Tag: Japanese Textiles

Art Out and About: Exhibitions Abroad

Things are (happily!) opening up all over. If you are located abroad or planning to travel , there are a number of exciting exhibitions to visit in person and to check out online.

Lookout installation in Spain, Photo by Tim Johnson

Lookout
Mas de Barberans, Spain
An exhibition of the best of European basketmaking, Lookout, has been curated by Monica Guilera and Tim Johnson at the Museu de la Pauma, Mas de Barberans in Catalonia, Spain until September 30, 2021. The collection includes work by Dail Behennah, Mary Butcher and makers from Poland, France, Italy, Crimea and elsewhere. There is a beautifully illustrated 52-page catalogue which you can view online here.

Participation, Archie Brennan, 1977, woven at Dovecot Studios. Image Courtesy of Dovecot Studios

Archie Brennan Goes Pop
Edinburgh, Scotland
The Dovecot Studios in Scotland, is celebrating the extraordinary career of Archie Brennan in Archie Brennan Goes Pop through August 21, 2021. The Studios describe the exhibition as: “Bringing together over 80 tapestries as well as archive material, this is a chance to delve into the world of a master of modern tapestry. Sharp, witty, and immensely talented, Brennan began his 60-year weaving career at Dovecot and was an innovator and iconoclast who inspired weavers all over the world from Papua New Guinea to Australia.” Brennan’s contribution as a pop artist has not been recognized, until now.

Light, Nancy Koenigsberg, coated copper wire, 47″ x 47″ x 8″, 2011, photo by Tom Grotta. Part of the Artapestry6 traveling exhibition. 

ArtTapestry 6
Jyväskylä, Finland
2020’s ArtTapestry finally opened and has begun traveling, opening in Denmark and now installed in Finland and the Museum of Central Finland in Jyväskylä, through September 2022. Next it travels to Sweden. 43 works of 40 artists, from 16 countries were selected. Among the artists included are Gudren Pagter of Denmark, Wlodzimierz Cygan of Poland, Nancy Koenigsberg of the US and Helena Hernmarck, originally from Sweden but now of the US. For more information and to see the catalog, visit here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e55552503aff02749460670/t/602e819c27e2076281e2ef40/1613660584707/Artapestry6_catalog_2021.pdf

Sheila Hicks: Cosmic Arrivals
Milan, Italy
The Francesca Minini gallery opened an exhibition of Sheila Hick’s work last week in Milan. Sheila Hicks: Cosmic Arrivals runs until July 17, 2021 (http://www.francescaminini.it/exhibition). The gallery quotes Hicks in its press release, “Nature determines everything. Climate and light influence space. Each of my works inhabits in a particular place, respects its history, its temperature, its architecture.” Fibers are unmade and recreated in her hands, according to the release. Cloth is thus the cornerstone of a way of thinking that was developed under the influence of her mentor [Josef] Albers and continued through the search for a new construction of color and the reuse of textile fibers, often considered functional or decorative.

MAKING NUNO Japanese Textile Exhibition, Photo by JSouteyrat courtesy of the Japan House London

Making Nuno: Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko
London, UK
Japan House in London hosts an extraordinary exhibition, Making Nuno: Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko, showcasing the innovative work of Japanese textile designer Sudō Reiko. Sudō is renowned for pushing boundaries of textile production and championing new methods of sustainable manufacturing. She has been the design director of leading textile design firm Nuno for over 30 years and is a member of the Japan Design Committee. Her fabric designs combine Japanese craft traditions with new engineering techniques and unusual combinations of diverse materials such as silk, hand-made washi (Japanese paper), nylon tape and thermoplastic. Through July 11, 2021: https://www.japanhouselondon.uk/whats-on/2021/exhibition-making-nuno-japanese-textile-innovation-from-sudo-reiko/.

