Tag: Marian Bijlenga

Five Days Remain to See Discourse at browngrotta arts in Wilton, CT

from left to right: works by Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, Aby Mackie, Tim Johnson, Jane Balsgaard, Gyöngy Laky, Gizella Warburton, Margareta Ahlstedt-Willandt photographed through a basket by John McQueen. Photo by Tom Grotta

Join us this week, through Sunday May 12, at 6 pm to see our Spring Art in the Barn exhibition, Discourse: art across generations and continents. Traffic has been steady, including a guided tour for 15 people on Tuesday, but we still have slots available for gallery appointments and drop ins.

Viewers will enjoy 150+ works by more than 60 artists from 20 countries. Many people take two trips through the space to ensure they have not missed anything.

While here they learn more about works in the show including Irina Kolesnikova’s Spectator, a filmstrip- like group of woven portraits of her alter ego. She places him in discomfiting situations.  “Sometimes the events happening around him are frightening,” Kolesnikova says, “he wants to go away, to run far away. But curiosity makes him come back again, secretly observing, trying to memorize all impressions.”

Irina Kolesnikova Spectator weaving
28ik Spectator, Irina Kolesnikova, handwoven flax, silk, wood, 58.5″ x 43.25″ x 1″, 2013. Photo by Tom Grotta

James Bassler’s This Old House, is another work that encourages viewers to take a closer work and consider its inspiration and origins. “Over a year ago, a friend gave me a book, Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson,” Bassler writes. “It  caused me to begin yet another weaving of a flag, which includes references to the textile traditions of Africa.  In my early days of learning how to weave, the late 60s and early 70s, I wove many samples, and after weaving, experimented with batik and dyeing.  After all these years, those woven samples — maybe eight or ten of them —  were sewn together to become the surface on which the flag would eventually, after about a year, emerge.”

James Bassler Flag weaving
20jbas This Old House, James Bassler, multiple cotton and silk warps, patched together, multiple sisal, silk, linen, agave, ramie wefts, synthetic and natural dyes. batik plain and wedge-weave construction
27” x 42”, 2024. Photo by Tom Grotta

Same Difference by John McQueen draws appreciative comments (“That’s clever!” “I get it.”) when people learn its backstory. It’s comprised of three items on pedestals made of sticks tied with waxed linen — a wooden sump pump, the skeleton of a bonsai tree, and a representation of the elephant god Ganesh made of tied twigs. The items seem to have been chosen randomly, but they are not. Each draws water from the ground and uses it to slake thirsty crops and people, trees and animals.

John McQueen Same Difference three willow sculptures
21jm Same Difference, John McQueen, wood, sticks, bonsai, 54” x 60” x 24”, 2013, photo by Tom Grotta

Wendy Wahl’s work in Discourse explores inversion  a reversal of position, order, form, or relationship — and requires people to take a closer look. Wahl writes that she reassembles encyclopedia pages because of their symbolism, conceptual reference, and unique paper quality.  “My interactions with these materials,” she writes, “are meditative. These pieces are created by deconstructing the books, rolling and pinching the individual parts, and, like a puzzle, fitting them to the panel. The interconnected spiral elements become the picture plane that explores dimension, direction, texture, color, and reflection.” 

44ww Inversion, 2023/24, Wendy Wahl, encyclopedia britannica pages, wood panel, 40″ x 30″, 2024. Photo by Tom Grotta

The evocative forms of Rachel Max’s work draw viewers in for inspection and introspection. Over the last few years, Max has been making forms that explore notions of infinity and time. The title for her piece in this exhibition, Caesura, came to her while she was making it. “I was thinking about the composition, working out where the weave should become less dense and where one section would end and another begin. I wanted to create a visual interruption, my equivalent to a break in music or a pause. In poetry, I discovered,  this is called Caesura.”

