Tag: Włodzimierz Cygan

Artist Focus: Włodzimierz Cygan

Detail: Cycle Tapping: May, Włodzimierz Cygan, viscose, linen and fiber optic, 117” x 34”, 2014

In a recent catalog of Włodzimierz Cygan’s work, Dariusz Lesnikowski, writes that commenting on Cygan’s work is both easy and hard. “Easy because his works fascinate, stimulate imagination, and trigger a variety of associations and inspirations.” Difficult because his work has been analyzed often and “[h]e is one of those artists who have significantly reshape the art of weaving, daring to overcome the traditionally guaranteed limitations of his field of art.” According to Lesnikowski, fibers in Cygan’s work are constantly used in new ways, meeting the warp in successive places for interlacing and each time providing unpredictable surprises. (“Woven on the bright side of imagination,” Dariusz Lesnikowski, Włodzimierz Cygan: Unique Fiber, Gallery Amcor, Lodz, Poland, 2020).

Traps, wool, viscose, linen, sisal, fiber optic installation 92” x 106”, 2019

Cygan’s work has been exhibited in Europe, Asia and Latin America, including the Jean Lurcat Museum in France, the Kyoto Art Center in Japan and the National Gallery in San Jose, Costa Rica. He was awarded a Bronze Medal at the 6th International Fiber Art BiennialFrom Lausanne to Beijingand the Grand Prix, 12th International Triennial of Tapestry. Cygan is reknown for his textile innovations. “When trying to determine why the means of artistic expression in tapestry was becoming archaic,” he has written, “I realized that one of the reasons might have to do with the custom of treating the threads of the weft as the chief medium of the visual message. . . . These observations led me to wonder how the artistic language of textiles might benefit from a warp whose strands would not be parallel and flat but convergent, curved or three dimensional … .” As a result of these explorations, in some of Cygan’s works, the warp changes direction, enabling the weaving of circles or arcs. 

Detail of Miracle, Włodzimierz Cygan linen, wool and sisal, 56.5” x 47” x 6.5” 2006

For more than 10 years, Cygan has been teaching at Gdańsk Academy and Architecture of Textiles’ Institute at Łódź Technical University. Miracle, which won the Bronze medal at the 6th From Lausanne to Beijing, features a hypnotic curve, that draws the viewer into the heart of the work. “The artist shapes the rhythm of the composition, consciously interfering with the structure of the fabric. Like a calligrapher, he builds the form by weaving the thread of the weft through the framework of the warp,” writes Lesnikowski. “Regularity (the general rule) confronts irregularity (modifications) of the warp.”

Blue/Green Weaving, Włodzimierz Cygan, polyester, linen, sisal, fiber optic, 41” x 41” x 15”, 2018

In 2004, during the 11th Lodz Triennial, Cygan met Danish artist Astrid Krogh

who worked with optical fibers. She gave a lecture for Cygan’s students and provided him the optical material that was not available in

Poland at the time and gave him another opportunity to experiment. He created a work entitled, Dear Astrid as a thank you. He has created several works since using optical fibers, including Blue/Green Weaving in 2018 and Traps in 2019. You can see more examples of Cygan’s work on our website: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/cygan.php.


Adaptation Opens Saturday at browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT

from left to right works by Paul Furneaux and Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila. Photo by Tom Grotta

This Saturday at 11 am, our Spring Art in the Barn exhibition: Adaption: Artists Respond to Change opens to the public. We can’t describe it better than ArteMorbida: the Textile Arts Magazine did. “This project is born from the reflection on how the world of art and its protagonists, the artists, had to rethink and redesign their action, when the pandemic, significantly affecting the global lifestyle, compelled everyone to a forced and repeated isolation,” the magazine wrote. “But the need to adapt their responses to change, generated by the complicated health situation, was only the beginning of a broader reflection that led the two curators [Rhonda Brown and Tom Grotta] to note that change itself is actually an evolutionary process immanent in human history, generative, full of opportunities and unexpected turns.”

Tapestries by Carolina Yrarrázaval. Photo by Tom Grotta

The 48 artists in Adaptation pose, and in some cases answer, a series of interesting questions about art. Does it offer solutions for dealing with daily stress? For facing larger social and global issues? How do artists use art to respond to unanticipated circumstances in their own lives. The work in the exhibition offers a wide variety of responses to these questions.