Textilés
Mons, France
BeCraft in collaboration with the City of Mons and Les Drapiers, Contemporary Art Center (Liège) has installed a provocative exhibit, Textilés through August 1, 2021. www.becraft.org

Happy travels!


Lives Well Lived: Glen Kaufman (1932 – 2020)

leaf, 48” x 24” x 1” 1990
13gk Pulguk-sa, Kyong-Ju, Glen Kaufman, silk damask, silver leaf; screenprint, impressed metal leaf, 48” x 24” x 1” 1990
12gk Yoshikawa, Noto, Glen Kaufman
silk damask, silver leaf; screenprint, impressed metal leaf, 48” x 24” x 1” 1990
13gk Pulguk-sa, Kyong-Ju, Glen Kaufman
silk damask, silver leaf; screenprint, impressed metal leaf, 48” x 24” x 1” 1990
photo by Tom Grotta

We were saddened to learn of the loss of talented artist and educator Glen Kaufman last month. Born in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin in 1932, Kaufman attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, where he met his wife and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in 1954. Following his Air Force service, he enrolled at Cranbrook Academy of Art, earning an MFA degree in Weaving & Textiles in 1959. In 1960, he received a Fulbright Scholarship and attended the State School of Arts & Crafts in Copenhagen. Upon returning to the US, he worked as a designer for Dorothy Liebes in New York City. He returned to Cranbrook Academy as educator, heading the Fibers Department until 1967. In 1967, he was hired by Lamar Dodd as associate professor of Art at the University of Georgia, where taught for over 40 years. He was an honorary member of the Surface Design Association for life and elected into the American Craft Council College of Fellows in 1988. His papers, dated from 1957-2011, were donated to the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian in 2015. The papers primarily document his travels and student work through biographical material, journals, printed materials, and artwork. Included are 15 travel journals, two sketchbooks, biographical material, professional correspondence, teaching files, photographs of Kaufman and works of art, works of art including sketches and weaving samples, two handwoven knotted pile rug samples and printed material. An oral biography of Kaufman with curator Josephine Shea is found on the Smithsonian situate: https://www.aaa.si.edu/download_pdf_transcript/ajax?record_id=edanmdm-AAADCD_oh_366203.

anhattan/New Jersey View
Glen Kaufman, handwoven silk twill, silver leaf; screenprint, impressed metal leaf, 10” x 30” x 1”, 1997
8gk Manhattan/New Jersey View
Glen Kaufman, handwoven silk twill, silver leaf; screenprint, impressed metal leaf
10” x 30” x 1”, 1997
photo by Tom Grotta

From 1983 on, Kaufman divided his time between homes in Athens, Georgia and Kyoto, Japan.. “I have set about creating my work in a foreign place – Kyoto – for half of each year since 1983,” he wrote. “The images in my work can be seen as shadows cast on shoji screens or glimpses of a world seen through a personal window.

In these ‘window views’ I have struggled to achieve a synthesis of my two worlds – tile roofs in Asia; skylines of cities and towns in America. Images of architecture in gold or silver leaf float behind grids on silk panels both large and small,” Kaufman wrote. His work in the US and Japan involved photographs and gold leaf, which he used to capture the architecture of each locale and to reveal aspects of these differing worlds. A grid motif, present in most of these pieces, reflects the prevalence of the grid in Japanese architecture.”The grid fragments the image and at the same time provides a familiar framework, allowing the viewer to perceive the entire image, yet concentrate on the small square.

32gk SHIMOGAMO SCROLLS: STUDIO VIEW II, Glen Kaufman
photo collage, screen print and impressed silver leaf on handwoven kasuri silk, 70” x 17”, 2002
32gk SHIMOGAMO SCROLLS: STUDIO VIEW II
Glen Kaufman
photo collage, screen print and impressed silver leaf on handwoven kasuri silk
, 70” x 17”, 2002
photo by Tom Grotta


“The work evolves from my photographs, photographs that are transformed into strong black-and-white images that express the reality of the subject. These strongly contrasting images are printed onto a silk fabric by screening a special paste over a grid. Subsequently, gold or silver leaf is impressed into the cloth. When the excess leaf is removed, the grid is revealed and the image floats on a surface behind the window grid.The metal leaf I use has inherent reflective qualities that vary depending on the type, color, thickness, and weave of the ground cloth. The reflection of light on the leaf and silk – which changes depending on the light source and the time of day – give an inner life and dynamic visual energy to these works.”