Sculptural blue basket form by Rachel Max
13rm Caesura, Rachel Max, woven cane sculpture, plaited and twined, dyed, 11” x 16.5” x 8”, 2023-24. Photo by Tom Grotta

There are dozens of works to discover at Discourse: art across generations and continents and five days remaining to join us. Hope we’ll see you!

Schedule a visit
Times to visit Discourse: art across generations and continents can be scheduled on POSH

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

Gallery Dates/Hours:
Wednesday May 8th through Saturday, May 11th: 10am to 5pm (40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, May 12th: 11am to 6pm [Final Day] (40 visitors/ hour)
Schedule your visit at POSH.

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

Catalog:
A full-color catalog, browngrotta arts’ 59th, Discourse: art across generations and continents, with an essay by Erika Diamond, Artist | Curator | Associate Director of CVA Galleries | Chautauqua Institution, will be published by the browngrotta arts in May 2024 in conjunction with the exhibition.

Upcoming:
browngrotta arts will present a talkthrough of slides from Discourse on Zoom, Art on the Rocks: art art talkthrough with a twist, on Friday, June 11th at 7 pm EST.


Save the Date: browngrotta arts Spring Art in the Barn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Art for a Cause to Benefit World Affairs Forum this Saturday, October 15th, 4 pm to 7 pm

3jh Wings, Jan Hladik, wool, 1973; 4jh Der Rote Gobelin, Jan Hladik, wool, 1966. Photo by Tom Grotta

Join browngrotta arts for a private Tour and Reception in Saturday, October 15th from 4 pm to 7 pm to benefit World Affairs Forum. The event will be our Fall 2022 Art for a Cause.

The Details
At 4PM, Tom Grotta will host a Private Tour of the exhibition Allies For Art: Work from NATO-related Countries. From 5 to 7PM, there will be brief Remarks by speakers from WAF and browngrotta arts will host a Reception, with exhibition-themed canapés and a curated cocktail where guests can socialize, view and learn more about the exhibition’s works of art.

The Speakers

Two experts on art and culture will speak briefly about making and protecting art in conflict zones. Cindy Maguire, PhD is a researcher and professor, and co-author of the book “Arts and Culture in Global Development Practice,” also with Ann Holt, PhD. Rob McCallum, PhD is both a practicing artist who has exhibited his work at numerous international solo and group shows, as well as a global educator with a PhD in Art Education. 

left to right:
82mk, Markku Kosonen, Curly Birch 5.2,  2001; 69mk, Markku Kosonen, Object No. II, birch, metal, 2000, 17ak Anda Klančič, Human Presence, 2019; 40sp Simone Pheulpin, Ondes, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta. 

Register Here to attend.


The Cause/World Affairs Forum
In addition to 100% of the proceeds from public ticket sales, 10% of the proceeds from all sales of art, books, or catalogs at this Art for a Cause event will be donated to World Affairs Forum, an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to engaging the public and leading voices to better understand the world. Since 1946, World Affairs Forum in Stamford, CT has been providing top-level and thought-provoking presentations, debates, and discussions of foreign policy and global affairs featuring world leaders, economists, diplomats, scholars, business luminaries, corporate change-makers, authors, journalists, and Nobel laureates. Its mission is to create conversations in our community about global affairs, foreign policy, and America’s role in the world.

19sj Carapace, Stéphanie Jacques, wood, wool 46” x 12” x 6.5”, 2010-2011. Photo by Tom Grotta

The Exhibition:
Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related countries (October 8 – 16) features over 130 pieces from nearly 50 artists, and will highlight work from 21 countries in Eastern and Western Europe made from the 1960s to the present. The diverse fiber works and sculpture in the exhibition were created by artists who fled repressive regimes, who have worked under and around government restrictions and who have been influenced by current conditions. 

Signing Up
Public registration for the general reception, from 5pm to 7pm, is $25. Public registration for the 4pm private tour + general reception from 5pm to 7pm is $50.
Click to register: Art for a Cause.


Note:
We will be closing registration when the gallery venue reaches capacity, so please register as soon as possible to secure your tickets.

