Tag: Sheila hicks

Art Out and About

This Spring in Connecticut brings an abundance of daffodils and in the US and abroad a slew of art exhibitions. From Scotland to San Francisco to Seoul, we’ve rounded up some suggestions for you:

Jane Balsgaard
April 6 – May 5, 2024
Vejle Kunstforening
Søndermarksvaj 1
Vejle, Denmark 7100 
https://www.vejlekunstforeningmoellen.dk/

Jane Balsgaard paper and glass boat
Glass and handmade paper Boat by Jane Balsgaard. Photo by Jane Balsgaard

This exhibition of Jane Balsgaard’s art work of glass twigs and plant paper will open in Velje, Denmark this April.

Four Stories of Swedish Textile: Inger Bergstöm, Jin Sook So, Katka Beckham Ojala, Takao Momijama
March 20 – April 2, 2024
Suaenyo 339,
339 Pyeongchang-gil, Jongno-gu
Seoul, Korea 
http://sueno339.com/?ckattempt=1

Jin Sook Blue Wall painting
Blue and Gold electroplated wall textile by Jin-Sook So. Photo by Jin-Sook So

This is an exhibition of four very different art practices, including work in stainless steel mesh by Jin-Sook So. “Using textiles as an artistic medium opens up a world of possibilities, interpretations and expectations,” write the exhibition’s curators. “How the individual artist works in this realm is unpredictable and can lead to totally different genres and contexts. The exhibition, 4T – Four Swedish Stories of Textile, shows the works of a group of artists who despite their different expressions are united by an interest specifically for textile surfaces.”

Andy Warhol: The Textiles
Through May 18, 2024
Dovecot Studios
10 Infirmary Street
Edinburgh, SCOTLAND EH1 1LT
https://dovecotstudios.com/whats-on/andy-warhol-the-textiles

Andy Warhol Textiles
Andy Warhol Artworks © 2024 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London.

Andy Warhol: The Textiles takes viewers on a journey through the unknown and unrecorded world of designs by the influential artist before his Silver Factory days. As the originators explain, by showcasing over 35 of Warhol’s textile patterns from the period, depicting an array of colorful objects; ice cream sundaes, delicious toffee apples, colorful buttons, cut lemons, pretzels, and jumping clowns, this exhibition demonstrates how textile and fashion design was a crucial stage in Warhol becoming one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century. A book accompanies the exhibition: Warhol: The Textiles.

Irresistible: The Global Patterns of Ikat
Through June 1, 2024
George Washington University and Textile Museum
701 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20052 
museuminfo@gwu.edu

Irresistible Americas installation
Irresistible Americas photo by Kacey Chapman

Prized worldwide for producing vivid patterns and colors, the ancient resist-dyeing technique of ikat developed independently in communities across Asia, Africa and the Americas, where it continues to inspire artists and designers today. This exhibition explores the global phenomenon of ikat textiles through more than 70 masterful examples — ancient and contemporary — from countries as diverse as Japan, Indonesia, India, Uzbekistan, Côte d’Ivoire and Guatemala. Included are works by Polly Barton, Isabel Toledo, and Ed Rossbach.

Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art
Through June 16, 2024
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028
https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/weaving-abstraction-in-ancient-and-modern-art

Lenore Tawney in the Center of MET exhibit
Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Hyla Skopitz

The process of creating textiles has long been a springboard for artistic invention. In Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art, two extraordinary bodies of work separated by at least 500 years are brought together to explore the striking connections between artists of the ancient Andes and those of the 20th century. The exhibition displays textiles by four distinguished modern practitioners—Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Olga de Amaral—alongside pieces by Andean artists from the first millennium BCE to the 16th century.

On and Off the Loom: Kay Sekimachi and 20th Century Fiber Art
Lecture and Video with Melissa Leventon and Ellin Klor
April 20. 2024
1 p.m. EDT
de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
https://www.textileartscouncil.org/post/on-and-off-the-loom-kay-sekimachi-and-20th-century-fiber-art

Kay Sekimachi Kiri Wood Paper Vessel
Kiri Wood Paper Vessel by Kay Sekimachi. Photo by Tom Grotta

Kay Sekimachi is esteemed as an innovator in contemporary fiber art. Her vision has had an impact on many outstanding artists. Sekimachi came of age at a boom time for fiber art, when many artists were experimenting with dimensional weaving both on and off the loom and were challenging old art world hierarchies in the process. In this talk in person and on Zoom, Melissa Leventon will discuss Sekimachi’s oeuvre within the wider context of fiber art in the 20th century.

Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction
Through July 28, 2024
National Art Gallery
East Building, Concourse Galleries
4th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 
https://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2024/woven-histories-textiles-modern-abstraction.html

Ed Rossbach Weaving and basket
Ed Rossbach, Damask Waterfall, 1977, LongHouse Reserve, © Ed Rossbach, photo © Charles Benton, courtesy The Artist’s Institute. Ed Rossbach, Lettuce Basket, 1982, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. Milton and Martha Dalitzky (M.2021.163.1), © Ed Rossbach, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.

This transformative exhibition has moved from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the National Gallery in DC. It explores how abstract art and woven textiles have intertwined over the past hundred years.This transformative exhibition explores how abstract art and woven textiles have intertwined over the past hundred years. In the 20th century, textiles have often been considered lesser—as applied art, women’s work, or domestic craft. Woven Histories challenges the hierarchies that often separate textiles from fine arts. Putting into dialogue some 160 works by more than 50 creators from across generations and continents, including Katherine Westphal, Dorothy Gill Barnes, and Ed Rossbach, this exhibition explores the contributions of weaving and related techniques to abstraction, modernism’s preeminent art form.  The book that accompanies the exhibition, Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction, can be found on our website.


Art Out and About: Exhibitions Here and Abroad

It’s a fall full of cultural attractions — across the US and abroad. Hope you can take in one or two!

Tamiko Kawata’s Self Portrait, 1996 and Vertical Wave, 1986

Tamiko Kawata: Beyond Edge, Beyond Surface
November 1- 28, 2023
Opening Reception November 1 6-8 p.m.
Pollock Gallery
Meadows School of the Arts
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas 
https://calendar.smu.edu/site/meadows/event/tamiko-kawata-beyond-edge-beyond-surface–opening-reception/

The artist will create an onsite installation on October 29 – 30th

Weaving at Black Mountain College:
Anni Albers,Trude Guermonprez, and Their Students
through January 6, 2023
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Asheville, NC
https://www.blackmountaincollege.org/weaving/

Weaving at Black Mountain College Installation. photo by BMCM+AC staff featuring The Weaver, painted on the weaving studio door by Faith Murray Britton in 1942.

Weaving at Black Mountain College: Anni Albers,Trude Guermonprez, and Their Students will be the first exhibition devoted to textile practices at Black Mountain College (BMC). Celebrating 90 years since the college’s founding, the exhibition will reveal how weaving was a more significant part of BMC’s legendary art and design curriculum than previously assumed.

BMC’s weaving program was started in 1934 by Anni Albers and lasted until the College closed in 1956. About 10% of all Black Mountain College students took at least one class in weaving. Despite Albers’s elevated reputation, the persistent treatment of textile practices as women’s work or handicraft has often led to the discipline being ignored or underrepresented in previous scholarship and exhibitions about the College; this exhibition brings that work into the spotlight at last. The exhibition will also feature work by selected contemporary artists whose work connects to the legacies of the BMC weavers: Kay Sekimachi, Jen Bervin, Porfirio Gutiérrez, Susie Taylor, and Bana Haffar. They’ve produced a catalog for the exhibition, too, that will be available October 31st. 

Folding Silences
through November 9, 2023
D21 Art Projects
Paeo Las Palmas
Providencia, Chile
https://www.d21virtual.cl/2023/09/20/comunicado-plegando-silencios-de-carolina-yrarrazaval/

Installation shot, Folding Silences exhibition. Photo by Jorge Brantmayer.

Through November 9th, the exhibition Plegando Silencios by international artist Carolina Yrarrázaval can be visited at gallery D21. The exhibition consists of a series of 12 tapestries that the artist has worked on in recent years experimenting with materials of plant origin, mainly with coconut fiber, which is intervened to obtain suggestive reliefs, textures, and transparencies that demand a new look at the artist’s work. The creative act of dyeing, folding, and incorporating raw material is transformed into the initial structure of a textile work that s, the gallery says, “seduces and incites the search for new sensations.”

