Tag: Zofia Butrymowicz

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


Influence and Evolution Update: The Influencers – Eastern Europe

Detail of Maria Laskiewicz, MASK, woo1, sisal ,wood sculpture, 72" x 53", 1968, photo by tom Grotta

Detail of Maria Laskiewicz, MASK, woo1, sisal ,wood sculpture, 72″ x 53″, 1968, photo by tom Grotta

A group of six influential artists from Eastern Europe, Maria Łaszkiewicz, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Luba Krejci, Ritzi Jacobi, Zofia Butrymowicz and Jolanta Owidzka will be among the 32 artists featured in Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now, at browngrotta arts in Wilton Connecticut. The oldest is Maria Łaszkiewicz of Poland, born in 1892 (died 1981). She encouraged a generation of textile artists, including

Magdalena Abakanowicz

5ma Montana del Fuego, Magdalena Abakanowicz, sisal
54” x 81”, 1986, photo by Tom Grotta

Magdalena Abakanowicz (born 1930). In the catalog essay for Influence and Evolution, Ezra Shales, PhD notes that even thought she was born in the 19th century, “…Laszkiewicz was probably less weighted down by the material traditions of fiber than we would expect – and more modern for her time than she might seem to us today. She speaks global folk idioms and traditions with ease.” Magdalena Abakanowicz, who worked in Laszkiewicz’s studio, is the most well-known artist of this group, as much for her monumental figures in bronze as for the enormous weavings she created in 1960s. In creating her rebellious Abakans works, “I did not want to relate to either tapestry or sculpture,” Abakanowicz has written. “Ultimately it is the total obliteration of the utilitarian function of tapestry that fascinates me.” Luba Krejci (1925-2005) of Czechoslovakia also forged a new direction, creating figures of thread by adapting needle and bobbin lace-making techniques to create “intake,” a technique of her own making. The figures in her work are not what one would encounter in American work according to critic Janet Koplos. They are, Koplos wrote in the New Examiner in 1970, “not organic, not playful, not color studies, not romantic. They share with Eastern European fiber art a somber mood, a predominance of dark colors, a look back to classic themes and

7rj Breeze, Ritzi Jacobi coconut fiber, sisal, cotton, 49” x 49” x 8”, 2000, photo by Tom Grotta

7rj Breeze, Ritzi Jacobi
coconut fiber, sisal, cotton, 49” x 49” x 8”, 2000, photo by Tom Grotta

characters, and a great drama.” The youngest of this renown group, Ritzi Jacobi (born 1941), originally of Romania participated in 11 of the prestigious Lausanne Biennials and is represented in Influence and Evolution by a newer work, created in 2000. The exhibition will also include works from the 1960s by Polish artists Zofia Butrymowicz (1904 -1987) and Jolanta Owidzka (born 1927), a colleague of Abakanowicz in Warsaw. Influence and Evolution also features 15 artists, born after 1960, who approach materials, form and technique with a sense of exploration similar to that which characterized the 60s and 70s. The exhibition opens at 3pm on April 24th. The Artists Reception and Opening is on Saturday April 25th, 1pm to 6pm. The hours for Sunday April 27th through May 3rd are 10am to 5pm. To make an appointment earlier or later, call: 203-834-0623.

4jo. Jolanta Owidska MARGARET VIII, flax, sisal and wool, 57" x 39", 1977, photo by Tom Grotta

4jo. Jolanta Owidska MARGARET VIII, flax, sisal and wool, 57″ x 39″, 1977, photo by Tom Grotta


Dispatches: Chicago’s Art institute, Contemporary Fiber Art from the Permanent Collection

Carter Taking Pictures on the entrance ramp that leads to the art institute

We made a hurried trip to the Art Institute on the

last day of SOFA to see Contemporary Fiber Art: A Selection from the Permanent Collection, the inaugural exhibition in the reopened Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, which were closed for five years during the construction of the Modern Wing. We walked there in the glorious morning sunshine, through a corner of Millennium Park, and entered the Institute from the bridge. Heading down to the textile galleries feels a bit like entering the basement, but once inside, the spaces are light and airy.

