Tag: art assembled

Art Assembled: New This Week in February

February has been a busy month at browngrotta arts, as we move quickly into 2022, we have been hard at work planning our spring exhibition and introducing you all to the talented artists we have the opportunity to work with. Most recently, we’ve introduced our followers to works by: Jiro Yonezawa, Keiji Nio, Masako Yoshida, and Jo Barker. All uniquely different and exceptionally talented – it’s worth a recap to ensure you all see these impressive works.

This one of a kind piece, Red Fossil, comes from acclaimed Japanese artist, Jiro Yonezawa. Yonezawa’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally on a large scale, and he was also featured in our Japandi exhibition. Yonezawa is widely known for his mastery of bamboo basketry created from traditional techniques; with each artwork he creates, there is often a contrast of disciplined formality in technique and natural freedom in form. 

He has said that his recent baskets “represent a search for the beauty and precision in nature and a way to balance the chaos evident in these times.” 

Flowers is one of our favorite pieces from Keiji Nio. If you don’t know by now, Keiji Nio is a Japanese artist, who is commonly known for impeccable plaiting and textile works. Nio’s work is done through the traditional technique of Kumihimo, a Japanese form of braid-making.

In this particular piece, Nio said he drew inspiration from flowers he observed online amid the pandemic: “The picture of the flower used for this work was taken when I was looking for the flower that emphasized red, yellow and green in the botanical garden,” said Keiji Nio. “Now that I can’t go out freely, I made a work using these flowers as materials so that I can feel the vivid color and fragrance of these flowers which we’ll experience again in the world after COVID is cured.” 

Another gifted artist we highlighted throughout February was Masako Yoshida. Yoshida is a Japanese artist who has committed much of her career to also teaching her techniques, which have resulted in work being exhibited worldwide.

Often, the constructions Yoshida envisions are built by interlacing sheets of walnut bark with string made of nettle. She has said that her work often provides her a means of release, allowing the truth to emerge and open the mind.

Jo Barker is British textile artist who has been long known for her complex designs and woven tapestries that are based upon a long-term interest in color. This contemporary abstract tapestry, Cobalt Haze, is no exception.

When explaining her inspirations, Barker said: “My current work is a part of an ongoing series of tapestries exploring themes initially inspired by qualities and patterns of light: transient and ephemeral starting points translated slowly into woven form. I am interested in the contradiction of the contrast in materials between the flowing nature of ink and paint and the illusion of fluidity translated into soft, richly colored yarns.

We hope you all enjoyed this recap and opportunity to learn more about the artists we work with. Follow along throughout March to see more new artwork at browngrotta arts!


Art Assembled: New This Week in January

We’ve been kicking off the year at browngrotta arts with some impressive art, and we’re excited to keep it coming for the rest of the year! In January, we introduced our followers to art from Eva Vargö, Ane Henriksen, Hisako Sekijima, Gjertrud Hals, Blair Tate and so many more talented artists. Just in case you missed it, we’re recapping it here so you can view all of their impressive works in one place.

This art, Japandí, was created by Swedish artist, Eva Vargö. When creating this piece, Vargö used Japanese and Korean book papers collected throughout her travels across East Asia. Vargö integrated these materials through a complex process where she fused paper and linen-thread materials into her weaving technique. When asked about why she creates, she has said she often weaves to deals with life’s fast pace.

“The working process is often repetitive and so it becomes meditative,” said Eva Vargö. “Mostly it gives me some peace of mind and my aim is to work at a slow pace. To be able to do one thing at a time without rush and to let go – to meet the unforeseen. I want to trust my intuition and my inner voice.”

This artwork, Reserve, was handwoven by Danish artist Ane Henriksen. This profound piece was created with the intention of highlighting some of the ecological peril that was see in our society today. When explaining this piece, Henriksen said:

“Nature is threatened,” said Ane Henriksen. “I hope this is expressed in my image, which at first glance can be seen as a peaceful, recognizable view of nature, but when you move closer and see the material, it might make you uneasy, and add thoughts of how human activity is a threat against nature. By framing the nature motif museum-like in a solid oak frame, I try to make you aware how we store small natural remains in reserves — in the same way as we store exquisite objects from our past history in our museums.”

