Tag: Dorothy Gill Barnes

25 at 25 at SOFA NY Countdown: Dorothy Gill Barnes

HAYSTACK RIVER BASKET detail, photo ©2011 Tom Grotta, courtesy of browngrotta arts

 

At SOFA NY 2012, browngrotta arts will exhibit Dorothy Gill BarnesHaystack River Basket. The sculpture is created of “river teeth,” teeth-shaped knots from old growth trees that are sculpted by the elements that Barnes discovered on the ground around the spruce trees in Maine while teaching at Haystack Mountain School of Craft.

HAYSTACK RIVER BASKET by Dorothy Gill Barnes, photo ©Tom Grotta, courtesy of browngrotta arts

The basket is made of  younger river teeth, though some can be 200 years older than the remainder of the tree and up to 12 to 15 inches long. Barnes’ work was recently the subject of an exhibition, Collection Focus, at the Racine Art Museum.  Her work is also in the permanent collections of the Museum of Arts & Design, the Erie Art Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tempe and the Arkansas Decorative Arts Museum.

Haystack River Basket

early river teeth, 14.5” x 21” x 16”, 2011

Exhibition News: Collection Focus: Dorothy Gill Barnes and David Ellsworth at the Racine Art Museum through January 15, 2012

Dorothy Gill Barnes and David Ellsworth are drawn to working with wood to create sculptural forms, however each has a different approach to using the material.  Collection Focus: Dorothy Gill Barnes and David Ellsworth at the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin spotlights the use of organic materials, primarily wood and bark of various trees. Although each artist’s work is very different in terms of structure and the process of creation, their sculptural objects and vessels will be displayed together to establish a visual and critical survey of their similarities and differences.

Dorothy gill Barnes, Seven Moon Dendroglyph – photo by Tom Grotta

Although Dorothy Gill Barnes is usually categorized as a fiber artist, RAM’s collection of her work concentrates on sculptures she has created from trees, especially from their bark and limbs. Barnes is known for developing a distinct working process that includes scarring trees that have been marked for eventual removal and, returning years later after the trees have been cut, harvesting the grown bark as a decoratively scarred skin to use in her baskets. This technical advancement enables her to create dendroglyphs—literally, “tree drawings.” This is a process in which Barnes makes careful incisions into the bark of a living tree. Over time, it forms a scar around her designs—the tree and time both becoming collaborators with the artist, with the process taking anywhere from a few months to 17 years. Barnes’ early influences were the artist and teacher Ruth Mary Papenthein, who taught at Ohio State University, and Dwight Stump, an Ohio-based traditional basket maker. She also credits the works of John McQueen and Ed Rossbach as setting a standard for experimenting with natural materials to make contemporary sculpture.

Dorothy Gill Barnes portrait with works for her first browngrotta exhibit

Barnes eventually taught fibers as an adjunct faculty member at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, from 1966 until her retirement from university teaching in 1990. Throughout much of her career, Barnes has also been a sought-after teacher who has traveled across the US and around the world conducting classes and residencies.The work of Dorothy Gill Barnes is the realization of a combination of sources and technical investigations that have placed her at the forefront of contemporary fiber art.Beginning with traditional basketry techniques and their dedication to the container form, she has steadfastly advanced through a career-long process of experimentation to become known around the world for her sculptures that utilize bark cultivated from trees.

Barnes uses electric tools to expand the scale, scope, and complexity of her pieces and she credits power equipment as the source for ideas that handwork alone would not have suggested. She is comfortable employing nails, metal wire, and staples along with traditional woven assembly methods. In all of her sculptures, Barnes seeks to create structures that honor the growing things from which they came. She highly prizes experimentation, spontaneity, inventiveness, and an openness to the wood and the process that is both intellectually playful and leaves her open to changes in the composition that nature offers. Barnes’ work is also included in Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers at the Wayne Art Center in Pannsylvania through January 21st.

