Tag: Ethel Stein

Most Influential Art Movements of the Decade

Last month, Artsy identified the most seven most influential art movements of the decade in The Art Movements of the 2010s (Dec 18, 2019) by Charlotte Jansen https://www.artsy.net/series/decade-art/artsy-editorial-art-movements-2010s. Two of those identified by Jansen — the reconsideration of women artists, which the Artsy called “an art history overhaul” and the art world’s embrace of craft — are two we at browngrotta arts have also watched with more than passing interest for the past 10 years.

Ethel Stein Master Weaver at the Chicago Art Institute 2015. Photo by Tom Grotta
Ethel Stein Master Weaver at the Chicago Art Institute 2015. Photo by Tom Grotta

The article points to the Guerrilla Girls survey in 2016, which found an unsurprising, yet overwhelming, bias towards Western male artists, which curators and galleries have since been working to address in exhibitions such as Women of Abstract Expressionism. We would add several exhibitions to that list, including Woman Take the Floor, currently at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today at the Museum of Arts in Design in 2015, Ethel Stein’s one-person exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015 and Lenore Tawney’s current four-part retrospective at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Wisconsin. The article also mentions overlooked women artists already in their 70s, 80s and 90s who have gained representation with blue-chip galleries, specifically, Rose Wylie joined David Zwirner 2017; Luchita Hurtado joined Hauser & Wirth in 2018;  Howardena Pindell joined Victoria Miro in 2019. Carmen Herrera, now 104, started working with Lisson in 2009 and opened a retrospective at the Whitney in 2016. We would add Françoise Grossen who joined Blum & Poe in 2015.

The “return of craft” has brought greater attention to women artists, too. Jansen notes it has placed greater focus on forgotten legends such as Anni Albers, and living talents like Sheila Hicks. In November, Jansen points out, the Whitney mounted Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, on view through next January. Enthusiasm for ceramics has grown, too, she writes, as audiences continue to gravitate towards works by California Clay.

Even Thread Has a Speech by Lenore Tawney
Even Thread Has a Speech by Lenore Tawney is in the Whitney Exhibition Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019. Photo by Tom Grotta

Movement artists Ken Price, Peter Voulkos and Ron Nagle as well as the late Betty Woodman. We’d also point to interest in ceramist Toshiko Takaezu, whose work was included in both Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today and Women Take the Floor.

Installation View of Toshiko Takaezu; Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today and Women Take the Floor at the MFA Boston
Installation View of Toshiko Takaezu; Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today and Women Take the Floor at the MFA Boston. Photo by Peter Russo

“Craft techniques are some of the oldest media in human history,” Jansen concludes, “but this decade has proved there is still boundless inspiration to be found in them.”


Acquisition News

Diagonal, Kyoko Kumai, stainless steel, 2016.

We have learned about a host of acquisitions for artists who work with browngrotta arts’ since our acquisition reports last July and August 2018.  A large number of our artists’ work are now included in the collection of The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum thanks to the remarkable gift of the late Lloyd Cotsen, former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Neutrogena Corporation, which included 4,000 textiles, an endowment and equipment to support the textile collections he assembled.

Attitude, Lia Cook, Handwoven cotton and rayon, 1999.Photo by: Bruce M. White@ Lloyd E. Cotsen, 2016.

The gift includes the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection, one of the world’s most significant textile study collections ever assembled by an individual and The Box Project: Uncommon Threads, organized by Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research, which includes work by John Garrett, Helena Hernmarck, Agneta Hobin, Kiyomi Iwata, Lewis Knauss, Naomi Kobayashi, Nancy Koenigsberg, Gyöngy Laky, Heidrun Schimmel and Hisako Sekijima. Cotsen’s gift also included Lia Cook’s 1999 work, Attitude.

Other acquisitions of note:

Ed Rossbach: Bobbin Lace, 1970, was acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, through browngrotta arts.

Eduardo Portillo and Mariá Eugenia DávilaNew Nebula, 2017, was acquired by the Toledo Art Museum in Ohio, through browngrotta arts.

Norma Minkowitz: The Minneapolis Institute of Art purchased a crocheted and stitched wall hanging called Journeys End, 2017, and a stitched drawing with collage and crochet, Lunar Landing, 2017.