Suspended Decision was created by acclaimed Japanese artist Hisako Sekijima. In the art world, Sekijima has long been recognized as an artist whose innovation and artistry seem to know few bounds as her techniques and approaches extend well beyond traditional basketing making. 

“I call myself a basketmaker because I inform my work by thinking and processing the nature and history of basketry,” said Hisako Sekijima. “And also, because in order to realize the ideas, I choose to use materials and structural methods that have typically been used for basketmaking. It pleases me that my ideas and the final results of my work expand the boundary well beyond what I once thought of as the domain of basketry.”

Norwegian artist, Gjertrud Hals, consistently pushes the envelope and impresses with her creative knitted vessels. Hals was born and raised on the northwestern coast Norway and has spent much of her time traveling and learning about various cultures, and she has discussed how these experiences largely influence her work today. More specifically, Hals has discussed how India, Jordan, Norway and Japan have had a significant impact on her artwork.

“As a seasoned traveler I have observed many different cultures,” said Gjertrud Hals. “Much of my artistic work is an attempt at expressing the connection between the islands micro-history and the world’s macro-history.”

This piece comes from American artist, Blair Tate. Tate has been creating contemporary work since the 1970’s under the influence of the 60’s minimalism and modernist architecture and is known for exploring flat, woven grids in her work.

Pangaea was created last year amid the pandemic and was featured in our exhibition Adaptation: Artists Respond to Change. When creating this specific piece, Tate said she consciously wove to the very limits of her warp to minimize loom waste. Whereas in the past she said she may have incorporated interruptions in the strips while weaving, thereby wasting the unwoven warp; in Pangaea, the gaps emerge only in the rearranging.

Like what you see? We introduce new art every Monday! Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date with our latest works.


Art Assembled: New This Week in December

As this year comes to a close, we’re finishing our New This Week series with some of our favorite artists! Throughout the month of December we’ve highlighted art from notable artists like: Norie Hatakeyama, Mia Olsson, Grethe Sørensen, and Åse Ljones. Here’s a recap of all the art we’re closing out 2021 with.

This piece comes from Japanese artist, Norie Hatakeyama. Hatakeyama is predominantly known for her contemporary and complex plaited works of paper tape. The works resemble living organisms — and, on close inspection, have no apparent starting or endpoints.

This piece comes from Swedish artist, Mia Olsson. Together is made of sisal fibers, dyed and formed in a technique unique to Olsson. The sisal fibers used are shiny and reflect the light, even more when formed in relief. The colors are richly saturated — engaging the viewer on each viewing.

This piece comes from internationally acclaimed artist, Grethe Sørensen. Since 2004, she has been working exclusively with digital thread control/digital jacquard weaving. She is credited with revolutionizing the art of tapestry through her method of converting photographic pixels into threads. The technique allows her to create complex motifs; the city, urban landscapes, light and optical patterns are frequent inspirations for her.

This artwork was created by talented Norwegian artist, Åse Ljones. Ljones uses a blizzard of stitches to create her works. Ljones told TextileArtist.org in an interview that, “To embroider by hand takes time. It is a slow process that gives room for silence. I seek silence. In silence, I retrieve memories and find new paths forward. In all my work as an artist I have eliminated the extraneous. I’ve cultivated simplicity to approach the core of myself, in myself, with fewer measures.” For Ljones, “the sewing needle is like the pencil is to the author,” with it, she can create pictures and tell stories.

Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of this past year at browngrotta arts. We’re going into 2022 excited for another year of art-filled fun!


Art Assembled: New This Week in November

This holiday season, we’re feeling extra thankful to be able to introduce you all to new artists and their impressive artwork. Over the course of the month, we’ve highlighted art from notable artists like: Irina Kolesnikova, Norma Minkowitz, Gudrun Pagter, Masakazu Kobayashi, and Toshio Sekiji. Just in case you missed it, we’re recapping all the pieces we think you should check out sooner rather than later!