Woven Histories: textiles and modern abstraction
through January 21, 2024
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA
https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/woven-histories-textiles-and-modern-abstraction

Ed Rossbach, Damask Waterfall, 1977, LongHouse Reserve, © Ed Rossbach, photo © Charles Benton, courtesy The Artist’s Institute. Ed Rossbach, Lettuce Basket, 1982, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. Milton and Martha Dalitzky (M.2021.163.1), © Ed Rossbach, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.

Woven Histories sheds light on a robust, if over-looked, strand in art history’s modernist narratives by tracing how, when, and why abstract art intersected with woven textiles (and such pre-loom technologies as basketry, knotting, and netting) over the past century. Included are 150 works by an international and transhistorical roster of artists that includes Ed RossbachKatherine Westphal, Anni Albers, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Kay SekimachiLenore Tawney, and Sheila Hicks. The exhibition reveals how shifting relations among abstract art, fashion, design, and craft shaped recurrent aesthetic, cultural, and socio-political forces, as they, in turn, were impacted by modernist art forms. It is accompanied by a book of essays and images, that can be purchased at browngrotta.com.

Takaezu & Tawney: An Artist is a Poet
through March 25, 2024
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Bentonville, AK
https://crystalbridges.org/calendar/toshiko-takaezu-lenore-tawney/

Portrait of Lenore Tawney and Toshiko Takaezu at browngrotta arts’ exhibition Lenore Tawney: celebrating five decades of work, 2000. Photo by Tom Grotta

Takaezu & Tawney: An Artist is a Poet debuts 12 new acquisitions to the Crystal Bridges collection that tell the story of a remarkable friendship between Toshiko Takaezu and Lenore Tawney. Curated by Windgate Curator of Craft Jen Padgett, the exhibition highlights how these two women shaped craft history in the US by expanding and redefining the possibilities of their preferred mediums: Takaezu in ceramics, Tawney in weaving. Takaezu and Tawney had a close relationship for decades, from 1957 until Tawney’s death in 2007. From 1977 to 1981, Tawney lived at Takaezu’s Quakertown, New Jersey, home and the two shared studio space.

Tartan
through January 14, 2024
Victoria & Albert Museum
London, UK
https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/whatson/exhibitions/tartan

Louise Gray 2011. For her iconic collection ‘Up Your Look’, photo by Michael McGurk

If you are a fan of tartan (as we are), the V&A’s exhibition is for you. Tartan offers a thrilling view of over 300 mesmerizing objects showcasing tartan’s timeless appeal and rebellious spirit across fashion, architecture, art and design. See tartan worn by Bonnie Prince Charlie, a Scottish soldier’s unwashed kilt from the trenches of WWI, and the Bay City Rollers trousers handmade by a lifelong fan.

And there is always our Artsy Viewing Room that you can visit without leaving home: Glen Kaufman: Retrospective 1980 – 2010.

Enjoy!


Save the Date! Spring Art in the Barn at bga April 29 – May 7, 2023

29ddm Mourning Station #4, Dominic Di Mare, hawthorn, handmade paper, silk, bone, bird’s egg, feathers, gold and wood beads, 13″ x 7″ x 7″, 1981. Photo by Tom Grotta

For Spring 2023, browngrotta arts is pleased to announce a wide-ranging exhibition of work by noted artists from around the world. Acclaim! Work by Award-Winning International Artists (April 29 – May 7) will highlight mixed media, fiber sculpture and contemporary textile artists artists creating and advancing the field of fiber arts now and throughout the last six decades, including Sheila Hicks, Dominic Di Mare, Kay Sekimachi, Jiro Yonezawa, Carolina Yrarrázaval and Ed Rossbach.