Our Art for a Cause mixologist and master chef, Max Fanwick and expert assistant Suzanne.

Address:
276 Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897

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


Check Out Our One-of-a-Kind Gift Guide: No Supply Chain Issues Here

2021 browngrotta Gift Guide

This year we’ve gathered our art selections into a clickable lookbook format. Whether you are gifting yourself, a friend or family member, a work of art makes a truly unique choice. Our curated collection includes art for every location, including crowdpleasing centerpieces (Rocking the Table) and coveted items to set on a bookshelf (Boosting a Bookshelf) or counter top (Counter Balancing)

Narrow wall art pieces

We’ve included art suggestions to fill special spots — including those often hard-to-fill narrow walls (On the Straight and Narrow). Our choices include a pleated fabric work by Caroline Bartlett of the UK and a hanging of hand-painted threads by Ulla-Maija Vikman, known as “Finland’s colorist.” Or have you got your eye on an empty space? The one that makes you think — “I wish I could find just the right piece of art for that spot.” We’ve got a batch of ideas for you there — from embellished photographs by Gyöngy Laky(US) to an intricate embroidery by Scott Rothstein(US) to a newsprint and lacquer collage by Toshio Sekiji of Japan.

Natural baskets

There are works at every price point, from the brightly colored abstract tapestry, Flow, by Jo Barker, a Cordis Prize winner from the UK to a basket sculpture of cottonwood by Christine Joy(US) to a new book about the innovative weaver Włodzimierz Cygan of Poland.

Take a look here: http://www.browngrotta.com/digitalfolios/HolidayFlipBook/Hoilday FlipBook 2021.html

The small print:

Order for the holidays by December 13th and we’ll ship by December 14th for domestic delivery by the holidays (though due to COVID and other delays, we can’t guaranteed the shippers’ schedule). If you’d like us to gift wrap your purchase, email us at art@browngrotta.com, as soon as you have placed your order. To ensure we know you want gift wrapping, don’t wait to contact us — we generally ship as soon as the orders are received. Quantities are limited.


Volume 50 Art Focus: The Salon Wall

In our recent exhibition, Volume 50: Chronicling Fiber Art for Three Decadeswe featured a gallery wall with art by nine international artists from five countries.

works by Claude Vermette, Wendy Wahl, Caroline Bartlett, Toshiko Takaezu, Joyce Clear. Photo by Tom Grotta
Works by Claude Vermette, Wendy Wahl, Caroline Bartlett, Toshiko Takaezu, Joyce Seymore. Photo by Tom Grotta

Salon walls, or gallery walls as they are also called, are a favorite with designers, according to Invaluable, for a reason: they can be curated to fit an assortment of styles and work well in virtually any room. (“15 Gallery Walls to Suit Every Style,”  https://www.invaluable.com/blog/gallery-wall-ideas/utm_campaign=weeklyblog&utm_medium=email&utm_source=house&utm_content=blog092420 ) Salon walls “first became popular in France in the late 17th century,” according to the Invaluable article. “Salons across the country began displaying fine art from floor to ceiling, often because of the limited space, that encapsulated the artistic trends of the time. One of the first and most famous salon walls was displayed at the Palace of the Louvre in 1670, helping to establish the Louvre as a global destination for art.”

clockwise, from upper right: Mia Olsson, Jo Barker, Karyl Sisson, Debra Valoma, Jennifer Falck Linssen, Marian Bijlenga, Polly Barton, Åse Ljones. center: Wendy Wahl. Photo by Tom Grotta
clockwise, from upper right: Mia Olsson, Jo Barker, Karyl Sisson, Debra Valoma, Jennifer Falck Linssen, Marian Bijlenga, Polly Barton, Åse Ljones. center: Wendy Wahl. Photo by Tom Grotta