Shin Young-ok: Rhymes from 2000 was acquired by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

Moot, Helena Hernmarck, wool, linen, cotton, 1971. Photo by Helena Hernmarck.

Chang Yeonsoon:  In addition to being a finalist for the Loewe Craft Prize in 2018, the Loewe Foundation in London collected three works of Chang Yeonsoon’s works in August, 2018.

Polly Barton: Fertile Ground, was chosen by the Art in Embassies program to be in the US Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Nancy Koenigsberg: Teal Concentric Boxes was a gift from Camille and Alex Cook to the Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin.

Ampersand by Gyöngy Laky

Ethel Stein: Butah, 2011, went to the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois through browngrotta arts.

Kyoko Kumai: Kumai’s tapestry, Diagonal, which was acquired by teh Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2016, is on display at the Museum until the end of July 2020. The National  Museum of Art in Riga, Latvia collected Kumai’s work in 2018.

Åse Ljones: Three pieces from Ljones’ series, It is Still Quiet, were acquired by KODE Museum, Bergen, Norway in 2017.

Adela Akers: In 2018 Akers’ work, Traced Memories, was acquired by The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco/De Young Museum.

Gyöngy Laky: In addition to This Way and That, which is part of The Box Collection, which went to the The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, Seek, from 2016, was acquired by the United States State Department for the new Kosovo Embassy in Pristina. 

Helen Hernmarck: Moot, 1971 was acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. 


In Praise of Older Women Artists

Simone Pheulpin at The Design Museum of London. Photo: Maison Parisienne

Last year, Artsy took a look at why old women had replaced young men as the “new darlings” of the art word. Its twofold explanation: as institutions attempt to revise the art-historical canon, passionate dealers and curators have seen years of promotion come to fruition and these artists have gained attention as blue-chip galleries search for new artists to represent among those initially overlooked.

Artsy points at Carmen Herrara, Carol Rama, Irma Blank, and Geta Brătescu and others to make its point. Mary Sabbatino, vice president at Galerie Lelong, is quoted as saying,  “They’re fully formed artists, they’re mature artists, they’re serious artists. They’re not going to burn out as sometimes happens with younger artists…and normally the prices are far below the other artists of their generation, so you’re offering a value to someone.” Barbara Haskell, a curator at the Whitney Museum in New York, says museums everywhere are realizing that “there’s been a lopsided focus on the white male experience” in art history, and are working to correct that.”

Primitive Figures Bird and Insects, Luba Krejci,
knotted linen, 40.5″ x 44.5″ x 2″, circa 1970s. Photo: Tom Grotta

Among the women artists working in fiber who belong on a list of those achieving belated recognition include Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks (mentioned in the Artsy article) Kay Sekimachi, Lenore Tawney, Ethel Stein, Simone Pheulpin, Sonia Delauney, Luba Krejci, Ritzi Jacobi and Helena Hernmarck. The international contemporary fiber movement was initiated by women who took reinvented tapestry, took it off the wall and drew global attention to an art form that had been synonymous with tradition to that point. Luba Krecji adapted needle and bobbin lace techniques to create, “nitak,” her own technique, which enabled her to “draw” with thread. In her use of line as “sculptural form,” Ruth Asawa,” provided a crucial link between the mobile modernism of Alexander Calder and the gossamer Minimalism of Fred Sandback, whose yarn pieces similarly render distinctions between interior and exterior moot,” wrote Andrea K. Scott last year in The New Yorker.

 

Damask 5, Ethel Stein, 1980-89. Photo by Tom Grotta

These artists continue their explorations though their seventies, eighties and nineties. An example, Kay Sekimachi, who created complex, elegant monofilament weavings in the 70s and 80s, bowls and towers of paper after that, and continues, at age 90, to create elegant weavings of lines and grids that are reminiscent of the paintings of Agnes Martin. After having received the Special Mention Loewe Craft Prize and exhibited at the  Design Museum of London, this year, Simone Pheulpin continues to create innovative work in her 70s, work that is part of the 10th contemporary art season at Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire and part of the exhibition “Tissage Tressage” at the Fondation Villa Datris.