David Ellsworth Vessel, 1987 Macassar ebony Racine Art Museum, Promised Gift of Jane and Arthur Mason Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine, WI

David Ellsworth is an influential presence in the modern wood turning community. He has both channeled and challenged the idea of functional turned wood vessels. At one point, he began creating his own bent turning tools to achieve his conceptual and aesthetic goals. Principles of design and working with clay have been important in the formation of his artistic concepts and approaches. Ellsworth has long been inspired by a wide range of objects and philosophies, finding direction from artists such as sculptor Mary Frank, woodworker James Prestini, and ceramics artist Paul Soldner and valuing the design and “spirit” of Native American art and architecture. In the last ten years, the Racine Art Museum has acquired over 40 works by Ellsworth—with a sizable number of pieces created over a broad spa, both small and large scale.

The exhibition ends January 15th. Racine Art Museum, 441 Main Street, Racine, Wisconsin 53403, 262.638.8300.


The Next Big Thing: Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers

Jiro Yonezawa bamboo Bridge and Kay Sekimachi Leaf bowl. photo by Tom Grotta

We’ve had a busy fall season at browngrotta arts. First was Stimulus: art and its inception, which you can still see in the catalog http://www.
browngrotta.com/Pages/c36.php
 and online through the end of the month http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/StimulusOnlineExhibit.php. Next up, is Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers at the Wayne Art Center, Pennsylvania http://www.
wayneart.org/exhibition/green-from-the-get-go-international-contemporary-basketmakers
 which runs from December 2, 2011 to January 21, 2012.  Green from the Get Go is curated by Jane Milosch, former curator of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum in collaboration with browngrotta arts. The exhibition features an exciting compilation of more than 40 works by artists who take inspiration from nature and the history of basketry. Since prehistoric times artists and craftspeople have been highly attuned to the beauty and resources of the natural world, whether depicting a pristine landscape, untouched by man, or harvesting plants and minerals for pigments and brushes. Sustainability is part of the design and craft process, which requires a heightened sensitivity to materials, one that honors the caring for, replenishing and repurposing of materials. Artist Dorothy Gill Barnes captures this eco-friendly position well when she explains, “my intent is to construct a vessel or related object using materials respectfully harvested from nature.”

CROSSING OVER Dona Anderson bamboo kendo (martial art sticks), patterned paper, thread 15″ x 94″ x 30″ 2008. photo by Richard Nicol

 

Some of the sculptural baskets in Green from the Get Go are made from both flora and fauna, from bamboo, pine, sea grass, and willow to emu feathers and bayberry thorns. The tactile nature of these fiberous works stimulates all of the senses—sight, smell, touch and even sound. Each maker brings his or her own conceptual approach and expression to the design and fabrication process. Some works are small enough to nestle in the hand or rest table-top, while others are monumental or hang on the wall. Green from the Get Go stretches our imagination in terms of what materials and forms constitute a basket and how art bespeaks the interconnected relationship of man and nature.

The exhibition includes artists from Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, Scandinavia and the US, featuring innovators in the genre of 20th-century art basketry as well as emerging talent: Dona AndersonJane Balsgaard, Dorothy Gill Barnes,Dail Behennah. Nancy Moore Bess, Birgit Birkkjaer, Jan Buckman, Chris Drury, Lizzie Farey, Ceca Georgieva, Marion Hildebrandt, Kiyomi Iwata, Christine JoyVirginia Kaiser, Markku Kosonen, Gyöngy Laky, Dawn MacNutt,  John McQueenMary Merkel-Hess, Norma Minkowitz, Valerie Pragnell, Ed Rossbach, Hisako Sekijima, Kay Sekimachi, Naoko SerinoKlaus Titze, Jiro Yonezawa and Masako Yoshido.

PILLOW, Norma Minkowitz, fiber, wood, paint, 2011

 

The preview party for Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers and Craftforms 2011, juried by Elisabeth Agros of the Philadelphia Art Museum, takes place on the evening of December 2nd and we’ll be there. For more in formation, contact the Wayne Art Center: http://www.wayneart.org/events/?id=48.