Our Volume 50 salon wall was a fitting testament to the 50 catalogs we have produced and were celebrating in this exhibition. In our 50 catalogs we have featured 172 artists from 28 countries. Our salon wall featured works by nine of those artists from five countries. Wendy Wahl creates work from pages of encyclopedias, leading readers to think about changes over the time to the way acquire information. Mia Olsson of Sweden created a work of brightly colored sisal, inspired by traditional, pleated folk costumes. We included Jo Barker’s tapestry, Cobalt Haze. People often think Barker’s lushly colored tapestries are oil paintings until they are close enough to see the meticulous detail. Lewis Knauss imagined a landscape of prayer flags in creating Prayer Mountain. For Deborah Valoma, simplicity is deceptive. The truth, she says, “scratched down in pencil, lies below the cross-hatched embellishments.” 

Jennifer Falck Linssen found inspiration in Asian ink paintings for her wall work, Mountain. The peaks in the paintings are a play of opposites: serene and forceful, solid and ethereal, strong and vulnerable. Mountain explores this duality and also the layered, often subtle, emotions of the human heart and its own dichotomy. Marian Bijlenga‘s graphic, playful work displays a fascination with patterning. This work was inspired by the geometric patterning of Korean bojagi, which is comparable to modernist paintings by such artists as Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee. In bojagi,small, colorful leftover scraps of fabrics are arranged and sewn together to construct larger artful cloths. The triple-stitched seams are iconic. This work, says the artist, specifically references the grid of these seams and the special Korean use of color. For Polly Barton, the technique of ikat serves as her paintbrush for producing contemporary works. From Norway, Åse Ljones uses a blizzard of stitches to create her works. “No stitch is ever a mistake,” she says. “A mistake is often what creates a dynamic in the work.” 

A salon wall is a great way to collect for people who are interested in different artists and different mediums. At browngrotta we’ve always suggested that clients had more wall space on which to display art — it just hadn’t been uncovered yet. We’ve created another salon wall in our non-gallery space. On it, we’ve combined oil paintings, fiber works, ceramics and photography. The wall can accommodate our continuing desire to collect — above, below and on the side.

works by Ed Rossbach. Photo by Tom Grotta
A gallery wall highlights weavings by Ed Rossbach. Photo by Tom Grotta

“A gallery wall is absolutely ideal for a small apartment, as it can give a room real interest, depth and a properly decorated feel without taking up any floor space — and thereby minimizing clutter,” Luci Douglas-Pennant, told The New York Times in 2017. Douglas-Pennant founded Etalage, with Victoria Leslie, an English company specializing in antique prints, vintage oil paintings and decorative pictures for gallery walls. “If you don’t have one large wall, gallery walls can be hung around windows, around doors, above bed heads, above and around fireplaces or even around cabinets in a kitchen.”

Three works by Sheila Hicks from our 1996 exhibition: Sheila Hicks: Joined by seven artists from Japan
Sheila Hicks introduced us to the gallery wall in an exhibition she curated at browngrotta arts in 1996, Sheila Hicks: Joined by seven artists from Japan. In that exhibition, she displayed three of her works in the space between two windows.

For works of varying sizes and shapes to get you started on your own version of a salon wall, visit browngrotta.com, where we have images of dozens of available artworks to pique your interest.


Art Assembled: New This Week April

The art that we highlighted in April represents a wide variety of fascinating works, each of which is uniquely different – from textile, sculptures, basketry, and so much more. The talented group of artists that we’ve highlighted this month include Merja Winqvist, Marian Bijlenga, Heidrun Schimmel, Tim Johnson.

Merja Winqvist
 
12mw Four Seasons, Merja Winqvist, paper, shellack, 11.375, 63” x 4.5”, 2018, photo by Tom Grotta, courtesy browngrotta arts.

Merja Winqvist is a Finland-based artist who specializes in textile and sculptural art. Within her work, Winqvist applies the ideal of functionalism by simplifying the forms as much as possible, while avoiding unnecessary decoration. She has explained that in the parts of her works that appear decorative, there’s actually an important functional significance in terms of the cohesion and durability of the sculptures. 