Posters for the two fiber exhibits photo by Carter Grotta

The holdings of the Department of Textiles at the Art Institute comprise more than 66,000 sample swatches and 14,000 textiles ranging from 300 BC to the present. Extensive holdings of ecclesiastical textiles, 16th- and 17th-century velvets, 18th-century silks, 18th-20th-century printed fabrics, and lace are included in the department’s impressive collection of European textiles. Other notable holdings include American quilts and woven coverlets, historical fashion accessories, dress and furnishing fabrics and Japanese and Chinese holdings.

Entering the Exhibition facing “Red Doors” by Robert D. Sailors photo by Carter Grotta

Helena Hernmarck’s Mu1 and and its maquette next to Si Rothko M’etait Conte by Mariette Rousseau-Vermette photo by Carter Grotta

The Collection also includes more than 400 textiles and fiber art works from the 20th Century. These are not freestanding fiber works, sculptures vessels or baskets, for the most part, but wall hangings and ceiling-hung pieces. Sixty-one of these pieces are currently on display. Nonetheless it is an impressive grouping. The usual suspects are here – Lenore TawneySheila Hicks and Claire Zeisler, Peter Collingwood and the Poles, Magdalena AbakanowiczZofia Butrymowicz and Jolanta Owidzka. But there are some surprises. Red Doors, by Robert D. Sailors, which graces the entrance is a show stopper. The Cynthia Schira that is included is an excellent piece.  Helena (Barynina) Hernmarck’s 1965 abstract tapestry Mu1 is enhanced by the powerful painted maquette that is displayed alongside. The Mariette Rousseau-Vermette work, Si Rothko M’etait Conté (If Rothko Himself Had Told Me a Story)(which we assisted a client in donating) was luminous. We were delighted to see the tapestries  floating off the wall, as we recommend, giving added dimension to the works. One quibble, the works in the cases in the conference room, which include a piece by Scott Rothstein, need to be better lit. Maybe motion detection lights would work, which would minimize energy use and uv exposure but still enable the works to be seen when viewers enter the room.

The items selected work well together, as curator Christa C. Mayer Thurman, emerita of the Department of Textiles, intended. The exhibition’s stated aim — to explore how fiber art has developed as an art form from the middle of the 20th Century through today and illustrate how the flexibility and variability of the medium encouraged artists to explore the potential of different fibers and methods — has certainly been achieved.

View of exhibit centered around a work by Claire Zeisler photo by Carter Grotta

 


Sneak Peek: Catalog No. 37, Advocates for Art: Polish and Czech Fiber Artists from the Anne and Jacques Baruch Collection Catalog, Essay by Christa C. Mayer Thurman

catalog cover

Advocates for Art: Polish and Czech Fiber Artists from the Anne and Jacques Baruch Collection

The 37th catalog produced by browngrotta arts, Advocates for Art: Polish and Czech Fiber Artists from the Anne and Jacques Baruch Collection, will be available beginning November 10, 2010.

PALISADES (Detail), Anna Urbanowicz-Krowacka, wool and sisal, 55″ x 70″, 1992

Prominent art dealers Anne and Jacques Baruch first opened the Jacques Baruch Gallery in Chicago in 1967. The Baruch’s gallery focused on contemporary art and artists from Central and Eastern Europe, which Jacques once described as “the finest work of tomorrow…not what is known…the new blood.” Many of the works presented at the gallery were by artists who began their careers under Communist occupation. The gallery’s early years coincided with worsening political conditions behind the Iron Curtain. On August 20, 1968, the Baruchs left Prague just five hours before Soviet tanks rolled into the city and brutally ended a brief period of democratic reforms.