5pco Microgauze 84, Peter Collingwood, Warp: Black and natural linen; Weft: natural linen, 72″ x 8.375″ x .125″, 1970. Photo by Tom Grotta

Awards by the dozen
The nearly 50 artists in Acclaim! Work by Award-Winning International Artists, have each achieved formal art acknowledgement in the form of an award or medal or selective membership. In the US, that may mean the award of a Gold Medal from the American Craft Council — 10 of the artists in Acclaim! belong to that group. In Canada, it means membership in the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, which three of our artists have achieved. The late masterweaver Peter Collingwood received an OBE, Order of the British Empire. Yeonsoon Chang of Korea was selected Artist of the Year by the Contemporary Art Museum in Seoul. In France, Simone Pheulpin was awarded the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris. Grethe Sørensen of Denmark and Agneta Hobin of Finland received the Nordic Award in Textiles. Sheila Hicks of the US,  was awarded the French Legion of Honor and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center; Helena Hernmarck received the American Institute of Architects, Craftsmanship Medal and the Prins Eugen Medal conferred by the King of Sweden for “outstanding artistic achievement.”

26yc The Path which leads to the center II, Yeonsoon, Chang, teflon mesh, pure gold leaf, eco resin, 25″ x 50″ x 6″, 2022. Photo by Tom Grotta

Results of recognition
Receiving an award can provide important affirmation for an artist. “There are no other large prizes in the UK for artists working in this medium,” says Jo Barker, winner of the Cordis Prize. “So what winning mostly felt like to me was a real validation of the career that I’ve had so far.” Such recognition can influence the direction of an artist’s work. Lia Cook’s Gold Medal from the American Craft Council provided her support for her process — particularly, she says, for “my continued interest in following the unexpected.” Once selected as Artist of the Year by the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea, Yeonsoon Chang saw her textile work in the broader scope of contemporary art. “Objective recognition gave me courage to work and a sense of responsibility,” she says. For Chang, the award also meant expanded interest in her work from museums, galleries, and collectors. Winning Best Visual Arts Exhibition of the Year from the Circle of Critics of Art in Chile was a recognition of 40 years of work  for Carolina Yrarrázaval  and a confirmation for all those who believed in her work, clients, galleries and museums. More importantly, Yrarrázaval says, it was the first time that textile art received this award in Chile, placing it on par with all disciplines in visual arts. “It was not only a recognition of my personal contribution,” she says, “but also to this discipline, which for a long time was seen as a minor art.”

25cy Deseos Ocultos, Carolina Yrarrazaval, jute, linen, paper and raffia, 60.5″ x 30.5″ x 1″, 2023. Photo by Tom Grotta

Art undeterred
After some years of being overlooked and undervalued, contemporary textile art has finally been embraced (again) in the last several years by a wider world of museums and galleries. The current focus on artists working in fiber finds complex, thoughtful and accomplished work – some produced today and some in years when gallery and museum attention was slight. “What may appear to be an explosion of textile producers, from a historical perspective, is an explosion of interest and awareness of a tradition that has always been important, deep and rich,” Adam Levine, director of the Toledo Museum of Art told Art News last year. (Katya Kazakina, The Art Detective: Textile Artists Are Back in the Public Spotlight in Museums and Galleries. Art Collectors? They’re Still Catching Up, February 4, 2022). in other words, even when out of popular favor, fiber artists were undeterred, continuing to create exceptional work.

A through line — then and now
The work in Acclaim! creates a through line from the movement’s early days to its current creative explosion, highlighting the importance of persistence and the benefits of recognition along the way. Fiber art’s revival in museums, galleries and with collectors is built upon the dedication and extraordinary talent of artists like those featured in Acclaim!

Join us next month
browngrotta arts
276 Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897

Artist Reception and Opening: April 29, from 11am to 6 pm

Remaining Days
Sunday, April 30th: 11AM to 6 PM (40 visitors/ hour)

Monday, May 1st – Saturday, May 6th: 10AM to 5PM (40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, May 7th: 11AM to 6PM [Final Day] (40 visitors/ hour)

Safety protocols 
Eventbrite reservations strongly encouraged • No narrow heels please (barn floors)

Reserve a spot here: RESERVE


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.

browngrotta arts Returns to SOFA Chicago, November 5-8th

627mr PapelionIidae, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette wool, steel, 54” x 54” x 16”, 2000