This piece comes from renowned Russian artist, Irina Kolesnikova. Kolesnikova created this piece amid the pandemic, where she was able to take the time to reflect and do a deeper dive into herself; the end result was a series of powerful works titled Letters from Quarantine.

Around and A Round comes from internationally recognized textile artist, Norma Minkowitz. Often, Minkowitz works with fiber to create transparent mixed media sculptures – creating work that is at times fragile and relates to the human form and forms from nature. When asked about her artwork as a whole, Minkowitz said: 

“I seek mystery in the shadows of the work. The netting’s effect is to blur the shape within. There is often paint on the surface, which can at times be invisible and at other times obvious depending on the light, another important element of my work. I want the openness to convey a sense of energy as the viewer moves around the sculpture. My work retains implications of containment and psychological complexity, while focusing on the human form and often the land-scape. I am engaged in a process that weaves the personal and universal together. The interlacing suggests a delicate quality symbolic of the human condition, but conversely, the pieces could also imply the strength of steel mesh. In many of my works twigs and branches are left inside, and are visible in an eerie way through the exterior of the sculpture, often suggesting connections to the human skeletal or circulatory systems.” 

These woven tapestries come from talented Danish artist, Gudrun Pagter. In Pagter’s work, she often uses lines and shapes to achieve a tension and a spatial effect, with inspiration drawn from architecture. Pagter’s minimalism is emblematic of the shared sensibilities of Scandinavian and Japanese artists, popularly termed Japandi.

This one-of-a-kind contemporary piece comes from the late Masakazu Kobayashi. When interviewed, Kobayashi once stated that when creating his own work he searches for an equilibrium between his capacity as a creator and the energy of the world around him.

“In my own work, I search for an equilibrium between my capacity as a creator and the energy of the world around me,”  said Kobayashi. ‘When I am able to find this equilibrium, my works exist on their own. Among the works I have created are projects that incorporate several styles and emphasize primary colors. In creating such combinations, I want the viewer to experience the resonating chords that come from each element of the work.”

Toshio Sekiji is a Japanese artist widely known for his exploration of merging cultures in his complex collages and weavings. Often, Sekiji uses repurposed newspapers, maps and book pages within his artwork. The end result is the creation of new stories atop the old – intertwining strips of paper from various cultures, rewriting messages and imaging a harmonious confluence of disparate cultures, languages and nationalities.

If you like this lineup, be sure to keep your eye out for the artwork we will be highlighting throughout December. We have another round of impressive artwork coming your way! 


Art Assembled: New This Week in December

Anyone else happy to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to new, brighter beginnings? We know we are.

The last month in 2020 certainly kept us busy at browngrotta arts. From introducing new art, to having our Volume 50 exhibition come to a close – there hasn’t been a dull moment for us.

In this blog, we’re charting the new art we’ve introduced to the public in the month of December, including works from: Carolina Yrarrázaval, Włodzimierz Cygan, and Caroline Bartlett.

Detail of Tapíz “El abrazo" by Carolina Yrarrázaval
Detail of Tapíz “El abrazo” by Carolina Yrarrázaval, 2017.
Photo by Tom Grotta.

Carolina Yrarrázaval is a Chilean artist known for her impeccable textile work. When asked about her work and her aspirations, Yrarrázaval said:

“Throughout my entire artistic career I have devoted myself to investigating traditional textile techniques from diverse cultures, especially Pre-Columbian techniques, trying to adapt them to my creative needs,” said Carolina Yrarrázaval. “Abstraction has always been present as an aesthetic aim, informing my choice of materials, forms, textures and colors. The simple proportions are guided by an intuitive sense that avoids the use of mathematical formulas.”

Detail of Traps by Włodzimierz Cygan
Detail of Traps by Włodzimierz Cygan
wool, viscose, linen, sisal, fiber optic installation 92” x 106”, 2019

Włodzimierz Cygan is a Polish artist who’s widely known for his intriguing and detailed weaving and tapestry work. Growing up, Cygan lived in a city called Łódź, which has very strong textile traditions that inspired him to create his own works of art.  “I use optical fiber mono-filament with increased light transmission for warp and weft as a complementary material for the textile structure, “ says the artist. In doing so, he is able to connect two contradictions: durability of textile materials and a constant change of the light. 

