For browngrotta arts, documentation of the field of contemporary art textiles is critically important. Like a tree falling in the forest, if we don’t document an exhibition we’ve curated it’s a bit like if it didn’t happen. Generally, our exhibitions include catalogs that feature individual images of each artwork included, and often, an artist’s statement for each work. In addition, we typically feature essays by curators and scholars who take a broader look at the work or the exhibition theme.
For our latest catalog, Japandí: shared aesthetics and influences https://store.browngrotta.com/catalogs/ (our 52nd), however, we took a slightly different approach. Japandi is a term that refers to the aesthetic kinship one sees between art and design of Japan and the Scandinavian countries. To illustrate affinities, we created spreads — room- or wall-sized groupings of works from each region, rather than highlighting individual artworks. We included the artists’ recollections about how they discovered another culture or how other cultures have influenced their work. We added statements from designers, architects and authors about the similarities they have observed.
Instead of commissioning an essay, we shared with you what we discovered about Japandi as we researched this exhibition. The introductory text, Mapping Affinities, explains that the roots of Japanese/Nordic synergy extend to the 19th century. It also explains that the trendy term, Japandi, refers to four elements, which the introduction describes: appreciation for exquisite craftsmanship and natural and sustainable materials, minimalism and respect for the imperfect (wabi-sabi) and the comfortable (hygge). The introduction also describes how the artists included experience the Japandi elements differently — some through study, some through travel. Still others describe recognizing these parallels in ways as something they were always aware of and acted upon.
Not all the work that is in the catalog appeared in the exhibition — we included these works to further illustrate our sense of the regions’ common approaches.
We hope you’ll get a copy of Japandí: shared aesthetics and influences https://store.browngrotta.com/catalogs/ and see for yourself.
News Flash: Artists Get Good Press
Over the last few months, the artists browngrotta arts represents have received mentions and more from the press, print and online. The November/December issue of Craft from the UK, included an image of Sounding by Lawrence LaBianca and Donald Fortescue in, “Craft’s quick fix,” by Glenn Adamson, which discusses the use of the humble cable tie by contemporary artists.
Lawrence LaBianca in the Aspen Sojourner
Then, in its Holiday issue, Aspen Sojourner printed a lengthy piece about LaBianca’s artist-in-residency at Anderson Ranch, “Ranch Hands: A day in the life of an Anderson Ranch artist-in-resident,” by Hilary Stunda http://softarchive.net/blogs/d3pz4i/aspen_sojourner_usa_holiday.882867.html.
Surface Design Winter 2012
The Winter 2012 of Surface Design,devoted four pages to Kyomi Iwata’s new work in kibisio, a by-product of silk spinning production in Japan, previously considered a waste material http://www.surfacedesign.org/publications/sda-journal. The same issue reviewed New York Fiber in the 21st Century at Lehman College Gallery and featured Tom’s photo of Norma Minkowitz’s King of the Hill and referenced Nancy Koenigsberg’s Light and Tempest, as “challeng[ing] the idea of flatness vs. sculptural, a middle ground that fiber works can uniquely occupy.”
Dail Behennah Grid Dish, 40:40 Forty Objects for Forty Years
The UK’s Craft Council included Dail Behennah’s Grid Dish as one of its 40:40/Forty Objects for Forty Years. You can see all 40 objects at: http://onviewonline.craftscouncil.org.uk/4040/.
Korean Foundation Newsletter 12 2011
The December 2011 issue of the Korea Foundation Newsletter featured a profile of Jin-Sook So in conjunction with coverage of the exhibition of Swedish craft art that she curated in Seoul late last year http://newsletter.kf.or.kr/news/news_201112/eng/sub_02.html. In the piece, “Encounter of Swedish Crafts and Korean Sensibilities; Textile Artist Jin-Sook So’s Views of Contemporary” So explains how Sweden and Korea influence her work. “I’ve lived in Sweden for 30 years and have traveled all over the world to create works and hold exhibitions, but my roots remain in Korea. Although I didn’t intend it to be, Korea and Korean sentiments have served as the spirit and inspiration that have motivated me. As time went by, it became even more evident, and I believe they will remain the roots of my work in the future.”
New York Spaces October 2011
So’s work of steel mesh, Untitled, was also included in the “Art Now” column of New York Spaces last October.
Textile Forum December 2011
Photos of work by three artists represented by browngrotta arts were featured in the December 2011 issue if the ETN textileforum. These included shots of Merja Winquist’s, Winter Garden, her large, on-site installation at the Sofia Paper Art Fest in Bulgaria, Anda Klancic’s lighted work, Aura FM, at the 2011 Como Miniartextil exhibition in Italy and Grethe Sorenson preparing for her Traces of Light exhibition at the Round Tower in Copenhagen, Denmark through March 11, 2012.