Art Lives Well Lived: Katherine Westphal and Ethel Stein

katherine Westphal at Home

Katherine Westphal Portrait 2015 by Tom Grotta, courtesy of browngrotta arts

We lost two fine artists and friends this month when Ethel Stein passed away at 100 and Katherine Westphal died at home in Berkeley, California at 99.

We had been promoting Katherine Westphal’s work and that of her husband, Ed Rossbach (who died in 2002), since the 1990s. We visited Ed and Katherine at their home before Carter was born. (For those of you familiar with browngrotta arts that was a quarter of a decade ago.) Their home, and Katherine’s studio in particular, was a wonder – chockfull of items they had collected from their travels that pleased and inspired them, decorated with murals by Katherine on several walls. Though her studio appeared chaotic, Katherine had an encyclopedic knowledge of what was where. “That reminds of a piece of gift wrap I picked up in Tokyo in the 1950s,” she would say, and then pull a slim typing paper box from a stack of others that looked the same, finding there the images she was referencing.
Katherine worked for decades creating printed textiles, ceramics, quilting, tapestry, jacquard woven  textiles, artwear and basketry structures. “Variously using direct drawing and painting, batik wax resist, and shibori, she also pioneered color xerography and heat transfer printing on textiles,” Jo Ann C. Stabb, former faculty member at UC, Davis wrote in 2015 (“Fiber Art Pioneers: Pushing the Pliable Plane,” Retro/Prospective: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture, browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT 2015). “Throughout her career, beginning with the batik samples she made for the commercial printed textile industry in the 1950s, she [ ] incorporated images from her immediate world: street people in Berkeley, Japanese sculpture, Monet’s garden, Egyptian tourist groups, Chinese embroidery, images from newspaper and magazine photos, and her dogs…anything that struck her fancy wherever she happened to be at the moment – and she could put any or all of them into a repeat pattern.  Her wit and whimsy [were] legendary and her lively approach also inspired her husband to combine imagery onto the surface of his inventive baskets and containers.”

Ethel Stein Portrait

Ethel Stein Portrait 2008 by Tom Grotta courtesy of browngrotta arts

We were close to Ethel Stein as well, having begun representing her work in 2008 after a dinner at her home where her charming dog joined us at the table. When Rhonda was sick several years later, Ethel drove, at 93, from New York to Connecticut with a meal she had made us. Rhonda’s mother, a mere 83 then, was visiting and we told her that same vitality is what we expected of her in her 90s. (So far mom has complied.)
Tom was able to prepare a monograph of Ethel’s work, Ethel Stein: Weaver, with an introduction by Jack Lenor Larsen, an essay by Lucy A. Commoner and a glossary by Milton Sonday, which has become our best-selling volume. In her essay, “Ethel Stein, A Life Interlaced With Art, Lucy Commoner, then-Senior Textile Conservator at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, describes the evolution of Ethel’s knowledge of textile techniques and ways in which she was able to advance those techniques through her own explorations. “Ethel Stein’s work is distinguished by its rhythmic simplicity belied by its extraordinary technical complexity. The basic humility and humanity of the work and its relationship to historical techniques combine to give Stein’s work a meaning far beyond its physical presence.”

Ethel Stein Exhibition

Ethel Stein Master Weaver at the Chciago Art Instittute

Six years later, Ethel’s work received the wider recognition it deserved. We were thrilled to attend the opening of her one-person exhibition, Ethel Stein, Master Weaver, at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. “Ethel Stein is an artist who only now, at the age of 96, is beginning to get the recognition she deserves from the broader public,” the Institute wrote. “Stein’s great contribution to weaving is her unique combination of refined traditional weaving techniques, possible only on a drawloom and used by few contemporary weavers, with modernist sensibilities influenced by Josef Albers, who trained in the German Bauhaus with its emphasis on simplicity, order, functionality, and modesty.” There were photos of her at work, a video and a dinner after with family members and supporters of the museum and crowds of visitors to the exhibition — a well-deserved tribute.