Spinning Straw Into Gold: ACC Gold Medalists and Fellows at SOFA Chicago and Online

5R CEDAR EXPORT BUNDLE. Ed Rossbach, plaited cedar bark from Washington state with heat transfer drawing, waxed linen, rayon and rags, 5.5″ x 11″ x 9″, 1993, ©Tom Grotta, 2011

This year at SOFA Chicago (November 4-6) the American Craft Council (ACC) will recognize 28 artists who have been awarded an ACC Gold Medal between 1994 and 2010 in a display at the Navy Pier, curated by Michael Monroe. The ACC awards recognize those who have demonstrated outstanding artistic achievement and leadership in the field for 25 years or more.  Since 1981, the ACC has selected just under four dozen artists working in Fiber to receive a Gold Medal for consummate craftsmanship and/or join its College of Fellows.  We’ve mounted an online exhibition of 21 these artists on our website, browngrotta.com, under Awards. Many of these artists are featured in the catalogs published by browngrotta arts and in the videos and other publications we offer. http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/catalogs.php Works by Fellows and Medalists  Adela Akers, Dorothy Gill Barnes , Lia Cook, Helena Hernmarck, Gyöngy Laky, John McQueen and Norma Minkowitz are featured in our current exhibition,  Stimulus: art and its inceptionEnjoy the show.

 


Exhibition News: Flora and Fauna, Museum of Arts and Design, New York

Rhonda’s friends from high school in Arizona visited New York from LA and Philadelphia in early August. We talked up the Museum of Arts and Design and the High Line as must-see sites and met them at the Museum and had a terrific time. We were all Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities (through September 18, 2011), which features artists constructing small-scale hand-built depictions of artificial environments and alternative realities, either as sculpture or as subjects for photography and video. These are worlds of “magic realism” conceived and realized through intense engagement with materials, attention to detail, and concern for meaningful content.

Dorothy Gill Barnes UNTITLED 1995

Gyöngy Laky Red Birds

Mary Merkel-Hess Tall Grass

Tom & Connie McColley Along the Path

There were also some remarkable pieces in A Bit of Clay on the Skin: New Ceramic Jewelry (through September 4, 2011). Flora and Fauna, MAD about Nature (through November 6, 2011), however, was less successful. There were individual works that we liked, including Steffen Dam’s Marine Forms, Wayne Higby’s Mesa Gap and Beth Katelman’s Folly and the works pictured here (two of which were sold to collectors by browngrotta arts, and the Gyöngy Laky work that lead us to contact her about representation back in the 90s). But by mixing works featuring motifs from Nature, like fish and flowers and butterflies, with works made of branches and bark and other natural materials, the curator has created a bit of a mashup — two exhibitions with very different sensibilities installed as one.  Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019, 212-299-7777, http://www.madmuseum.org/see.


Dispatches: All Things Considered IV and More at the Fuller Craft Museum

We traveled to Brockton, Massachusetts this weekend to see juried works by members of the National Basketry Organization at the Fuller Craft Museum http://www.fullercraft.org/exhibitions.html#Basketry.

Sunrise Artifact by Mary Giles

Woven Vessel by Jonathan Kline

Marked by a Sapsucker by Dorothy Gill Barnes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the highlights in our view: Sunrise Artifact by Mary Giles;  Woven Vessel by Jonathan Kline; Marked by a Sapsucker by Dorothy Gill BarnesTipped by Nancy Koenigsberg a Basket Book #5 by Arlene McGonagle (of course, we’re suckers for anything related to books). Most impressive, however, were works that appeared to be diptychs.  First, was a pair of  large works, Cave and Snag by Linda Bills, made a year apart, but seamlessly echoing each other in shape and offering an intriguing contrast in volume.

Tipped by Nancy Koenigsberg

Basket Book #5 by Arlene McGonagle

Cave and Snag by Linda Bills

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second was a single piece, Wait, Weight by Jo Stealey, that seems to be two, interlocking basket/bowls of letters (yes, she had us at “A”). The show, which runs through December 11th, is worth seeing — with 85 pieces there is considerable variety in materials, technique and aesthetic. The exhibition would have benefited from more white space, however. The works are placed so close to one another it requires a second walkthrough to really focus on individual pieces.

Union by Christine Joy

Memories by Judy Mulford

Sidestep by Dona Anderson

Untitled 1985 by Kay Sekimachi

Kibiso III by Kiyomi Iwata

Wait Weight by Jo Sealey

CHAT by Jiro Yonezawa

Cradle to Cradle by Gyongy Laky

Calycanthus by Marion Hildebrandt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can get there before Loom and Lathe: The Art of Kay Sekimachi and Bob Stocksdale closes on September 11, 2011, do. There are interesting works by Kay Sekimachi in this show that did not appear in previous exhibitions of these artists’ work. Although this exhibition also features a large number of pieces in a limited space, as a result of Stocksdale’s and Sekimachi’s minimalist aesthetic and muted color palette, the installation is more successful.