627mr PapelionIidae, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette
wool, steel, 54” x 54” x 16”, 2000

After a few-year hiatus, browngrotta arts will return to the Sculpture, Objects, and Functional Art Exposition at the Navy Pier in Chicago next month. We’ll be reprising our most recent exhibition, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, with different works for a number of artists, including Naoko Serino, Kay Sekimachi, Anda Klancic, Ritzi Jacobi, Randy Walker, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, Carolina Yrarrázaval and Lenore Tawney. Other artists whose work will be featured in browngrotta arts’ exhibit are Magdalena Abakanowicz, Adela Akers, Lia Cook, Sheila Hicks, Masakazu Kobayashi, Naomi Kobayashi, Luba Krejci, Jolanta Owidzka, Ed Rossbach, Sherri Smith, Carole Fréve, Susie Gillespie, Stéphanie Jacques, Tim Johnson, Marianne Kemp, Federica Luzzi, Rachel Max, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, Michael Radyk and Gizella K Warburton. SOFA will publish a related essay, Fiber Art Pioneers: Pushing the Pliable Plane by Jo Ann C. Stabb,
on the origins of the contemporary fiber movement.

1cy AZUL Y NEGR Carolina Yrarrázaval rayon, cotton 116" x 40.5”, 2003

1cy AZUL Y NEGR
Carolina Yrarrázaval
rayon, cotton
116″ x 40.5”, 2003

Now in its 22nd year, SOFA CHICAGO is a must-attend art fair, attracting more than 36,000 collectors, museum groups, curators and art patrons to view museum-quality works of art from 70+ international galleries. After a nationwide competition, SOFA CHICAGO recently placed #7 in the USA Today Reader’s Choice 10 Best Art Events.New this year, SOFA CHICAGO will unveil a revamped floorplan created by Chicago architects Cheryl Noel and Ravi Ricker of Wrap Architecture. The re-envisioned design will create a more open and cohesive show layout, allowing visitors to explore the fair in a more engaging way. Changes include a new, centrally located main entrance where browngrotta arts’ booth, 921, will be located. Cheryl Noel of Wrap Architecture adds, “The most effective urban contexts contain distinct places within the larger space, corridors with visual interest and clear paths with fluid circulation. We believe this new floorplan will capture the spirit of the art and be an expression of the work itself, exploring form and materiality, with the same level of design rigor applied.”

1rw SAW PIECE NO.4 (AUTUMN) Randy Walker, salvaged bucksaw, steel rod, nylon thread 42" x 96" x 26", 2006, Photo by Tom Grotta

1rw SAW PIECE NO.4 (AUTUMN)
Randy Walker, salvaged bucksaw, steel rod, nylon thread
42″ x 96″ x 26″, 2006, Photo by Tom Grotta

On Friday, November 6th, from 12:30 to 2:30, Michael Radyk will be at browngrotta arts’ booth to discuss his Swan Point series, Jacquard textiles created to be cut and manipulated after being taken off the loom, in which Radyk was trying “to bring the artist’s hand back into the industrial Jacquard weaving process.” SOFA opens with a VIP preview on Thursday, November 5th, from 5 pm to 9 pm. The hours for Friday and Saturday are 11 am – 7 pm; and 12 to 6 pm on Sunday the 8th. SOFA is in the Festival Hall, Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60611. Hope to see you there!


Influence and Evolution: The Catalog is Now Available

Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture...then and now catalog cover artwork by Federica Luzzi

Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now
catalog cover artwork by Federica Luzzi

Our Spring exhibition Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now explored the impact 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. In Influence and Evolution, we paired early works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lia Cook, Kay Sekimachi and Françoise Grossen — artists who rebelled against tapestry tradition — with works from a later generation of artists, all born in 1960 or after. Fiber sculpture continues to evolve through this second group of artists, including María Eugenia Dávila and Eduardo Portillo of Venezuela,