Ed Rossbach Katherine Westphal

Katherine Westphal Ed Rossbach

These artists and their lengthy careers, raise the question, is fiber art a key to longevity? Ethel Stein continued to weave even after she was discovered and lauded at 96. When we visited Katherine Westphal in Berkeley in 2015 we found her still drawing or painting every day in a series of journals she kept, something she continued to do until just a few weeks before her death. Lenore Tawney died at 100, Ruth Asawa and Magdalena Abakanowicz each at 87. Helena Hernmarck tells us that she knows several fiber artists who are 100. So those of you who are practitioners — keep it up!


The Resurgence of Interest in Fiber Sculpture and Art Textiles Will Continue in 2015

Last year was an extraordinary one for those of us who appreciate contemporary art fiber and art textiles. More than 10 exhibitions opened in the US and abroad. In October, the art newspaper reported that “textiles are gaining international stature in art museums” and further that “[c]ommercial interest is on the rise,” quoting art advisor Emily Tsingou: “Textile [art] has entered the mainstream.” Soft Fabrics-Have Solid Appeal. Below is a roundup of exhibitions and reviews from last year and a guide to what to expect in 2015.

Mainstream attention began with the coverage of Sheila Hicks‘ inclusion

Sheila Hicks, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14 (installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York). Photograph by Bill Orcutt

in the Whitney Biennial in March and was followed by coverage of the restoration of her remarkable 1960s tapestries at the Ford Foundation in New York Sheila Hicks Tapestries to Again Hang at Ford Foundation. In June, the Art Institute of Chicago’s textile galleries reopened, featuring 96-year-old Ethel Stein’s work, in Ethel Stein, Master Weaver.art institute of Chicago logo

September saw three fiber-related exhibitions; the Museum of Arts and Design opened What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founder’s Vision (closes

Kay Sekimachi, Ed Rossbach, Françoise Grossen, Katherine Westphal and others Museum of Art Design installation of What Would Mrs Webb Do?, Photo by Tom grotta


February 8, 2015),Kay Sekimachi, Ed Rossbach, Françoise Grossen, Katherine Westphal and others Museum of Art Design installation of What Would Mrs Webb Do?, Photo by Tom grotta

February 8, 2015), which featured significant textiles from the permanent collection by Anni Albers, Kay Sekimachi, Katherine Westphal, Ed Rossbach, Françoise Grossen and Trude Guermonprez, while The Drawing Center’s: Thread-Lines offered Anne Wilson creating fiber art in situ

Ann Wilson’s In Situ Performance at the Drawing Center, photo by tom Grotta

Ann Wilson’s In Situ Performance at the Drawing Center, photo by Tom Grotta

together with a collection of works by Lenore Tawney, Louise Bourgeois and others. Contemporary 108 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, featured a series of large photographic weavings by Aleksandra Stoyanov of the Ukraine

Aleksandra Stoyanov Tefen Open Museum exhibition traveled to Contemporary 108 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, photo copyright Tefen Open Museum

Contemporary 108 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, curated from the 2013 “Aleksandra Stoyanov” Tefen Open Museum, Israel exhibition. photo copyright Tefen Open Museum

and now Israel, described as “warp and weft paintings.”

In October, Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present, opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston with works by 34 artists including

Fiber: Sculpture 1960 — present opening, photo by Tom Grotta

Fiber: Sculpture 1960 — present opening, photo by Tom Grotta

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ritzi Jacobi and Naomi Kobayashi. The Boston Globe called the exhibition “[s]plendid, viscerally engaging…groundbreaking;” the exhibition catalog (available at browngrotta.com) was pronounced by Blouin art info, “an amazing resource for anyone interested in learning more about the medium.” Art Info – Art in the Air Fiber Sculpture 1960 Present October also saw a survey of the work of sculptor and poet, Richard Tuttle, at the Tate in London, Richard Tuttle: tuttle.tate.modern
I Don’t Know, Or The Weave of Textile Language in which Tuttle investigated the importance of textiles throughout history, across his remarkable body of work and into the latest developments in his practice. Tate Modern – Richard Tuttle I Don’t Know or Weave Textile Language

Throughout the year, Innovators and Legends, with work by 50 fiber
Innovators.Legends
artists, including Adela Akers, Nick Cave, Katherine Westphal and Sherri Smith toured the US, exhibiting at museums in Colorado, Iowa and Kentucky. The fiber fanfest culminated at Art Basel in Miami Beach in December, where Blouin’s Art Info identified a full complement of fiber works and textiles in its listing, “Definitive Top 11 Booths, “ including Alexandra da Cunha’s compositions of mass-produced beach towels and various colored fabrics at Thomas Dane Gallery, a Rosemarie Trockel embroidered work at Galerie 1900-2000, marble and dyed-fabric pieces by Sam Moyer at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen and woven paintings by Brent Wadden at Mitchell-Innes & Nash Blouin Art info – The Definitive Top-11 Booths at Art Basel Miami Beach.