Several of artists wrote eloquently for the Adaptation catalog about how art has helped them manage the stress and upheaval of the past year. Ideally, for those who attend Adaptation: Artist’s Respond to Change that calming effect will be evident and even shared. 

pictured: works by Lawrence LaBianca, Włodzimierz Cygan, Chiyoko Tanaka, Gizella Warburton, Norma Minkowitz, Polly Adams Sutton

Wlodzimierz Cygan of Poland says the time of the pandemic allowed him to draw his attention to a “slightly different face of Everyday, the less grey one.”  He found that, “slowing down the pace of life, sometimes even eliminating some routine activities, helps one to taste each day separately and in the context of other days. Time seems to pass slower, I can stay focused longer.” Life has changed in Germany, Irina Kolesnikova told us. Before the pandemic, “we would travel a lot, often for a short time, a few days or a weekend. We got used to seeing the variety in the world, to visit different cities, to go to museums, to get acquainted with contemporary art. Suddenly, that life was put on pause, our social circle reduced to the size of our immediate environment.” Kolesnikova felt a need to dive deeper into herself and create a new series of small works, Letters from Quarantine, “to just work and enjoy the craft.”

clockwise: Adela Akers, Irina Kolesnikova, Ane Henriksen, Nancy Koenigsberg, Laura Foster Nicholson, Lawrence LaBianca, Gizella Warburton. Photo by Tom Grotta

Other artists were moved to create art that concerned larger social issues. Karyl Sisson’s Fractured III, makes use of vintage paper drinking straws to graphically represent in red and white the discontents seen and felt in America as the country grappled with police violence against Black Americans, polarized election politics and larger issues like climate change and the environment.  Climate change and the danger of floods and fire were reflected in the work of the several artists in Adaptation. New Yorker Nancy Koenigsberg created Approaching Storm, adding an even greater density of the grey, coated-copper wire that she generally works with to build a darkened image that serves as a warning for the gravity of current events.

High water appears in Laura Foster Nicholson’s view of Le Procuratie, which envisions a flooded Venice, metallic threads illustrating the rising waters. Works by Adela Akers and Neha Puri Dhir were influenced by wildfires in California and India, respectively.

left to right: Karyl Sisson, Jennifer Falck Linssen, Sue Lawty, Jin -Sook So

Still other artists found way to use their art as a meditative practice in order to face their sense of personal and public dislocation. For Jennifer Falck Linssen, the solution was to turn off all media, go outside and find inspiration in morning and evening light. For Paul Furneaux, initially cut off from his studio, the garden became an obsession as he undertook an extensive renovation.  Returning to art making, the spring colors, greens and yellows he had seen while gardening, created a new palette for his work.  Feeling the need for complete change, Hisako Sekijima turned away from basket finishing. Instead, immersing herself in the underlying processes of plaiting. Her explorations became both meditative and a process that led to new shapes. 

Experience these artists’ reflections on change in person. Schedule your appointment for Adaptation: Artists Respond to Change here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/adaptation-artists-respond-to-change-tickets-148974728423

The full-color catalog(our 51st) for Adaptation: Artists Respond to Change is available Friday May 7th:

http://store.browngrotta.com/adaption-artist-respond-to-change/


Art Assembled: New This Week in December

Anyone else happy to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to new, brighter beginnings? We know we are.

The last month in 2020 certainly kept us busy at browngrotta arts. From introducing new art, to having our Volume 50 exhibition come to a close – there hasn’t been a dull moment for us.

In this blog, we’re charting the new art we’ve introduced to the public in the month of December, including works from: Carolina Yrarrázaval, Włodzimierz Cygan, and Caroline Bartlett.

Detail of Tapíz “El abrazo" by Carolina Yrarrázaval
Detail of Tapíz “El abrazo” by Carolina Yrarrázaval, 2017.
Photo by Tom Grotta.

Carolina Yrarrázaval is a Chilean artist known for her impeccable textile work. When asked about her work and her aspirations, Yrarrázaval said:

“Throughout my entire artistic career I have devoted myself to investigating traditional textile techniques from diverse cultures, especially Pre-Columbian techniques, trying to adapt them to my creative needs,” said Carolina Yrarrázaval. “Abstraction has always been present as an aesthetic aim, informing my choice of materials, forms, textures and colors. The simple proportions are guided by an intuitive sense that avoids the use of mathematical formulas.”

Detail of Traps by Włodzimierz Cygan
Detail of Traps by Włodzimierz Cygan
wool, viscose, linen, sisal, fiber optic installation 92” x 106”, 2019

Włodzimierz Cygan is a Polish artist who’s widely known for his intriguing and detailed weaving and tapestry work. Growing up, Cygan lived in a city called Łódź, which has very strong textile traditions that inspired him to create his own works of art.  “I use optical fiber mono-filament with increased light transmission for warp and weft as a complementary material for the textile structure, “ says the artist. In doing so, he is able to connect two contradictions: durability of textile materials and a constant change of the light. 