Influencers Title page  Influence and Evolution catalog

Influencers Title page Influence and Evolution catalog

Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium, Naoko Serino of Japan and Anda Klancic of Slovenia. In our 160-page color exhibition catalog, Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, you can see the works in the exhibition. Each artist is represented by at least two works; images of details are included so that readers can experience the works fully. The catalog also includes an insightful essay, Bundling Time and Avant-garde Threadwork by Ezra Shales, PhD, Associate Professor, History of Art Department, Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Influence and EvolutionShales write in his essay, “poses rich comparisons and asks the mind to sustain historical linkages. We feel the uneven texture of time, luring us into a multiplicity of artistic pasts and an open road of varied fibrous futures. An emphasis on plural possibilities makes this exhibition quite distinct from a tidy biblical story of genesis or masters and apprentices. We witness multiple intra-generational passing of batons as well as many artists changing horses midstream, as well they often do.” The three works in Influence and Evolution by Adela Akers that traverse five decades provide a fascinating view of the artistic progression Shales refers to. The curvilinear, draped forms of Summer and Winter 

Influence and Evolution, Adela Akers spread

(1977; restored 2014), he notes, resemble “both a ruffle and a row of ancient mourners.” Midnight, from 1988, by contrast, is hard-edged, “a monumental window into an alternative architectural space.” And Akers recent work, Silver Waves, completed in 2014, is “an intimate surface with linear imagery” whose horsehair bristles “almost invite a caress if they did not seem to be a defensive adaptation.” Juxtapose Silver Waves with American Michael Radyk’s Swan Point (2013) and and Dutch artist, Marianne Kemp’s Red Fody (2013) that also features horsehair,  and catalog readers are likely to understand  Shales’ query: should we categorize woven forms as a logical temporal narrative or inevitable sequence of linked inquiries? Shales is a guest curator of Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and

Influence and Evolution, Sheila Hicks spread

Influence and Evolution, Sheila Hicks spread

Today currently at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York which features more than 100 works, by a core cadre of women—including Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks, Karen Karnes, Dorothy Liebes, Toshiko Takaezu, Lenore Tawney, and Eva Zeisel—who had impact and influence as designers, artists and teachers, using materials in innovative ways. To order a copy of Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and nowour 43rd catalog, visit browngrotta.com.

80.89

Influence and Evolution, Stéphanie Jacques spread


The Year in Books: Art, Life and Learning — Part 2

RichardDiebenkornAs always, art books are well represented among this year’s recommendations from browngrotta arts-affiliated artists, and at least one of the volumes offers life lessons, too.  Adela Akers writes that “the best books so far this year are the Diebenkorn catalogs for the exhibition at the de Young Museum,” which includes, Richard Diebenkorn, The Berkeley Years, 1953- 1966. Adela also recommends The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper 1949-1992, both as “good reads that include wonderful reproductions.” 39b.SHEILA.HICKSThe comprehensive volume,  Kyoko_Kumai_bookWorks of Kyoko Kumai Metallic Textile Art, published earlier this year tops Kyoko Kumai’s list. The book’s text appears in English and Japanese and it includes a digital version of the book on cd. Naomi Kobayashi recommends  Sheila Hicks for its content and beautiful binding.  The.Hare.with.Amber.EyesKay Sekimachi listed The Hare with Amber Eyes. In it, Edmund de Waal,  a potter and curator of ceramics at the Victoria & Albert Museum, describes the experiences of his family, the Ephrussis, and explores the family’s large collection of Japanese netsuke, tiny hand-carved figures including a hare with amber eyes. La_Biennale_di_VeneziaIn Heidrun Schimmel’s view, the 55. Esposizione Internazionale d´Arte  was one of the best Biennials in Venice ever, and she enthused about the accompanying catalog, The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th International Art Exhibition: La Biennale di Venezia. Its title was chosen by the director for the 55th Biennale as a reference to the 1955 design registered with the US Patent office by the self-taught artist Marino Auriti, depicting an imaginary museum that was meant to house all worldly knowledge and human discoveries, from the wheel to the satellite.  On the opposite side of Canale Grande writes Heidrun, “there is an important exhibition, Prima Materia, Punta della Dogana, Venezia, Dorsoduro, Pinault Collection, especially for artists who are working with material as matter. This exhibition continues through 2014, and is accompanied by a very good catalog, Caroline Bourgeois and Michael GovanPrima Materia,  edited by curators Caroline Bourgeois and Michael Govan.”  Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information by Manuel LimRandy Walker  read Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information by Manuel Lima this year.  “To me, network diagrams and their many variations are highly suggestive of fibrous connections. I am experimenting with the idea of my lines as connectors of different types of information.  The information can generate the connections. The book played an inspirational role in a new public art project I working on with Roosevelt High School here in Minneapolis to explore the network diagram in three dimensions. Here’s a link to the Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the project: Connections Gallery.”