And what’s ahead in 2015?

More auctions and exhibitions that include fiber sculpture and art textiles are scheduled for 2015. Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present will

wexner.center.logo
open at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio on February 7th and travel to the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa in May. BCA_color_studyInnovators and Legends will open at contemporary 108 in Tulsa, Oklahoma in February, as well. In April, the Tate in London will open The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay, which will show how the artist

Sonia Delaunay Tate Modern

Sonia Delaunay Prismes electriques 1914 Centre Pompidou Collection, Mnam / Cci, Paris © Pracusa 2013057

dedicated her life to experimenting with color and abstraction, bringing her ideas off the canvas and into the world through tapestry, textiles, mosaic and fashion.

Also in April, the Museum of Arts and Design will host Pathmakers:

Lenore Tawney in her Coenties Slip studio, New York, 1958. Courtesy of Lenore G. Tawney Foundation; Photo by David Attie

Lenore Tawney in her Coenties Slip studio, New York, 1958.
Courtesy of Lenore G. Tawney Foundation; Photo by David Attie

Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today, featuring work by Sheila Hicks,  Lenore Tawney and Dorothy Liebes http://madmuseum.org/exhibition/pathmakers.

In June, the Toms Pauli Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland will celebrate the International Tapestry Biennials held there from 1962 to toms.pauli.logo1995 and display work by the Polish textile artist and sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz, in an exhibition entitled, Objective Station.

Also this summer, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Baie St Paul in Musée.d'Art.ContemporaindeBaie.StPaul

Mariette Rousseau Vermette Portrait by Tom Grotta

Mariette Rousseau Vermette Portrait by Tom Grotta

Quebec, Canada will examine the work of Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, who participated in five of the Lausanne Biennials.

From April 24 – May 3, 2015, browngrotta arts will host Influence and Evolution, Fiber Sculpture then and now at our barn/home/gallery space in Wilton, Connecticut. In its 27-year history, browngrotta arts

InfluenceandEvolutionAdhas highlighted a group of artists – Sheila Hicks, Ritzi Jacobi, Lenore Tawney, Ed Rossbach and others – who took textiles off the wall in the 60s and 70s to create three-dimensional fiber sculpture. The influence of their experiments has been felt for decades. Influence and Evolution, Fiber Sculpture then and now, will explore that impact and examine how artists have used textile materials and techniques in the decades since, by juxtaposing works by artists who rebelled against tapestry tradition in the 60s, 70s and 80s,

Françoise Grossen, From the Mermaid Series IV, 1983, photo by Tom Grotta

Françoise Grossen, From the Mermaid Series IV, 1983, photo by Tom Grotta

including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lia Cook, Kay Sekimachi and Françoise Grossen, with works from a later generation of artists, all born after 1960, through whom fiber sculpture continues to evolve. These artists, including María Eugenia Dávila and Eduardo Portillo of Venezuela, Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium and Naoko Serino of Japan, work in a time when classification of medium and material presents less of a constraint and fiber and fiber techniques can be more readily explored for their expressive potential alone.

“It is rare to find so many inventive, compelling works in one show, and it astounds that many are so little known,” wrote Kirsten Swenson in Art in America, about Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present, in October 2014. Art in America Magazine – reviews: Fiber Sculpture 1960-present. This spring, in Influence and Evolutionbrowngrotta arts will offer dozens more significant works of fiber art for collectors to appreciate and new audiences to discover — more than two dozen works by fiber pioneers and another 30 more recent fiber explorations. We hope you will visit the exhibition, order the catalog or both. Please contact us for more information about what’s in store. art@browngrotta.com


November 26th: Our Online Exhibition Opens With an Offer for CyberMonday

On Monday, November 26th, browngrotta arts will present an online version of our 25th anniversary exhibition,Retro/Prospective: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture at browngrotta.com. The comprehensive exhibition highlights browngrotta arts’ 25 years promoting international contemporary art. Viewers can click on any image in the online exhibition to reach a page with more information about the artists and their work.

