In compiling works for our Spring 2023 exhibition, Acclaim! Work by Award-Winning International Artists, we gathered works from several decades. Many of those included were artists with longstanding careers. They were pioneers, active in the early days of the fiber movement and still innovating today. At browngrotta arts, we have always sought to exhibit artists who are willing to experiment — push boundaries, reinvent themselves and the medium. Acclaim! offered many fascinating examples of artists whose work transformed throughout their careers.
In some cases, like Dorothy Gill Barnes’ work, a logical progression from earlier to current work is apparent. Cherry Ys is a study that Barnes had created when more traditional weaving was a larger part of her process. Some 30 years later she created Willow with Log — weaving again, but this time with a material she has mastered — tree bark.
Dominic Di Mare is widely known for captivating sculptures of simple materials like carved hawthorn branches with delicate feathers, beads, paper, eggs, and horsehair. In Di Mare’s hands, these were transformed into intensely poetic and spiritual works which he made in the 79s. For Acclaim!, however, we were able to show Di Mare’s intriguing assemblages and a series of elegant weavings, The Mourners, that he had made in the 1960s.
The transition from early to later work was even more dramatic in the works included in Acclaim! by Warren Seelig. Five Panel #2 is a complex corduroy weaving from the 1970s. You’d be forgiven if you didn’t recognize, Small Double Ended, of metal and fiber, as a work by Seelig made nearly 25 years later.
There are few artists who have mastered as many bodies of work as Lia Cook. Acclaim! included Landform and Legs, pop-art-like weavings that Cook made in the 70s, shortly after completing a Master’s degree in 1973. Also exhibited was Presence/Absence: In the Folds, created two decades later. By that time, Cook was creating works on a Jacquard loom based upon photographs. In between, she had worked with painted strips of cloth to create fabric mosaics of sorts and since, she has been integrated EEG reports into her weavings.
You can see all the works in Acclaim! in our online exhibition on Artsy. You can hear more about the works by joining us for Art on the Rocks, an art talkthrough with spirits! on Zoom on June 9, 2023.