Kaufman’s work appeared in more than 60 solo exhibitions in New York, Boston, Kyoto, Berkeley, Tokyo, Sapporo, Honolulu, San Francisco, Osaka, Nagoya, Seattle, Seoul, Busan, Atlanta and more than 130 group exhibitions in North America, Europe and Asia. His works are in the permanent collections of more than 20 museums, including the Museum of Art and Design, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago; Ba Tang Gol Art Center, Seoul; The Cleveland Museum of Art; Juraku Museum, Kyoto, Japan; Long House Foundation, San Francisco; H.M. de Young Museum, San Francisco; and the Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC.


Art into Text: Naomi Kobayashi’s Work Inspires a Plot Twist

KAKU 2000/106 & 104 Naomi Kobayashi, paper and thread, 17” x 13.5” x 2”

William Bayer, author of The Dream of the Broken Horses, Switch, Peregrine and Punish Me With Kisses, among other titles, has woven Naomi Kobayashi’s art into his upcoming novel – working title, In the Weave. Bayer is a collector of Kobayashi’s art work — weavings of thread and strips of washi paper on which she has written calligraphy. For his new book, Bayer envisioned a character with a secret recorded on paper that she protects by cutting the pages into strips and incorporating it into a weaving, which is then unraveled so the paper strips can be steamed and pieced back together to reveal the secret. When contacted for her advice, Kobayashi agreed that a weaving of paper strips and thread could be de-constructed and de-coded as Bayer planned; the paper strips would survive steaming and unraveling, she wrote, because handmade washi paper is strong. She worried, however, that the ink might blur during steaming and suggested that Bayer’s character use oil-based ink. We’ll let you know when the book is ready to hit  bookstore shelves. In the meantime. We’ve gotten Bayer’s permission to share a snippet of what’s to come:

From In the Weave, by William Bayer:

Kate and I are up in the A.I.R. loft. Liv’s weaving is spread out before us, reminding me of that T. S. Eliot line “like a patient etherised upon a table.” In fact, we have set TPR on the apartment dining table, and beside it have set out our instruments: scissors, needles, tweezers. Surgery is about to commence.

Kate smiles. “Nervous?”

How can I not be?

I think you should make the first cut,” she says.

I nod, gaze down at the weaving, so beautifully finely made. And then I take the scissors in hand, and begin.

We’ve discussed this deconstruction process at great length, and though we’re not certain if we’re right, we’ve decided to start by scissoring off the top selvage, snip the cotton warp in numerous places to try and loosen the weave, then pluck out the first several washi paper wefts. It’s our hope that if we steam these wefts, they’ll open up and flatten out. Then and only then will we be able to determine if there’s writing on them. If there is, we’ll repeat the process hundreds of times until we’ve removed and steamed open all the strips, and then try, as puzzle solvers, to reassemble these strips until we’ve reconstructed the original sheet of paper. Only then will we be able to read whatever Liv may have written on it. We know this process  will be laborious, will take us many hours, and may, in the end, come to nothing. In which case we will have destroyed her amazing work of art. But what choice do we have? If Liv did in fact “conceal my pain in the weave,” we must uncover it. And if she didn’t, we’ll be left with nothing but a heap of cotton thread and marked up paper strips, and a tremendous amount of remorse.