Marian Bijlenga
33mb Korean Bojagi, Marian Bijlenga, horsehair and fabric, 22″ x 20″, 2017, photo by Tom Grotta, courtesy browngrotta arts.

Marian Bijlenga is a Netherlands-based contemporary artist. Frequently, her inspiration is drawn from her fascination with the rhythmical movements and empty space confined in dots, lines, and contours. 

Heidrun Schimmel
 32hsc Filamente, Heidrun Schimmel, linen, sisal, flax, 21.25” x 56” x 3.25,” 2017, photo by Tom Grotta, courtesy browngrotta arts.

Germany-based artist, Heidrun Schimmel, is influenced by Zen art and includes Zen meditation in her daily practice. “I love the following words of poet Shuntaro Tanikawa,” says Schimmel. “Which I had in my mind when stitching filaments: ‘A square is sometimes shy, and often slips into roundness…'”

Tim Johnson
Tim Johnson, 12ki Curve VI – white willow, sisal, earth pigments, 12.5 x 13” x 14.5” 2019, photo by Tom Grotta, courtesy browngrotta arts.

Tim Johnson is a United Kingdom-based artist who’s known for creating intriguing and detailed artwork, like, Curve VI, the piece featured here. “As soon as we try to define the nature and essence of baskets we unwittingly begin to exclude,” Johnson has observed. “Terminology becomes redundant. The deep sighs and ‘tut tuts’ of tradition serve little to preserve forms and techniques, but rather push on other generations to find their creative path.”


Marian Bijlenga Takes Grand Prize at the 5th Triennial of Textile Art

Marian Bijlenga being interviewed in front of her work, Large Sampler Dots, Photo by Simon Oud.

Marian Bijlenga being interviewed in front of her work, Large Sampler Dots, Photo by Simon Oud.

Marian Bijlenga‘s significantly sized work, Large Sampler Dots, was awarded the Grand Prix of Božena Augustínová at the 5th Triennial Textile Art of Today exhibition at the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Bratislava, Slovakia. Four hundred artists from 49 countries across 5 continents participated in the competition. Irina Kolesnikova, now of Germany and Joanna Zemanek of Poland were among the artists selected to participate. Zemanek was awarded the Visegrad Award. You can learn more about the work and Bijlenga’s process on the Textile Art of Today site HERE.

This year’s exhibition, continues through November 11, 2018 before touring to other venues in Europe throughout 2019, including:Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum (Slovak republic)
8.9.2018 – 11.11.2018
Tatra Gallery in Poprad (Slovak republic)
25.1.2019 – 16.3.2019The Moravian Museum in Uherské Hradiště (Czech republic)
18.4.2019 – 23.6.2019


Art Assembled: New This Week August

The Path which Leads to Center 18-05, Chang Yeonsoon, abaca fiber, barberry roots dye, 100% pure gold, 17” x 17” x 6.5”, 2017.

On tap in August were spectacular pieces by Chang Yeonsoon, Norma Minkowitz, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila and Marian Bijlenga.


We kicked off August with Chang Yeonsoon’s The Path which Leads to Center 18-05. In much of her work, Yeonsoon dyes her fibers with indigo. However, in making The Path which Leads to Center 18-05 she used barberry root dye and 100% pure gold leaf. The process which Yeonsoon uses to apply the gold lead is a Korean technique called geumbak. Though geumbak is usually used with natural lacquer, Yeonsoon was able to create a new lacquer with gold leaf.

Trove, Norma Minkowitz, mixed media, 38” x 19” x 19”, 2018


On our trip to Norma Minkowitz’ studio this summer, which you can read about in our blog post HERE, we picked up
Trove. The sculpture is made using small trinkets Minkowitz has collected throughout her life, therefore the reason why she named it Trove. To take a closer look at Trove watch the video we made HERE

Transición, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, alpaca; metallic yarns and silver leaf; moriche palm fiber, silk, 56″ x 24.25”, 2018


Next up, we had Eduard Portillo and Mariá Eugenia Dávila’s wall-hanging Transición. The wall-hanging’s vibrant purple hue makes the woven “mosaic” impossible to go unnoticed. Portillo and Dávila source and create all of their own materials. The Venezuelan couple grows their own mulberry trees on slopes of the Andes (Mulberry trees are the sole food source for silkworms), rear their own silkworms, obtain the silkworm threads and color the threads with their own natural dyes to use in making textiles.