“Some works in Retro/Prospective: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture reflect the early days of contemporary textile art and sculpture movement,” says Tom Grotta, founder and co-curator at browngrotta arts. “There are also current works by both established and emerging artists, which provide an indication of where the movement is now and where it may be headed.”

Since Monday the 26th is CyberMonday this year, sales of art, books, catalogs, videos or dvds placed online or by telephone that day will be discounted 10% (excluding tax and shipping). In addition, bga will make a donation to the International Child Art Foundation for each sale made from November 24th through December 31, 2012. Visit browngrotta.com. For more information call Tom at 203.834.0623 or email us at art@browngrotta.com.


Coast to Coast — Exhibitions Around the US

Here’s a round up of exhibitions throughout the US that are worth traveling to see.  They are listed in date order — a few of them close this month or next; others are open through the fall.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Craft Spoken Here
Last Week – through August 12th

Artists in the exhibit include: clockwise; WATERFALL by Lenore Tawney; SPIRALS AND PATHS by Rebecca Medel; CERAMIC 42 by Yasuhisa Kohyama; BODY LANGUAGE by John McQueen; SEASIDE by Krystyna Wojtyna-Drouet; RAY by Mary Merkel-Hess

With Craft Spoken Here, curated by Elisabeth Agro, the Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art seizes the opportunity to experiment with its craft collection and to understand craft in an international context. Some 40 contemporary works from 1960 to the present in ceramic, glass, metal, wood, lacquer, paper and fiber—some by living, acclaimed artists, including Lenore Tawney, Rebecca Medel, Yasuhisa Kohyama, John McQueen,  Krystyna Wojtyna-Drouet, and Mary Merkel-Hess and others by lesser-known creators—are on view. Representing the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe, the works highlight formal qualities that cross cultures, time, and media. Hear Agro describe the evolution of the exhibition and the installation of Tawney’s Fountain of Water and Word, in a podcast at the art blog.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Perelman Building
2525 Pennsylvania Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19130
phone 215.763.8100
www.philamuseum.org

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
At First Light: The Katagami Sculpture of Jennifer Falck Linssen
through September 16, 2012

Handcrafted vessel of katagami-style handcarved paper. Materials include archival cotton paper, aluminum, waxed linen, paint, varnish, freshwater pearl, and sterling silver.

Utilizing the ancient Japanese paper carving technique of katagami, Colorado-based artist Jennifer Falck Linssen creates three-dimensional sculptures that explore the beauty of line and the delicacy of nature. Since 2003, Jennifer has been shaping katagami stencils into three-dimensional vessels and sculptures, combining the katagami paper carving with more traditional metal-smithing and basketry techniques to create contemporary sculptures that transform the two-dimensional stencil into a unique three-dimensional art form.

Myrtle Beach Museum of Art
3100 South Ocean Boulevard
(across from Springmaid Pier)
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
phone 843.238.2510
fax 843.238.2910
www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.org

East Hampton, New York
Accumulations NOW
through October 6th

Dawn MacNutt is one of the artists included in Accumulations NOW

Accumulations: NOW bills itself as, “[s]imply, the best of craft. NOW.” Cuurated by Jack Lenor Larsen, the exhibition at LongHouse Reserve features 500 works made in the last 100 years, including a number of important pieces from the collection of the late Dena Katzenberg. Artists shown in the NOW collections include, in fiber Anni Albers, Jun-ichi Arai, Dawn MacNutt, Ed Rossbach, Peter Collingwood, Ethel Stein, Helena Hernmarck and Chunghie Lee; in clay Hans Coper, Toshiko Takezu and Peter Voulkos; hollowware by Chunghi Choo; and furniture masters including Judy Kensley McKie and Edward Wormley. You can see the exhibition catalog and installation shots, here: Accumulations_Now_Catalog.pdf and here: http://www.longhouse.org