Detail of Meeting Point by Caroline Bartlett
Detail of Meeting Point by Caroline Bartlett
Mono-printed, stitched and manipulated linen, cotton threads, 60” x 16.5,” 2020.
Photo by Tom Grotta.

Caroline Bartlett is a UK artist who’s widely known for her textile work – which provides the means and materials to process and articulate ideas in relation to content in reference to historical, social and cultural associations. These have significance in relation to touch and their ability to trigger memory in Bartlett’s work, imprinting, erasing and reworking, stitching, folding and unfolding become defining characteristics.

At browngrotta arts, we’re excited to begin the new year and to continue to bring forth art that inspires and incites emotion. We’re determined to continue to bring light into the world with art that connects us all as one. Keep your eye out for all the exciting things to come!


Art Assembled: New This Week February

The month of February was a busy, but delightful month for us! We’ve been hard at work preparing for Asia Art Week and managing our exhibitions. Although it’s been busy, it’s never too busy to highlight our spectacular artists. Here’s some of the new artwork that we brought into the fold last month:

Toshio Sekiji
33ts Asian Fugue, Toshio Sekiji, Chineses, Japanese and Korean newspapers, lacquered, 14’ x 3’ unframed, 1999.

Japanese artist Toshio Sekiji intertwines strips of paper from various cultures, rewriting messages and imaging a harmonius confluence of disparate cultures, languages and nationalities – different than the facts on the ground. 

John McQueen
John McQueen, 30jm In Praise of Empty, sticks and waxed string, 27” x 31.75” x 31.25”, 2019.

John McQueen meticulously creates pieces that concentrate on form and texture that invoke word and world associations. Some of these are made by the viewer, others are there in the artist’s intent. One is initially awed by the form — the words of twigs and waxed linen that edge the vessel — then challenged to decipher the words: What’s Behind and Before You.

5gp Framed, Gudrun Pagter, linen, sisal and flax, 65” x 60”, 2018.

“I am engaged in a constant process of exploring the picture plane through a highly disciplined structuring of geometrical form elements and lines and through a restricted color spectrum,” explains Gudrun Pagter. “With few lines or a single line, it is possible to transform a two-dimensional plane into a three- dimensional space,” Pagter notes. “Through the years my compositions have become simpler and simpler. Do not look for a specific pictorial motif,” she tells viewers. “My composition’s “image” is abstract not specific, an image of concrete art. The image is what you see and experience.”


Art Assembled: New This Week March

Shades of Green, Dawn MacNutt, twined willow, paint 63.75”x 23” x 20”, 2008

We started off the month of March with a beautiful willow sculpture by Dawn MacNutt. Like many of Macnutt’s pieces, Shades of Green is an interpretation of universal human form. In creating her work, MacNutt draws inspiration from ancient human forms that were present in ancient times, as well as humans and emotions in the present.

Harmony of Yin Yang I, Shin Young-Ok , mosigut (fine threads made of the skin of ramie plant) linen & ramie threads. Korean ramie fabric, 24.875″ x 24.625″ x 1.5″, 2014.

For the second week of March, we broke the status quo and shared a walkthrough of our online Artsy exhibition An Unexpected Approach: Exploring Contemporary Asian Art. The video, which can be viewed on our Instagram, Facebook or YouTube channel, presents viewers from all over the world an opportunity to see an assortment of astonishing Asian-inspired art. If you are curious about a piece in the video walkthrough make sure to check out the exhibition Artsy page HERE, or give us a call.

Water Is Eternity, Keiji Nio, woven and braided nylon, 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 3.74″, 2009. 9th triennale internationale des mini-textiles – Angers 2009.

Next up on the queue was Shin Young-Ok’s Harmony of Yin Yang I. Made using mosigut (fine threads made of skin of ramie plant), linen and ramie threads, Harmony of Yin Yang I explores the origins of harmony in Asian philosophy. The ying yang sign, which is considered complementary rather than oppositional, embodies dualism, the idea that all energy has an equally powerful, opposing energy.