Fish Scale, Marian Bijlenga, dyed fish scales, 64 x 113 x 1 in, 2012


To wrap-up the month of August, we shared Marian Bijlenga’s
Fish Scale. Bijlenga is not afraid of challenging herself to work with new materials. In the past, she has worked with materials such as horse hair, viscose, paper and glass. Her piece Fish Scale is in fact made with extremely delicate fish scales. In making the piece, Bijlenga carefully connected a network of scales using very fine thread, giving the illusion that the scales are floating in mid-air. To see Fish Scale in detail, check out THIS video. 


Art Assembled: New This Week July

Stellae Pavonis, Federica Luzzi, waxed cotton cord, silk, cotton, rayon, polyester thread, copper wire, 25.25” x 21.25” x 3.25, 2018

Stellae Pavonis, Federica Luzzi, waxed cotton cord, silk, cotton, rayon, polyester thread, copper wire, 25.25” x 21.25” x 3.25, 2018. Photo by Tom Grotta

July was quite the month for us here at browngrotta arts. Not only did we share some spectacular new pieces on our social media, but we also shared behind the scenes shots of our pick-up at Norma Minkowitz’s studio, photos of pieces that have been acquired by major museums as well as photos of a few of our favorite artist collaborations. Here is a breakdown of the new art we shared on our social media throughout July:

To kick off July we shared Federica Luzzi’s Stellae Pavonis. In Latin, Stellae Pavonis translates to “the stars of the peacock.” “In the eye of the peacock’s feather and in its tail, which shows and closes the cosmic unfolding and all the manifestations that also appear and disappear quickly, there is a space left free, without boundaries,” explains Luzzi. “This space is in the closed eyes when we dream and in the open eyes when our attention is active.” You can view Stellae Pavonis in space HERE.

Rough Sea of Sado, polyester, aramid fiber, 48.25” x 47.5”, 2016

Rough Sea of Sado, polyester, aramid fiber, 48.25” x 47.5”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta

Next up, we shared Keiji Nio’s Rough Sea of Sado. Rough Sea of Sado is an imagined haiku from Japanese haiku master Matsuo Basho. In his haiku Rough Sea of Sado, Basho “describes the deep blue waves of the of the Sea of Japan as they are reflected in the night sky and the light blue waves as they hit the beach.”

 

Amazonas, Carolina Yrarrázaval, yute, jute, raffia and silk, 35.5” x 39.25”, 2017

Amazonas, Carolina Yrarrázaval, yute, jute, raffia and silk, 35.5” x 39.25”, 2017. Photo by Tom Grotta

 

Carolina Yrarrázaval combines jute, raffia and silk to create Amazonas. The bold wall-hanging came about as a result of Yrarrázaval’s strong fascination with resilient people of the Amazon who live in harmony with nature. “Remarkable primitive communities, they are preservers of ancient traditions,” writes Yrarrázaval. “Their exuberant green, full of life, moves me to an infinite emotion.”

Dutch Blue (Oval), Marian Bijlenga, camelhair, fabric, stitched, 34” x 34”, 2006. Photo by Tom Grotta

 

In making Dutch Blue Marian Bijlenga drew inspiration from blue-and-white pottery (Delftware and Delft Pottery) made in and around Delft in the Netherlands. Delftware is part of the of the worldwide family of blue-and-white pottery, using variations of the plant-based decoration first developed in 14th-century Chinese porcelain. Marian Bijlenga’s Dutch Blue is inspired by the patterns of Chinese porcelain and the Japanese philosophy of the Kintsugi. Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object. To this day,  Broken shards of pottery remain in the Dutch canals. See Dutch Blue in detail HERE.