Detail of Meeting Point by Caroline Bartlett
Detail of Meeting Point by Caroline Bartlett
Mono-printed, stitched and manipulated linen, cotton threads, 60” x 16.5,” 2020.
Photo by Tom Grotta.

Caroline Bartlett is a UK artist who’s widely known for her textile work – which provides the means and materials to process and articulate ideas in relation to content in reference to historical, social and cultural associations. These have significance in relation to touch and their ability to trigger memory in Bartlett’s work, imprinting, erasing and reworking, stitching, folding and unfolding become defining characteristics.

At browngrotta arts, we’re excited to begin the new year and to continue to bring forth art that inspires and incites emotion. We’re determined to continue to bring light into the world with art that connects us all as one. Keep your eye out for all the exciting things to come!


Art Assembled: New This Week February

Structural Discussion VI, Hisako Sekijima cedar and walnut, 10.75” x 14.5” x 7”, 2016. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Winter is slowly but surely coming to a close (finally!) and the sunny months are not too far ahead. Also rapidly approaching is this year’s Art in the Barn exhibition: Art + Identity: An International View, which seeks to take an expansive look at identity and art in a global context.

We started February’s “New This Week” series with Structural Discussion VI by Hisako Sekijima. Woven using cedar and walnut, Sekijima’s Structural Discussion VI’s explores structure, form and shape. Though Sekijima’s baskets were not created to function in a utilitarian manner she feels that they have been a useful tool in exploring herself. Unlike traditional basketmakers, Sekijima has chosen to not work with one specific plant throughout her life, but instead work with various plant materials. Her openness to other plant materials has allowed her to explore and experiment with each material’s sculptural possibilities.

Material Pleasures: Artemisia, Lia Cook, acrylic on linen, dyes on rayon; woven, 53” x 77” 1993. Photo by Tom Grotta.

The sensual nature of Lia Cook’s Material Pleasures: Artemisia is sure to immediately captivate the viewer. Cook’s Material Pleasures series explores the “sensuality of the woven image” and the emotional response that comes with it. Cook has continued this exploration of sensuality and emotion in her current work, combining it with technology that measures and maps emotional responses.

Orchid, Marianne Kemp, horsehair, gold lures thread, wooden frame, 15” x 18.5” x 2”. Photo by Tom Grotta.

Next up was Marianne Kemp’s stitched and woven Orchid. Dyed red horsehair woven in between a delicate herringbone background brings light to Kemp’s supreme eye for detail. For Kemp weaving is a form of meditation. “It is the only time of day that I do one thing at the time and think (solely) about one thing,” Kemp explains. Weaving allows Kemp to give her brain a rest and explore her creative intuition.

Blue/Green Weaving, Włodzimierz Cygan, polyester, linen, sisal, fiber optic, 41” x 41” x 15”. Photo by Tom Grotta.

We concluded February with  Włodzimierz Cygan’s Blue/Green Weaving. The piece, which is designed with both textiles and fiber optics, resembles a peacock feather in daylight and slowly shifts shades in the dark. Cygan, a Polish artist, is an innovator in the field of fiber art, challenging the boundaries of the medium.


Still Crazy…30 Years: The Catalog

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog Cover Naoko Serino and Mary Yagi

Still Crazy…30 Years: The Catalog

It’s big! It’s beautiful (if we do say so ourselves –and we do)! The catalog for our 30th anniversary is now available on our new shopping cart. The catalog — our 46th volume — contains 196 pages (plus the cover), 186 color photographs of work by 83 artists, artist statements, biographies, details and installation shots.

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog

Naoko Serino Spread

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog

Michael Radyk Spread

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog

Lilla Kulka Spread

Still Crazy...30 Years: The Catalog

Jo Barker Spread

The essay, is by Janet Koplos, a longtime editor at Art in America magazine, a contributing editor to Fiberarts, and a guest editor of American Craft. She is the author of Contemporary Japanese Sculpture (Abbeville, 1990) and co-author of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). We have included a few sample spreads here. Each includes a full-page image of a work, a detail shot and an artist’s statement. There is additional artists’ biographical information in the back of the book. Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art can be purchased at www.browngrotta.com http://store.browngrotta.
com/still-crazy-after-all-these-years-30-years-in-art/.
Our shopping cart is mobile-device friendly and we now take PayPal.