To finish off March we shared Water is Eternity, a woven and braided nylon sculpture by artist Keiji Nio. Nio creates sculptures with the traditional technique of kumihimo. In the past, Nio has used the technique to create works that have been featured in the International Biennial of Tapestry in Lausanne as well as the International Miniature Textile Triennial in Angers, France.


Art Assembled: New This Week February

Structural Discussion VI, Hisako Sekijima cedar and walnut, 10.75” x 14.5” x 7”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Winter is slowly but surely coming to a close (finally!) and the sunny months are not too far ahead. Also rapidly approaching is this year’s Art in the Barn exhibition: Art + Identity: An International View, which seeks to take an expansive look at identity and art in a global context.

We started February’s “New This Week” series with Structural Discussion VI by Hisako Sekijima. Woven using cedar and walnut, Sekijima’s Structural Discussion VI’s explores structure, form and shape. Though Sekijima’s baskets were not created to function in a utilitarian manner she feels that they have been a useful tool in exploring herself. Unlike traditional basketmakers, Sekijima has chosen to not work with one specific plant throughout her life, but instead work with various plant materials. Her openness to other plant materials has allowed her to explore and experiment with each material’s sculptural possibilities.

Material Pleasures: Artemisia, Lia Cook, acrylic on linen, dyes on rayon; woven, 53” x 77” 1993. Photo by Tom Grotta.

The sensual nature of Lia Cook’s Material Pleasures: Artemisia is sure to immediately captivate the viewer. Cook’s Material Pleasures series explores the “sensuality of the woven image” and the emotional response that comes with it. Cook has continued this exploration of sensuality and emotion in her current work, combining it with technology that measures and maps emotional responses.

Orchid, Marianne Kemp, horsehair, gold lures thread, wooden frame, 15” x 18.5” x 2”. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Next up was Marianne Kemp’s stitched and woven Orchid. Dyed red horsehair woven in between a delicate herringbone background brings light to Kemp’s supreme eye for detail. For Kemp weaving is a form of meditation. “It is the only time of day that I do one thing at the time and think (solely) about one thing,” Kemp explains. Weaving allows Kemp to give her brain a rest and explore her creative intuition.

Blue/Green Weaving, Włodzimierz Cygan, polyester, linen, sisal, fiber optic, 41” x 41” x 15”. Photo by Tom Grotta.

We concluded February with  Włodzimierz Cygan’s Blue/Green Weaving. The piece, which is designed with both textiles and fiber optics, resembles a peacock feather in daylight and slowly shifts shades in the dark. Cygan, a Polish artist, is an innovator in the field of fiber art, challenging the boundaries of the medium.


Art Assembled: New This Week January

Mind Garden, Shin Young-ok, 2018
Several kinds threads, bamboo weaving on loom, 72 × 35 1/2 in

A new year and new art, oh my!

We kicked off the new year with Shin Young-ok’s Mind Garden. The varied blue hues of Mind Garden immediately draw your attention, leaving you with a desire to look deeper into the details. In Mind Garden, Young-ok seamlessly weaves ombre blue hues with a geometric pattern. The South Korean native transforms traditional Korean aesthetics into innovative contemporary works of art. “The aim of my work is to convey a genuine Korean atmosphere and its cosmic space through rich color, shapes, forms and material quality,she explains. While doing this I try to link the Korean tradition with modern trends.”

Togetherasone, Marianne Kemp, horsehair, linen, cotton, wooden frame, 31” x 15” x 2”

Marianne Kemp’s Togetherasone was also on social-media display this month. Present in much of Kemp’s work is horsehair, a material which constantly fuels her creativity.  Kemp’s unconventional weaving techniques give each of her pieces a unique character. That uniqueness is further elevated by her unparalleled use of texture, color and movement. The resulting three-dimensional nature of her pieces leaves each viewer not only wanting to look at each piece, but to touch it as well.