Scrape_Willow_Until_It_Sings_Words_Work_Julia_ParkerAnd From Gyöngy Laky, a recommendation for a book and a for approaching life.  “Two artists I admire enormously, Julia Parker and Deborah Valoma, created, Scrape the Willow Until It Sings, The Words and Work of Julia Parker, one of the best books on basketry, life and art I have ever read. It was published this year by an exceptional book publisher, Heyday, Berkeley, California. Native American basketry, especially the work of indigenous people in California, has been, and continues to be, a major inspiration to me and my creative life. Julia Parker and the author Deborah ValomaValoma writes in the introduction, Julia Parker and other traditional practitioners have much to teach those of us in the academy. I would add, and to those not in the academy, as well. The vast personal experiences, broad and deep scope of historical evidence and creative wisdom that these two thoughtful women have brought together in this book is a gift to us all. Near the end I found a something that Parker said that feels like a guide: In our story – in our Indian way – we stop, look, and listen.  Stop. Think about yourself.  Rest yourself.  Rest your eyes, your hands.  Rest your body.  Look.  Look about you. Look at the smallest insect.  Look at the tallest trees, which have given us shelter and food.  And we listen.  Listen to the sound of the water flowing.  Listen to your elders, your teachers.  Listen to your grandmother, your grandfather, your parents.  And above all, listen to yourself.


Spinning Straw Into Gold: ACC Gold Medalists and Fellows at SOFA Chicago and Online

5R CEDAR EXPORT BUNDLE. Ed Rossbach, plaited cedar bark from Washington state with heat transfer drawing, waxed linen, rayon and rags, 5.5″ x 11″ x 9″, 1993, ©Tom Grotta, 2011

This year at SOFA Chicago (November 4-6) the American Craft Council (ACC) will recognize 28 artists who have been awarded an ACC Gold Medal between 1994 and 2010 in a display at the Navy Pier, curated by Michael Monroe. The ACC awards recognize those who have demonstrated outstanding artistic achievement and leadership in the field for 25 years or more.  Since 1981, the ACC has selected just under four dozen artists working in Fiber to receive a Gold Medal for consummate craftsmanship and/or join its College of Fellows.  We’ve mounted an online exhibition of 21 these artists on our website, browngrotta.com, under Awards. Many of these artists are featured in the catalogs published by browngrotta arts and in the videos and other publications we offer. http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/catalogs.php Works by Fellows and Medalists  Adela Akers, Dorothy Gill Barnes , Lia Cook, Helena Hernmarck, Gyöngy Laky, John McQueen and Norma Minkowitz are featured in our current exhibition,  Stimulus: art and its inceptionEnjoy the show.

 


All Hicks/All the Time — Check Out the Sheila Hicks Wiki at the Mint Museum

Colored Alphabet by Sheila Hicks 1982

The third incarnation of Sheila Hicks’ retrospective opened at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC on October 1st and runs through January 29, 2012. In its previous two venues, Sheila Hicks: Fifty Years, was well reviewed and the book that accompanies the exhibition contains beautiful photos. http://www.
browngrotta.com
/Pages/b39.php  The Mint’s Wiki on Hicks, however,  raises the bar — adding another component to the retrospective and extending the exhibition’s impact beyond it’s closing date. http://mintwiki.
pbworks.com/w/page/
33119575/Sheila Hicks:
Fifty Years
  Extraordinarily comprehensive, the wiki provides considerable detail about Hicks’ early education and career and features links to everything from a 1971 review in Design Journal of her exhibition of reinvented rugs in Rabat, Morocco to a video tour of her work as an “art treasure” of Nebraska and her 2004 Oral history interview with the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian.  Wandering from link to link offers an art textile historical and world tour (Macchu Picchu to King Saud University to Cour de Rohan, Paris; the Ford Foundation to the Fuji CIty Cultural Center to Target Headquarters). Be sure to take a look.