 

We missed Fold It: Deena Schnitman, an installation of cookbooks which is on view in the café because we didn’t know it was there.  We didn’t miss the Flint Farm Stand, though, just down the road in Mansfield.  Great fresh corn and ice cream that has people standing in line.

Dusk by Norma Minkowitz

All Things Considered IV includes 12 artists whose work is represented by browngrotta arts.  Click any image to see more examples of these artists’ work.

Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301
508-588-6000
http://www.fullercraft.org/home.html.


Art into Type: Books We Talked Up in 2010

Last year saw several books published that we recommended to clients and purchased for family and friends.  Among these were Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Mid-century Designers by Leslie Williamson, a collection of photographs of beautiful, iconic, and undiscovered mid-century interiors, including the homes of Russel Wright, George Nakashima, Harry Bertoia, Charles and Ray Eames, and Eva Zeisel, among others. Williamson’s photographs show these creative homes as they were lived in by their designers: Walter Gropius’ historic Bauhaus home in Massachusetts; Albert Frey’s floating modernist aerie on a Palm Springs rock outcropping; and Wharton Esherick’s completely handmade Pennsylvania house, from the organic hand-carved staircase to the iconic furniture.

Another favorite volume of ours was 3-D Typography. We added “text” to the title of this blog so that we could cover two things we are passionate about: art that involves text and interesting books.  3-D Typography, which includes work by Gyöngy Laky and dozens of other artists who have created lettering out of everything from shopping carts and toilet paper to toothpaste and pinched flesh, fits both criteria.  The book’s creation was serendipitous.  The authors, Jeanne Abbink and Emily CM Anderson looked at three-dimensional type in the course on a redesign of American Craft magazine in 2007.

 

Long overdue was the first comprehensive survey of modern craft in the United States, Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, by Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf.  Makers follows the development of studio craft–objects in fiber, clay, glass, wood, and metal–from its roots in 19th-century reform movements to the rich diversity of expression at the end of the 20th century. More than 400 illustrations — including two photographs by Tom — complement this chronological exploration of the American craft tradition. Keeping as their main focus the objects and the makers — including Lenore Tawney, Ed Rossbach, Kay Sekimachi, Katherine Westphal, François Grossen, Lia Cook, Warren Seelig, Arturo Sandoval, Gyöngy Laky, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Clare Zeisler, Anni Albers, Lillian Elliott, Helena Hernmarck, Norma Minkowitz and Trude Guermonprez — the authors offer a detailed analysis of major works and discuss education, institutional support and the philosophical underpinnings of craft.

Another very special volume from 2010 is Written Weed, by Marian Bijlenga, published by Hein Elferink. This exquisite book includes 111 paste-ups / collages by the artist made of dried leaves, grasses and seeds. The images are like handwriting, Chinese characters, the letters of an alphabet. In order to emphasize the graphic quality of these works, the book is published in black/white. Only 400 copies were produced; each is numbered and signed. You can order it from browngrotta arts for $185.00

Though it was written in 2009, I didn’t discover The Bird Catcher, by Laura Jacobs, until last year. I loved it and ordered copies for several friends.  It’s a tender story of grief and healing in the big city.  But it was the detailed description of the protagonist’s window displays for a high-end department store and the evolution of her closest friend’s craft gallery — including a display of elegantly crafted goblets — that I most appreciated.


Eco-Art News: Outtakes

chris-Drury.yewspheres.jpg

YEW SPHERES and photo by Chris Drury

Several of the artists that are included in Eco-Art: Materials Recycled, Repurposed, Re-Envisioned have created environmental installations and other works that could not be included in the confines of the exhibit at Artifact Design Group which continues through May 31st. Here’s a sampling:

Breathing-Vessels.jpg

BREATHING VESSELS and photo by Britt Smelvær

dorothy-barnes-grafted-willow.Gyongy-Laky.jpg

GRAFTED WILLOW by Dorothy Gill Barnes photo by Cynthia Tinapple and PROTEST by Gyöngy Laky

through-windo.jpg

THRU THE WINDOW and photo by Lawrence LaBianca

Ceca-Georgieva-outdoors.jpg

SNOW BALL EXPERIMENTS AND LANDSCAPE FOR MEN, burdock Burrs and photo by Ceca Georgieva