LongHouse Reserve
133 Hands Creek Road  East Hampton, NY 11937
phone 631.604.5330
http://longhouse.org

 

San Francisco, California
Fiber Futures: Japan’s Textile Pioneers
Part one through October 6th
Part two October 13 – December 29th

Takaaki Tanaka in front of his work at Fiber Futures when it was in New York at the Japan Society

If you missed this remarkable exhibition last fall at the Japan Society in New York (or in an earlier incarnation in Japan) you’ve got another chance. Fiber Futures explores a new art that is emerging from a remarkable fusion of Japanese artisanal and industrial textile making. Coaxed from materials as age-old as hemp and newly developed as microfilaments, a varied array of works by 30 artists from multiple generations, including Hisako Sekijima, Takaaki TanakaNaoko Serino, Hideho Tanaka, Naomi Kobayahsi and Kyoko Kumai, are on view in this important two-part exhibition.

Museum of Craft and Folk Art
51 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco, CA 94103
phone 415.227.4888
http://www.mocfa.org

Minneapolis, Minnesota
In Our Nature: Tapestries of Helena Hernmarck
through October 14th

Helena Hernmarck 2009 FOREST PATH , wool and linen, 6′ 7″ x 6′ 7

In Our Nature: Tapestries of Helena Hernmarck, is an assemblage of 19 large-scale tapestries by  legendary trompe-l’oeil weaver, Helena Hernmarck. Monumental works immerse the viewer in the best of nature: lush blooms, rich green forest scenes, and sunny poppy pastures. Hernmarck’s work represents a lifetime of closely honed weaving technique that combines intensely sensitive attention to color with one-of-a-kind combination of textures creating layered, shaded effects. The tapestries in In Our Nature: Tapestries of Helena Hernmarck are on loan from three major arts museums, several corporate and individual collectors, and from Hernmarck’s own collection.

American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55407
phone 612.871.4907
http://www.asimn.org


Exhibition News: Sourcing the Museum at the Textile Museum in DC through August 19th

Sourcing the Museum Lia Cook inspired by Syrian 6-7th century and Egyptian 550-625 coptic textile

For Sourcing the Museum, 11 artists (Olga de Amaral, James Bassler, Polly Barton, Archie Brennan, Lia Cook, Helena Hernmarck, Ayako Nikamoto, Jon Eric Riis, Warren Seelig, Kay Sekimachi, and Ethel Stein) were invited by renowned textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen to artists explore the Museum’s historically and culturally varied collections. The resulting exhibition includes 12 new artworks that the artists created, displayed alongside the fabrics that inspired them. The historical textiles highlight the wide scope of the Museum’s collections, ranging from rare Pre-Columbian and Late Roman weavings to Japanese kimono and Central Asian ikats.

 

Sourcing the Museum Helena Hernmarck re-envisiones this 9th-century Egyptian fragment

Helena Hernmarck, for example, re-envisioned a 9th-century Egyptian fragment in an abstract, loose weave. “It was the color that won the day,” she says,”and getting to closely study what an 1100-year-old thread looks like woven in a carpet. There is pile in the carpet, and that made me think, in this case I would weave a looser structure to capture the illusion of pile. This is an oxymoron, since pile is the fiber being seen into its cut, and I am letting the fiber, lying down flat, carry that message. A challenge: but to me, this kind of time-consuming, visually intimate study of something greatly enlarged, is rewarding. I find the advantage of making the plastic strips carry the structure, means I am allowed flexibility how I weave the wool weft — it feels more like sketching than weaving. And it has volume, the volume of puffy wool threads, lending an extra dimension. In other words, this is a double weave, with the lower layer made with the plastic strips; and the upper, plain weave and soumak layer, made with wool, linen and cotton threads. It is the first time I have tried loosening the surface structure like this, still aiming to give an illusion of depth.”

