crafts in the Nordic context.

International Textile Art Biennale 
(Fibre Arts Australia)
Emu Park Art Gallery
EMU Park
13 Hill Street
Queensland, Australia 
From April 15 – June 10, 2023

Neha Puri Dhir handwoven silk
Overflow by Neha Puri Dhir, stitch-Resist Dyeing on Handwoven Silk (Diptych), 95 x 128cm 95 x 32cm, 2022. Photo by Neha Puri Dhir

Fibre Arts Australia is highlighting the contemporary practice within Art Textiles as an art form.

​The International Art Textile Biennale (IATB) seeks to exhibit the best of contemporary art textiles and invited submissions, from Australia and Internationally, that reflect a wide range of works related to the textile medium. Thirty-five artists were selected to participate, including Neha Puri Dhir. The works are exhibited at various locations throughout Australia.

Wendy Wahl Installation
Wendy Wahl Installation. Photo by Brooke Yung, assistant curator

Paper Town
Fitchburg Art Museum
185 Elm Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Through June 4, 2023

This exhibition takes paper out of the two-dimensional into a world that is fantastical, intricate, colorful, and personal. Inspired by the materiality of paper and the metamorphic quality of the papermaking process, Paper Town explores paper in pulp, cast, folded, and cut forms. The exhibition includes artwork by several artists located in New England:  May Babcock, Erik and Martin Demaine, Andrea Dezsö, Tory Fair, Hong Hong, Fred Liang, Michelle Samour, Heidi Whitman and browngrotta artist Wendy Wahl.

Polly Barton Irate
Works by Polly Barton, James Bassler and others in Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth. Photo by Polly Barton.

Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth
Seattle Art Museum
1300 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Through May 29, 2023

Visitors to Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth, will enter the woven world of ikat, a complex textile pattern that knows no borders. Presenting over 100 textiles from the museum’s global collection with gifts and loans from a dedicated Seattle-area collector, Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth is an introduction to the meticulous and time-honored processes of dyeing threads to create complicated hand-weaving. Contemporary work in the exhibition includes tapestries by Polly Barton and James Bassler, and an extraordinary installation by Rowland Ricketts.

Connective Threads
Palos Verde Cultural Center
Fiber Art from Southern California
Curated by Carrie Burckle and Jo Lauria
Through April 15, 2023

Carol Shaw-Sutton installation
Persephone’s Filters by Carol Shaw-Sutton. Photo by Carol Shaw-Sutton

Connective Threads provides a window into what is currently engaging fiber artists, even as this discipline continues to evolve and change. Emanating from artists’ studios in Southern California, the exhibition offers unique perspectives on the complicated identities of fiber art as a genre. Collectively they offer a penetrating examination of fiber’s possibilities. Exhibiting artists include Jim Bassler, Cameron Taylor-Brown, Ben Cuevas, Mary Little, Michael F. Rohde, and Carol Shaw-Sutton. 

Detail Magdalena Abakanowicz
Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Montana del Fuego detail by Tom Grotta

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope
Tate Modern
Bankside
London SE1 9TG
Through May 21, 2023

In the ’60s and ’70s, the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz created radical sculptures from woven fibers. They were soft, not hard; ambiguous and organic; towering works that hung from the ceiling and pioneered a new form of installation. They became known as the “Abakans.” Many of the most significant Abakans are brought together at the Tate Modern in a forest-like display in a 64-meter long gallery space.

The exhibition explores this transformative period of Abakanowicz’s practice when her woven forms came off the wall and into three-dimensional space. With these works she brought soft, fibrous forms into a new relationship with sculpture. A selection of early textile pieces and her little-known drawings are also on show.

And of course, there are the four “don’t miss” events browngrotta arts is involved in this Spring.

Norma Minkowitz installation
Norma Minkowitz: Body to Soul installation. Photo by Tom Grotta

Norma Minkowitz: Body to Soul
Fairfield University Art Gallery
Bellarmine Hall
Fairfield, CT
Through April 6, 2023

Gyöngy Laky and John McQueen
Out on a Limb by Gyöngy Laky and Billboard by John McQueen from the WordPlay exhibition.

Wordplay: Messages in Branches & Bark 
Flinn Gallery: Greenwich Library
101 West Putnam Avenue 
Greenwich, CT
March 30 – May 10, 2023

Aby Mackie detail
Detail: We Can All Be Saved 10 by Aby Mackie, gilded gold lead decontructed and reconfigured antique textiles, 2022. Photo by Tom Grotta

Making a Mark: The Art of Self Expression
Bay Street Theater
1 Bay Street
Sag Harbor, NY
Through May 7, 2023

And last, but not least, our Spring Art in the Barn at browngrotta arts:

Dominic Di Mare installation
The Mourners, Dominic Di Mare from the Acclaim! Works by Award-Winning Artists exhibition, waxed linen, wood, 46.5″-50.5″(h) x 24″each, 1962. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Acclaim! Work by Award-Winning International Artists
browngrotta arts
276 Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
April 29 – May 7, 2023


Allies for Art: Exclusively Online on Artsy through November 18, 2022

Did you miss the in-person version of Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related countries at browngrotta arts? Good news! You can see the art that made up the exhibition exclusively on Artsy through November 18th.