Sheila Hicks: Fifty Years
Mint Museum Uptown at the Levine Center for the Arts
500 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-337-2000; http://www.mintmuseum.org/upcoming-exhibition.html


Summer Stock: Artist Lectures, Classes and Workshops

Here’s a list of opportunities to connect this summer with artists that browngrotta arts promotes:

Dorothy Gill Barnes in her studio

Dorothy Gill Barnes
May 30th to June 11th

From Nature: Textiles/Sculpture, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina ;
Using mostly materials gathered from the Penland landscape, students in this class will construct vessels or sculptures that honor nature using a variety of techniques: carpentry, sewing, weaving—whatever is appropriate to local materials and suitable to individual inspiration. We will work with respectfully harvested heavy and delicate barks, grasses, wood, vines, and roots.

Dail Behennah at COLLECT 2009

Dail Behennah
May 30th to June 11th

Line, Light, and Shadow: An Approach to Basketry Construction, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine;
The shadows that baskets cast and contain are often complex and beautiful and you will be encouraged to consider this aspect of the structures that you make. Ways of joining hard and soft materials will be demonstrated and, if necessary, invented in order that 2D and 3D forms can be constructed. Demonstrations, exercises, and discussions will provide inspiration, which will enable you to develop your own ideas. Participants will be encouraged to make samples, 3D sketches, and a more considered piece of work.

Nancy Moore Bess holding Glacial Planes at SOFA NY 2010

Nancy Moore Bess
May 16th to 22nd

Japanese-Inspired Baskets, Snow Farm, Williamsburg, Massachusetts;

Some traditional Japanese Baskets require only fifteen minutes and a smile. Others can consume the length of an entire workshop, no matter its length. Each example in this workshop can lead to hours of experimentation and dozens of variations.

July 23rd

Wrapping Flowers — Japanese Style , Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
In Japan, presentation influences so much – food, flowers, tea. But Japan is not the only culture this worksop will be inspired by. Their are wonderful exsiting flower arrangement traditions from many cultures and this worksop will draw from them.

August 6th to 10th

Pillow Baskets: Screen and Paper, Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton, New Jersey; Contact: Jennifer Brooks; www.petersvalley.org
A wide variety of hardware store screening can be cut, folded, woven and stitched into lovely vessels. A covering of bits of handmade papers creates a luminescent skin. Years of travel to Japan and teaching has exposed Nancy Moore Bess to a wide range of vessel forms. Her passion for Japanese Packaging influences all that she creates.

Green Sculptures by Ceca Georgieva

Ceca Georgieva
Weekends from May to September

Green Summer Workshops, Ceca’s garden in the Vitosha Mountains near Sofia, Bulgaria. Email us at art@browngrotta.com if you’d like more details. The workshops will focus on dyeing with natural dyes using old traditional Bulgarian recipes.

Sheila Hicks Reflected in her Deck Weaving

Sheila Hicks
July 2010; exact date to be determined

Global Intrigue II 4th International Textile and Fibre Triennial , Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia
The exhibition opens July 9th at the Arsenals Exhibition Hall and runs through September 5, 2010. Sheila Hicks, one of two specially invited artists, will speak and exhibit work.

Lewis Knauss in Front of RETURNING GRASSES

Lewis Knauss
August 10th to August 14th

Fiber and Handmade Paper into Sculpture (and Artist in Residence) , The Bascom, P.O. Box 766, Highlands, North Carolina 28741

Mia Olsson TRACES 6 RELIEF Detail

Mia Olsson
June 28th to July 4th

Dyeing with Plants , Sätergläntan, College of Handicrafts, Knippbodarna 119, SE-793 4, Insjön, Sweden

August 9th to 13th

Free Embroidery, Black on white, White on black, White on white…, Sätergläntan, College of Handicrafts, Knippbodarna 119, SE-793 4, Insjön, Sweden

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Ceca Georgieva, Dail Behennah, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Lewis Knauss, Nancy Moore Bess, Sheila Hicks, Artist Lectures, Artist Workshops, Artist Classes