Ethel Stein inspired by a 19th century robe , central asia, Uzbekistan and Bukhara, photo by Tom Grotta

According to the Washington’s Post (“At the Textile Museum weaving tradition into art,” Danielle O’Steen, 3/24/12), Sourcing the Museum “feels fresh and raw…” O’Steen describes the connections that the artists made between old and new as, “loose, and maybe fleeting in the grand scheme of a textile tradition. But the strength of Sourcing the Museum lies in its premise, as it challenges contemporary practitioners to consider a history of traditions, and maybe even embrace lost legacies.” The exhibition continues through August 19, 2012. The Museum is at: 2320 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008-4088;Phone: (202) 667-0441.


Books Make Great Gifts, Part II Artist Recommendations

More insightful answers to the question: “Is there a book that has had a particular influence on your work or decision to pursue art as a career?”
Thanks everyone for your help.

Adela Akers: Textiles of Ancient Peru and Their Techniques by Raoul D’harcourt (Univ of Washington Press, 1974; Dover Publications, 2002). I discovered this book in the Public Library in Chicago around 1958. It was a reference book and only in French. Later it was translated in English, and a few years later it was reprinted. Wonderful examples, history and diagrams; there’s nothing like it. It was like my bible. Not sure if it still available. There are many other books on Philosophy and Architecture that I would recommend, but the D’harcourt book was the most influential.

Randy Walker: There are many books that have inspired me. Here are two: Mark Tobey published by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 1997. The intricate, two-dimensional paintings of Mark Tobey give me a continued faith in the inexhaustible potential of delicate lines to create rich, three-dimensional spaces. A bounding framework, filaments, color and light can provide a lifetime of artistic exploration. This book is one of my most coveted possessions. Also, The Book of Looms: A History of the Handloom from Ancient Times to the Present by Eric Broudy( Littlehampton Book Services Ltd., 1979; Published by the University Press of New England, 1993). This book is absolutely fascinating from a visual, historical, and technical point of view. The forms of looms have inspired me as sculptural elements in themselves. Understanding the evolution of their forms in a cultural context is invaluable. I have to imagine this book of interest to non-fiber people as well as serious fiber artists.

Mary Giles: Agnes Martin: Writings, ed. Dieter Schwarz (Hatje Cantz Publishers; Bilingual edition 2005). Agnes talked about waiting for inspiration… and waiting…and waiting…and waiting. She also spoke of not having unnecessary distractions in your life such as pets and unnecessary friends. I put my husband and the two cats up for adoption but so far no takers.

Lia Cook: On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not, by Robert A Burton, M.D. (Reprint edition, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009) is a book I have read recently that I think will be influential going forward. I am interested in emotional responses to visual perception of handwoven works. It is perhaps tangential to my main focus but nevertheless important to the research process.

Glen Kaufman: One book I recall reading when i was working in ceramics prior to fiber was A Potters Book by Bernard Leach (Faber & Faber 1988).

Nancy Moore Bess: How to Wrap Five Eggs: Traditional Japanese Packaging (and all of its variations)(recent reprint, Weatherhill, 2008) had a HUGE influence on my work. The Japanese have a wonderful way of using indigenous materials to wrap things…packaging, transporting, presenting. Even now, years later, the influence of these old techniques prevails. This book and its information, not basketry nor bamboo, drove me to Japan in the first place. Who knew it would have such a profound influence on my work? If you look at some of the earlier work I exhibited through browngrotta arts, you’ll see Japanese packaging everywhere. In New York, the recent reprint can be found in Kinokuniya Bookstore on 6th Avenue. Love that place!

Lena McGrath Welker: Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art (University of California Press, 2004) is the absolute cornerstone of the project I have worked on for six years for the North Dakota Museum of Art. The book contains a series of papers and artist interviews that resulted from a year-long project all up and down the west coast (why not Portland???) in which Jacquelynn Bass and independent curator Mary Jane Jacobs looked at how curators shy away (to say the least) from work that has anything to do with spirituality. There were several retreats at a Zen Center in California, where papers on the topic were delivered. There’s more information about the project on the UC Press website. As to pursuing a career, I never really did that. I do what I do because I have to. It is what keeps me in the world.

Ethel Stein: Josef Albers: To Open Eyes by Frederick A. Horowitz and Brenda Danilowitz (Phaidon Press, 2009) It’s an account of Albers’ teaching at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College and Yale. I took a summer course with him at Harvard when I lived in Cambridge and this book sums up some of the thing he had us do. It was very exciting.