Three dimensional embroidered leaf shaped wall sculpture
7ak Embraced by Nature II, Anda Klancic, embroidered viscose, flax, cotton, polyester, metal filament, PVA fabric 31” x 23” x 9.25”, 2004. Photo by Tom Grotta

The nearly 50 artists in Allies for Art are from 21 different countries — 18 NATO members and 3 NATO applicants. Their work reflects diverse perspectives and experiences. The exhibition includes art created under occupation, in the ‘60s through the 80s, art by those who left repressive governments in Hungary, Romania and Spain, and art by other artists who left Russia in later years. Allies for Art also includes current works created by European artists including Gudrun Pagter of Denmark, Åse Ljones of Norway, Włodmierz Cygan of Poland, Ceca Georgieva of Bulgaria and, artists new to browngrotta arts, including Esmé Hofman of the Netherlands, Aby Mackie of Spain and Baiba Osite of Latvia.

Abstract off the wall textile sculpture
20mb Giallo, Marian Bijlenga, cotton; horshair, 58″ x 53″, 1994. Photo by Tom Grotta.

You can also learn more about the exhibition in the Allies for Art full-color catalog, which includes lush images and details shots and an essay by Kate Bonansinga, Director, School of Art, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio available on our website.

VIEW EXHIBITION ONLINE: Artsy
VIEW EXHIBITION IN PRINT: Order an Allies for Art catalog


Who’s New in Allies for Art? Anneke Klein and Aby Mackie

We are excited to include the work of five artists new to browngrotta arts in our upcoming exhibition, Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related countries (October 8-16). Among these artists are Anneke Klein of the Netherlands and Aby Mackie who lives and works in Spain.

Detail: 1-2akl Family and Labels, Anneke Klein, hemp, cotton, linen, acrylic paint, 21.5″ x 21.25″, each. Photo by Tom Grotta

Anneke Klein of the Netherlands was originally educated as a goldsmith. Her passion for weaving was born from her struggle with hard and cold materials. In order to pursue her preference for warmth and softness in materials, she retrained herself as a weaver.  After a period of designing and manufacturing clothing, she worked on a commission for the American minimalist Richard Tuttle for his exhibition in the Vleeshal of the Frans Hals Museum and for Alexis Gautier in the Bozar Museum Brussels. She developed her own style for wall objects. As a goldsmith she learned to express in miniature. It suits her, and she often applies that approach in her textile works as an element for rhythm and repetition. “I create a variety of shapes, textures and structures to express my imagination of social themes,” she says. “It is an ever-growing process inspired by instinct and intuition, an investigation, a translation, as if looking through a symbolic lens at the everyday and the things that touch me emotionally. It stimulates social awareness in myself and probably the viewer, too.”

Detail: 1-2am Between Chaos & Order 5 & 6, Aby Mackie, gilded gold lead deconstructed and reconfigured antique textiles, 72″ x 24″ each, 2022. Photo by Tom Grotta

For Aby Mackie, an emerging artist who lives and works in Spain, the very act of making artwork is political. Mackie responds to current economic and social inequities in her country, particularly in housing and food, by confronting consumerism head on. “Everything I buy, from the materials for my artwork to the clothes that I wear, the furniture in my house to the books that I read, I buy second hand — recycling, reusing, reimagining — standing against the insane consumerism that adds to that sense of us all living in a system that is broken.” Mackie reconstructs textiles — cutting, painting, stitching, weaving and gilding them … a process of deconstruction and transformation. “The materials that I use,” she says, “are sourced from the local flea market, a practice that was born out of necessity to find cheap (but unique, high quality, interesting, often sumptuous) and free materials to use in my artwork. I go at the end of the day and buy up all the unwanted antique cloth, clothing, and domestic textile, collecting the discarded, such as flamenco dresses, Spanish plates, antique dolls, horse collars integrating them into my practice.” In Mackie’s hands, these “discards” are given a new life as elegant and engaging artworks. A rich mix of influences can be seen in Mackie’s work in terms of concept (the found object sculpture of Picasso, Miro, Tapies, Grau-Garriga), techniques and materials (Anatsui) and subject matter and aesthetic sense (Basquiat, Schwarz), inviting the viewer to create their own connections and interpretations and encouraging a personal storytelling through materiality.

Join us at browngrotta arts in Wilton, CT
for Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related countries (October 8-16):

Exhibition Schedule:
Opening & Artists Reception (300-Visitor Cap)
Saturday, October 8th: 11AM to 6PM  
Viewing Dates & Times (40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, Sunday October 9th: 11AM to 6 PM
Monday, October 10th – Saturday, October 15th: 10AM to 5PM 

Final Day (40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, October 16th: 11AM to 6PM  

Address
276 Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 068977

Safety protocols
Eventbrite reservations strongly encouraged • We will follow current state and federal guidelines surrounding COVID-19 • As of August 1, 2022, masks are not required • No narrow heels please (barn floors)

RESERVE YOUR TIME: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/allies-for-art-work-from-nato-related-countries-tickets-392833123447

Contact Information
P: 203.834.0623
E: art@browngrotta.com