Sneak Peek: Artpalmbeach, January 14th -19th

Palm-Beach-Ad.jpgWe’re leaving the ice and snow (sigh) for sunnier climes next week, where browngrotta arts will join more than 50 other galleries exhibiting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center at Artpalmbeach, art + photography + design. The fair opens on January 15th and lasts through the 19th. A theme of this year’s Artpalmbeach,  art + photography + design is “going global.” As always, browngrotta arts will do its part; we are exhibiting the work of artists from 15 countries. Our installation in Booth 204 will include some of the highlights of this fall’s 10th Wave III exhibitions as well as new works by several artists including a significant wall sculpture by Ritzi Jacobi; pieces made of fish scales by Marian Bijlenga and new works of repurposed encyclopedias by Wendy Wahl. We’ll present the work of two artists in Palm Beach for the first time: We’ll present the work of two artists in Palm Beach for the first time: Jennifer Falck Linssen of the US and Carolina Yrarrázaval of Chile. US Artist Norma Minkowitz will be at the booth on Monday, January 18th from 2-4 p.m. to discuss her work; Dawn MacNutt of Nova Scotia will be at the booth to discuss her work on Tuesday, January 19th, from 2-4 p.m.


In Print: Jennifer Falck Linssen in Surface Design Journal

linssen_surfacedesign.jpg

Jennifer Falck Linssen’s work is featured in the Fall 2009 Surface Design Journal in a six-page article, Katagami Inversions: Jennifer Falck Linssen’s Carved Paper Sculptures, by Ginger Knowlton. The article features five dramatic images of hand-carved cotton paper vessels from Linssen’s four-part sculpture series, Wave and Water, Fire and Emotion, Earth, and Wind.

In Knowlton’s view, “[the] process of transference, and of the imagined, is what seems to drive the artist: an exploration between real/physical/tangible and tenuous/ ethereal/potential. On the one level, there is the dynamic between negative and positive space constructed through paper carving, air and light passing through the small pieces of fiber cut away from a larger whole. But there is also the sweep and curve of a vessel filled with…nothing, but in this sense, everything — all of the potential of the absence of the missing elements. This is where Linssen’s sculpture becomes water, or fire, in that essential empty space at once created and surrounded by earth and air elements.


10th Wave III: Online– The next best thing to being there

Jazzy-10th-wave.jpg

Our first online exhibit, the10th Wave III: Online, opens today. The exhibit is a carefully curated selection of works presented in installation shots, images of individual works and detail photos. Approximating the in-person experience, viewers can “walk” through 26 images of the exhibit installed; click to view each of the 125 works in the show more closely, focus in on images of dozen of details and click to read more about each of the artists in the exhibition. “Images of individual works of art online are commonplace,” says Tom Grotta, president of browngrotta arts. “We have tried, instead, to give viewers a sense of the work in space, combined with the option of looking more closely at the pieces that interest them, just as they would have if they were visiting the exhibit in person.”

The artists in the 10th Wave III are experimenting with forms and techniques in novel and surprising ways, exploring new relationships among structure, design, color, and pattern.” They work in a wide range of materials from silk, stainless steel and rubber to recycled raincoats and linen to tree bark, safety pins and telephone books. Among the artists in the online exhibition are Lewis Knauss, Lia Cook, Gyöngy Laky from the US, Sue Lawty from the UK, Ritzi Jacobi from Germany, Jin-Sook So from Sweden, Carolina Yrarrázaval from Chile and Hisako Sekijima and Jiro Yonezawa from Japan.

The 10th Wave III: Online runs through December 20, 2009.


Guest Post Alert: Nancy Moore Bess

Paper-Skins-and-stacked-baskets.jpg

Nancy Moore Bess writes on Japan and its influence on her work.

Click “Guest Posts” to read the entire post.


Guest Post Alert: Nancy Moore Bess

October 4, 2009

Carving Foam For Fiber Sculpture

Shiroi Katachi.detail.jpg

Click the Guest Posts tab to read about Nancy’s exploration of carved industrial foam in her recent work.