Tag: Neda Al-Hilali

Art Assembled – New This Week in May

May has brought with it a fresh wave of inspiration as we embrace the new opportunities that Spring offers. Alongside the launch of our exhibition, Discourse: art across generations and continents, we’ve been thrilled to introduce our audience to a diverse array of New This Week features, showcasing the work of talented artists we’ve had the privilege of collaborating with over the years.

Now, as the month comes to a close, we’re excited to recap each artist we’ve highlighted.

Polly Barton
14pb Guardians, Polly Barton, silk warp with pictorial weft ikat in rayon and viscose, woven in 3 panels. walnut frame, 24 x 49.875”, 2023. Photos by Tom Grotta.

To kick off the month, we featured the remarkable artwork of Polly Barton. In the art world, Barton is a nationally recognized artist who has been working in fiber for 40 years. Trained in Japan, she is known for working with traditional methods of binding and dyeing bundles of fiber to weave contemporary imagery.

In her practice, Barton incorporates a wide range of materials in her work including pigment, soy milk, pastel, metallic threads, stitching, papyrus, and metal leaf. She was also one of the many talented artists featured in Discourse, which is now live on Artsy.

Neda Al-Hilali
1na Crystal Planet, Neda Al-hilali
plaited color paper, acrylic, ink drawing, paper, 43″ x 49″ x 2.5″, 1982

Next, we highlighted the work of talented artist Neda Al-Hilali. This Czechoslovakian artist, who works in the US, is known for for vibrant, detailed works of paper created in the 80s and previously, dramatic “Rope Art,” (featured in Life magazine in the 70s). Al-Hilali is one of the artists included in Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women, that opens at the Smithsonian American Art Museum this week.

Her work has been long recognized, and we are honored to be able to exhibit this strong work by Al-Hilali!

Michael Radyk
8mra Lift, Michael Radyk, cotton jacquard, 66” x 52” x 1”, 2014.

We then turned our spotlight to artist Michael Radyk. Radyk is an artist who explores woven textiles and the qualities inherent in their structure, production, design, craft, and history. He uses both the hand loom and Jacquard loom to produce his work. Radyk designs, weaves, cuts, sculpts, and manipulates his textiles into both two and three-dimensional sculptural forms.

In his artistry, Radyk’s work involves the reinvention of manufactured materials and familiar textiles such as corduroy. He creates work that is based in place and material research using mainly recycled and repurposed materials. ​

Ésme Hofman
4eh Dialogue No.4 (a study in black and white willow skeins), Ésme Hofman, peeled and boiled willow skeins, 7.625″ x 5.75″ x 5.75″, 2024

To close out the month, we highlighted the work of artist Ésme Hofman. Hofman is a traditionally trained basketmaker who learned the foundations of my craft at the German basketry school. When creating, Hofman looks beyond the borders of this traditional handcraft. This gives her freedom to explore creative possibilities, and generates other ways of making. 

Her techniques and materials now vary from the traditional to the contemporary using natural stems, leaves, bark, wire, plastics, vellum, paper and occasionally color. Although fascinated by different possibilities, her my main focus is with the very time-consuming willow skeinwork, a nearly-extinct basketry technique that results in an extremely fine surface texture. Almost like textile, it enables her to create fine objects.

We hope you’ve enjoyed discovering these remarkable works as much as we have. Stay tuned for more exciting updates and features in the months ahead!

Discourse Opens on Saturday – Who’s New?

Discourse:art across generations and continents opens in just three days at browngrotta arts, Wilton, Connecticut (May 4 – 12). The exhibition includes works by five artists whose work we have not shown before: 

Crystal Planet by Neda Al-Hilali
1na Crystal Planet, Neda Al-Hilali, plaited color paper, acrylic, ink drawing, paper, 43″ x 49″ x 2.5″, 1982. Photo by Tom Grotta

Neda Al-Hilali was born in Czechoslovakia in 1938 and lived in Baghdad before moving to Southern California in 1961. She trained as an artist in Europe, and extensively at the University of California Los Angeles, including with Bernard Kestler. In the 1960s, she created flat weavings and knotted hangings, called “Rope Art,” by Life magazine December 1, 1972. Those were followed by room-sized installations, cascades of paper, and works of aluminum modules and others of pieced paper. Her career, the Los Angeles Times wrote, “moved into painting and sculpture with intelligent disregard for confining labels.” Al-Halili’s work will be included in the upcoming exhibition at the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women in Washington, D.C. in May.