Tasting Green, Deborah Valoma, found iron objects, crocheted cotton thread, stinging nettles dye 61” x 5” x 3.5”, 2018

Next up, we shared Tasting Green by Deborah Valoma. Ingesting, bathing in, and dying with a distillation of stinging nettles leaves for a period of two months has produced a multi-sensory experience of green, for Valoma. “My body has been steeped in the smell, flavor, and feel of an earthy, brownish green,” she wrote of the piece. The common weed, Urtica dioica, has been used for food, medicine, fiber and dyes throughout Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa for millennia. Stinging nettle is also a perennial native to western United States and Canada and can be harvested locally from wetland areas.” It is a formidable plant,” writes the artist, “an ally of those in need of protection, fortification and healing. The bite of the fresh plant and its rich iron content syncretizes it with warriors of the wild.”

Offering i, Gizella Warburton, mixed media installation 18” x 12.5” x 63””; 2014

For Gizella Warburton, last in our social media queue for January, the process of making is visceral. “The materiality of cloth, paper, thread, wood and paint connect me to an innate human urge to make marks” and to “decipher the meaning of our physical and emotional landscapes,” describes Warburton. Warburton’s vessel forms, such as Offering i explore an intuitive response to linear, textural and light detail within landscape and surface. The process of making the vessels forms is quite contemplative, and includes a variety of subprocesses which, in the end, result in and aid each piece in coming to fruition.


Art Assembled: New This Week December

3lb Attached, Laura Ellon Bacon, Somerset willow – a variety called Dicky Meadows, 69” x 27.5” x 12”, 2013, photo by sophie mutevelian

It’s hard to believe another year had passed, but we are welcoming 2019 with open arms here at browngrotta arts. We are excited for all the great things to come in 2019, but we’ll shed a light on all the great art we shared on our social media throughout the month of December. From Laura Ellen Bacon’s Attached to Adela Akers Night Curtain there was quite a diverse line up on display in December.

To kick off the month of December we shared Laura Ellen Bacon’s Attached. Bacon, whom we had the pleasure of visiting on our trek through the United Kingdom, consistently creates stunning woven sculptures. Bacon’s unique weaving technique, such as exhibited in Attached sets her apart. The combination of her technique and the use of natural materials allows Bacon to slowly develop the weight and form of her work as she pleases, which she describes as, “Starting out with a frail framework and building curves from the inside out to achieve quite ‘muscular’ forms with a sense of movement, a sense of them being alive somehow.”

Endless, Rachel Max, plaited and twined cane, 10.75” x 12” x 9”, 2016, $3,750
Endless, Rachel Max, plaited and twined cane, 10.75” x 12” x 9”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

Next in the queue was Endless by Rachel Max. Made of plaited and twined cane, Endless’ unique form piques’ the viewers’ curiosity. Through sculptural basketry, Max investigates the relationship between lace and basket making techniques. Often inspired by natural shapes, Max enjoys exploring the concepts of containment and concealment in her work. With this exploration, Max has developed a technique of layering to form structures that probe into the relationship between lines, shadows and space.

Ce qu’il en reste VI, Stéphanie Jacques, willow, gesso, thread, 21.5” x 10.5” x 11”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

The origins of Stéphanie JacquesCe qu’il en reste VI is rooted in her adolescent years with scoliosis. Jacques spent many years wearing corrective corsets, which inhibited her from many activities, such as dance. This series of sculptures, known as the Miss Metonymy sculptures are built as vertebral columns. Jacques has spent many years trying to create a figure that stands up, however, leaving the idea of verticality allowed that to become possible.

Night Curtain, linen, horsehair, paint & metal, 38” x 36”, 2018
Night Curtain, linen, horsehair, paint & metal, 38” x 36”, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta

To conclude 2018’s New This Week posts we shared Night Curtain by Adela Akers. Unique to Akers’ work is her utilization of horsehair and recycled metal foil strips from the tops of wine bottles. Incorporating metal into her work adds another dimension, one that becomes a veil through which metal can shine through. In Night Curtain the luster of metal and veil of horsehair is reminiscent of stars peeping through a thin curtain of clouds in the night sky.