 

Technorati Tags: Ceca Georgieva, Chris Drury, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Eco-Art, Lawrence LaBianca, Britt Smelvær

 


Summer Stock: Artist Lectures, Classes and Workshops

Here’s a list of opportunities to connect this summer with artists that browngrotta arts promotes:

Dorothy Gill Barnes in her studio

Dorothy Gill Barnes
May 30th to June 11th

From Nature: Textiles/Sculpture, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina ;
Using mostly materials gathered from the Penland landscape, students in this class will construct vessels or sculptures that honor nature using a variety of techniques: carpentry, sewing, weaving—whatever is appropriate to local materials and suitable to individual inspiration. We will work with respectfully harvested heavy and delicate barks, grasses, wood, vines, and roots.

Dail Behennah at COLLECT 2009

Dail Behennah
May 30th to June 11th

Line, Light, and Shadow: An Approach to Basketry Construction, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine;
The shadows that baskets cast and contain are often complex and beautiful and you will be encouraged to consider this aspect of the structures that you make. Ways of joining hard and soft materials will be demonstrated and, if necessary, invented in order that 2D and 3D forms can be constructed. Demonstrations, exercises, and discussions will provide inspiration, which will enable you to develop your own ideas. Participants will be encouraged to make samples, 3D sketches, and a more considered piece of work.

Nancy Moore Bess holding Glacial Planes at SOFA NY 2010

Nancy Moore Bess
May 16th to 22nd

Japanese-Inspired Baskets, Snow Farm, Williamsburg, Massachusetts;

Some traditional Japanese Baskets require only fifteen minutes and a smile. Others can consume the length of an entire workshop, no matter its length. Each example in this workshop can lead to hours of experimentation and dozens of variations.

July 23rd

Wrapping Flowers — Japanese Style , Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
In Japan, presentation influences so much – food, flowers, tea. But Japan is not the only culture this worksop will be inspired by. Their are wonderful exsiting flower arrangement traditions from many cultures and this worksop will draw from them.

August 6th to 10th

Pillow Baskets: Screen and Paper, Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton, New Jersey; Contact: Jennifer Brooks; www.petersvalley.org
A wide variety of hardware store screening can be cut, folded, woven and stitched into lovely vessels. A covering of bits of handmade papers creates a luminescent skin. Years of travel to Japan and teaching has exposed Nancy Moore Bess to a wide range of vessel forms. Her passion for Japanese Packaging influences all that she creates.

Green Sculptures by Ceca Georgieva

Ceca Georgieva
Weekends from May to September

Green Summer Workshops, Ceca’s garden in the Vitosha Mountains near Sofia, Bulgaria. Email us at art@browngrotta.com if you’d like more details. The workshops will focus on dyeing with natural dyes using old traditional Bulgarian recipes.

Sheila Hicks Reflected in her Deck Weaving

Sheila Hicks
July 2010; exact date to be determined

Global Intrigue II 4th International Textile and Fibre Triennial , Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia
The exhibition opens July 9th at the Arsenals Exhibition Hall and runs through September 5, 2010. Sheila Hicks, one of two specially invited artists, will speak and exhibit work.

Lewis Knauss in Front of RETURNING GRASSES

Lewis Knauss
August 10th to August 14th

Fiber and Handmade Paper into Sculpture (and Artist in Residence) , The Bascom, P.O. Box 766, Highlands, North Carolina 28741

Mia Olsson TRACES 6 RELIEF Detail

Mia Olsson
June 28th to July 4th

Dyeing with Plants , Sätergläntan, College of Handicrafts, Knippbodarna 119, SE-793 4, Insjön, Sweden

August 9th to 13th

Free Embroidery, Black on white, White on black, White on white…, Sätergläntan, College of Handicrafts, Knippbodarna 119, SE-793 4, Insjön, Sweden

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Ceca Georgieva, Dail Behennah, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Lewis Knauss, Nancy Moore Bess, Sheila Hicks, Artist Lectures, Artist Workshops, Artist Classes