SOFA Sneak Peek: Wlodzimierz Cygan’s Textile Fiber Optic Artwork

2-5wc Wlodzimierz Cygan, From the Cycle Tapping: March, May, April, June, 2014, viscose, linen and fiber optic 111.5” x 28”; 117” x 34”; 112” x 23”; 120” x 33”. Photo by Tom Grotta

2-5wc Wlodzimierz Cygan, From the Cycle Tapping: March, May, April, June, 2014, viscose, linen and fiber optic
111.5” x 28”; 117” x 34”; 112” x 23”; 120” x 33”. Photo by Tom Grotta

This November, browngrotta arts will feature four textiles of fiber optic monofilament by innovative Polish artist, Wlodzimierz Cygan, in its booth # 921 at SOFA Chicago 2016. The four works, titled March, April, May and June, are from the Cycle Tapping series. Works from this series have been shown in China in 2014 in the From Lausanne to Beijing Fiberart Biennial and at Asia-Europe III which opened this month at the Textile Museum in Krefeld, Germany then travels to the Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland and the Janina Monkute-Marks Museum in Kedainial, Lithuania. The works in Asia-Europe III are based on technical innovation and on diversity of material. Participating artists have experimented and perfected the technique of their choice. “I use optical fiber mono-filament with increased light transmission for warp and weft as a complementary material for the textile structure, “ says the artist. In doing so, he is able to connect two contradictions: durability of textile materials and a constant change of the light. The woven, flexible light in these works is constantly changing its intensity, “like the passing of time transformed by seasons which slowly and gently create vibrant poetic stories,” he says. “Shadows cast on the walls play an importnat role in planning the cracks, holes, irregular and uneven edges of my compositions.” Włodzimierz Cygan’s work has been exhibited in Europe and abroad, including the Jean Lurcat Museum in France, the Kyoto Art Center in Japan and the National Gallery in San Jose, Costa Rica. SOFA Chicago opens November 2nd and runs through November 6th at the Navy Pier. For more information visit: http://www.sofaexpo.com.


Artboom Artists Introduction: Gudrun Pagter and Włodzimierz Cygan

Włodzimierz Cygan and Gudrun Pagter tapestry details. Photos by Tom Grotta

Włodzimierz Cygan and Gudrun Pagter tapestry details. Photos by Tom Grotta

Among the 33 accomplished artists featured in Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid-Career, are two artists from Europe, Gudrun Pagter and Włodzimierz Cygan who have not shown with browngrotta arts before. She creates strong graphic imagery in her tapestries, which reference architecture, with narrow lines and changes in color fields. ” In my works” she explains, “I consistently probe and explore concrete artistic idioms. I am engaged in a constant process of exploring the picture plane through a highly disciplined structuring of geometrical form elements and lines and through a restricted color spectrum.” Pagter’s work has been exhibited worldwide, including at the Danish Museum of Decorative Arts, Copenhagen, the Central Museum in Lodz, Poland, at the 14th International Tapestry Triennial and in China, at the 5th and 6th Internaitonal Fiber Art Biennials, From Lausanne to Beijing, where she received a Silver Medal and an Excellence Award. Włodzimierz Cygan’s

Gudrun Pagter catalog spread from artboom Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid-Career

Gudrun Pagter catalog spread from artboom Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid-Career

work has also been exhibited in Europe and abroad, including the Jean Lurcat Museum in France, the Kyoto Art Center in Japan and the National Gallery in San Jose, Costa Rica. He was awarded a Bronze Medal at the 6th International Fiber Art Biennial, From Lausanne to Beijing and the Grand Prix,12th International Triennial of Tapestry. Cygan is reknown for his textile innovations. “When trying to determine why the means of artistic expression in tapestry was becoming archaic,” he has written, “I realised that one of the reasons might have to do with the custom of treating the threads of the weft as the chief medium of the visual message. . . . These observations led me to wonder how the artistic language of textiles might benefit from a warp whose strands would not be parallel and flat but convergent, curved or three dimensional. . . .” The result, in some of Cygan’s works, the warp changes direction, the strands enable the weaving of circles or arcs. For more than 10 years, Cygan has been teaching at Gdańsk Academy and Architecture of Textiles’ Institute at Łódź Technical University. Miracle, the work that the artist selected for Artboom, Miracle, which won the Bronze medal at the 6th From Lausanne to Beijing, features a hypnotic curve, that draws the viewer into the heart of the work. Artboom is open at browngrotta arts, 276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, Connecticut, for 10 days only. April 30th from 12-6 p.m.; May 1st to May 8th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. For more information, call: 203-834-0623. The 88-page, full color catalog, can be ordered at: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/c41.php.

Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid-Career Catalog cover

Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid-Career Catalog cover