Doorway, Rebecca Medel, knotted linen and cotton 5 planes, 51.5” x 32.25” x 8”, 1996

Doorway, Rebecca Medel, knotted linen and cotton 5 planes, 51.5” x 32.25” x 8”, 1996. Photo by Tom Grotta

 

We wrapped up July with Doorway by Rebecca Medel. “During the decades that I used knotted netted grids to create open planes, I constructed several pieces with the door as a structure to symbolize the transition and passageway from one place to another,” says Medel. “The open grid suggests a possibility that the door could be an entry or exit from one dimension to another dimension, and form finite space to infinite space.”


First Look: Blue/Green: color/code/context, April 28th – May 6th at bga, Wilton, CT

Blue Green exhibition Marian Bijlenga

30mb Dutch Blue (Oval), Marian Bijlenga
camelhair, fabric, stitched
35” x 35”, 2006, photo by Tom Grotta

For this year’s Art in the Barn exhibition, we asked artists to enter a blue or green period of their own and send us a work that conveyed one of the many meanings, connotations and moods of these colors. The result is Blue/Green: color/code/context, an exhibition of remarkably diverse works from more than 50 artists from 15 countries. Marian Bijlenga of the Netherlands, for example, has created an enigmatic wall work inspired by Dutch blue china fragments. The work is inspired, she says,  by the patterns of Chinese porcelain and the Japanese philosophy of the reuse of broken tiles and her collection of Dutch blue shards, collected in Amsterdam.

Ceramic Blue Green exhibition

Yasuhisa Kohyama
51yk Kaze
ceramic
14.75” x 11.5” x 4.75”, 2017

Yasuhisa Kohyama has created, Kaze,  a ceramic with a grey-greenish cast, hand built and wood fired in an anagama kiln. “With the properties of the shigaraki clay and its inclusions of feldspar and silica, the high heat, the atmosphere in the kiln and the falling of the wood ash on the pots all present, warm colors as well as attractive markings can be captured on the surface of the clay,” Kohyama explains. “The blue-green and red-orange colors develop in the mid-section of the kiln; In the back of the kiln, a heavily reduced atmosphere creates rich dark gray and brown colors.”

Tapestry Blue Green exhibition

4gp Thin Green Horizon
Gudrun Pagter, sisal, linen and flax
45.25” x 55”, 2017

The Green Horizon is the striking abstract tapestry created by Gudrun Pager of Denmark for the exhibition. “Perhaps it is the horizon between heaven and sea, or between heaven and earth – or the line between heaven and earth?” Pagter muses. “The thin, horizontal line is made with many shades of blue and green thin linen. The main color is blue, but the thin, green horizon is essential to the whole picture.”

Wendy Wahl Blue Green exhibition

37ww Changing Tides
Encyclopedia Britannica pages
27” x 42”, 2018

Encylopedia Britanica pages are the material Wendy Wahl uses to express our  station in  time, recognizable as they are as  a   part  of  a  particular  collective  consciousness. Wahl’s Changing Tides is made of 275  pages of the 1988 Encyclopedia Britannica Annual of World Data, the only book in Wahl’s collection of EB volumes that contained blue paper. The pages were cut into seven sections, for each of the continents, contemplatively scrolled and compressed into 1925  whorls to symbolize the reality of rising water around the globe. These four are just a sampling of the more than 70 works that will be on display in the Blue/Green: color/code/context exhibition and in the companion catalog, which will be available at www.browngrotta.com after April 28th. To visit Blue/Green: color/code/contexthere are the details:  Saturday, April 28th, 1-6 pm: Opening and Artists Reception

Sunday April 29th – Sunday May 6th, Viewing Hours 10-5 pm.
For more info: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/calendar.php; 203-834-0623.
This year’s exhibition is co-sponsored by Litchfield Distillery.