Nåky Vision II by Margareta Ahlstedt-Willandt
1awm Nåky Vision II, Margareta Ahlstedt-Willandt, fabric, 20″ x 19″ x 2″, 1950’s. Photo by Tom Grotta

Finnish textile artist Margareta Ahlstedt-Willandt (1888 -1967) was a founder of an artistic weaving company. Ahlstedt-Willandt founded an Agency and Weavery for the Decorative Arts in 1924 which employed a dozen people. Its products were sold not only in Finland, but also abroad. Ahlstedt-Willandt was awarded prizes in many international exhibitions of applied art and design. She received several awards including a silver medal at the art and industry exhibitions in Barcelona in 1929 and in Milan in 1933 and a gold medal at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937. In 1930, she had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Applied Art Arts (now the Design Museum) in Helsinki. Her memorial exhibition was held at the Design Museum in 1988.

Cosmic Series by Yvonne Pacanovsky Bobrowicz
1ypb Cosmic Series, Yvonne Pacanovsky Bobrowicz, Knotted monofilament, gold leaf, 25″ x 20″ x 7″. Photo by Tom Grotta

Awarding-winning artist, Yvonne Bobrowicz (1928 – 2022) was known for her cascading, light-transmitting sculptures made of synthetic monofilament. Bobrowicz was concerned with interconnections — interconnectedness and continuum. The artist told the Senior Artists Initiative in Philadelphia in 2003, “My work has been combining natural materials with synthetics, relating opposites, randomness and order — dark, light, reflective, opaque, and light absorbent, incorporating gold leaf, reflecting sculptures of monofilament, reflective and alchemically symbolic — unifying them in a variety of densities, scale, and configurations.” Her interest in interconnections is an ideal artist for inclusion in Discourse. Bobrowicz studied with Marianne Strengell at the Cranbook Academy of Art and with Anni Albers at the Philadelphia Museum and School of Industrial Art, now University of the Arts. In the 1980s, she collaborated with renowned architect Louis Kahn. She taught weaving and textiles at Drexel University for more than 30 years. She was the recipient of a Pew Fellowship and a grant from the Leeway Foundation.

From the Tranquility series by Mika Watanabi
1mwa From the Tranquility series, Mika Watanabi, kozo fiber, 1993-94. Photo by Tom Grotta

Mika Watanabe is a contemporary multi-media artist and art educator. Watanabe creates sculptural objects using natural paper fiber and body parts of animals and humans (nails, snake shed, hog guts, etc). She has created installations using various unique objects. Her work has been exhibited by local, national, and international contemporary arts and crafts galleries and museums, including in the 2005 traveling exhibition Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection. Watanabe holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the California College of Art in Oakland and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Arts, Crafts, Industrial Design Arts from Musashino Arts University in Tokyo Japan.

1hsp Oh! Precious, Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, anodized aluminum foil, mizuhiki, canvas, 40.75” x 44.75” x 3.625”, 1980s. Photo by Tom Grotta

Japanese jewelry designer, artist, author, and educator, Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1942. She received an MFA in 1966 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, in Michigan, began teaching Metalsmithing in 1986 at The University of Michigan, and continued until 2001 when she retired as Professor Emeritus. Sato-Pijanowski is credited with introducing Japanese materials and techniques to American metal working. In the 80s, Sato-Pijanowski (sometimes with her husband, Eugene Pijanowski), made a series of oversized, wearable works out of paper cord and foils using a technique called mizuhiki. “In making my paper cord jewelry,” Sato-Pijanoowski wrote in 2017, I realized that form can have meaning beyond mere abstract beauty. The contrasts between this organic material and its artificial metallic color, and between the traditional applications of paper cord and these abstract designs, comment on the evolution of man’s position in the universe. We are part of the natural world and of a historic and cultural world of our own making.” 

Join us for Discourse: art across generations and continents from May 4 to May 12th. Reserve a time at POSH.