LUNE DE MIEL I (Detail), Magdalena Abakanowicz, sisal and linen, 55″x 78″ x 8″, 1986

Making trips behind the Iron Curtain during these years was a complex and, at times, dangerous, way of making a living. Despite these difficulties, the couple managed to find a significant entourage of artists to exhibit, among them a group of innovative textile artists, who had gathered acclaim at the Lausanne Biennials of International Tapestry and other European exhibitions, but who were not well known in the US. “We were captivated by their energy, experiments and bold compositions,” Anne would write of the Polish fiber artists she and Jacques met in 1970. “Though there were…shortages of studios, materials and most necessities for daily life, all their problems did not hamper their work. Rather, it stimulated their creativity, and their use of sisal, rope, metal, horsehair and fleece as well as the traditional wool, flax and silk, revealed new artistic thought with results which were dynamic, highly personal and original.”

LEATHER SKETCH (Detail), Jolanta Owidzka, high warp linen, sisal, leather 27″ x 45″ x 4″; 70 x 110cm, 1977

These artists included Magdalena Abakanowicz of Poland (whose tapestry Lune de Miel 2 is installed at Chicago’s McCormick Place and whose sculpture installation Agora,  a group of 106 iron cast figures, is in Chicago’s Grant Park), Jolanta Banaszkiewicz (Poland), Zofia Butrymowicz (Poland), Hanna Czajkowska (Poland), Jan Hladik (Czechoslovakia), Luba Krejci (Czechoslovakia), Lilla Kulka (Poland), Maria Laszkiewicz (Poland), Jolanta Owidzka (Poland), Agnieszka Ruszczynska-Szafranska (Poland), Wojciech Sadley (Poland), Anna Sledziewska (Poland), Anna Urbanowicz-Krowacka (Poland) and Krystyna Wojtyna-Drouet (Poland). It is work by this group of historically significant artists that is featured in this catalog.

CO-BOG ZLACZYL (WHAT GOD HAS JOINED), Lilla Kulkaa wool, silk 55″ X 48″, 1987

Christa C. Mayer Thurman has written an introductory essay about Jacques and Anne Baruch for the catalog. Thurman, who was the Chair and Curator of the Department of Textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1967 through 2009, has also written brief essays about several of the 14 artists whose works are featured in the catalog. Thurman is the author and co-author of numerous books about textiles, including, Raiment for the Lord’s Service (1975); Claire Zeisler: a Retrospective (1979); Lissy Funk: A Retrospective (1989); and Textiles: The Art Institute of Chicago (1992). For European Tapestries in the Art Institute of Chicago (2008), Thurman was the general editor, contributed to the resulting volume as an author and oversaw the collection’s conservation. Thurman and her late husband, Lawrence S. Thurman were friends of the Baruchs for many years. During Thurman’s tenure at the Art Institute several textiles from behind the Iron Curtain entered the collection either as gifts, bequests or as purchases.

PODROZ (Journey) from the Kolodia series Agnieszka Ruszczynska-Szafranska linen, sisal, wool 60″ x 56″, 1986

The 76-page color catalog can be ordered from browngrotta arts beginning http://browngrotta.com/Pages/c35.php November 10, 2010.


Exhibit News

This November, the Art Institute of Chicago, browngrotta arts and the Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) exposition will offer a host of events celebrating international art textiles and fiber sculpture, including four exhibitions, a panel discussion and three artist talks.

Crystalline-Structures by Ethel Stein

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Contemporary Fiber Art: A Selection from the Permanent Collection
The Art Institute of Chicago, Galleries 55, 57-59
through February 2011

The exhibition will explore how fiber art has developed as a contemporary art form and will feature 61 works by 52 artists including Peter Collingwood, Lissy Funk, Ethel Stein and Jolanta Owidzka as well as artists with strong local ties such as Claire Zeisler and Lenore Tawney,  who studied sculptor Alexander Archipenko in Chicago.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
June Wayne’s Narrative Tapestries: Tidal Waves, DNA, and the Cosmos Art Institute of Chicago, Gallery 50
through February 2011

A pioneer in the revival of lithography during the early 1960s and a relentless explorer of the possibilities of paint, June Wayne has been a major figure in the Los Angeles art scene for decades. This exhibit will bring together 11 dynamic tapestries created between 1971 and 1974 based on Wayne’s innovative graphic designs Magisterial in their conception and extraordinary in their refined beauty and execution, these works showcase not only Wayne’s unique vision but the rich possibilities of uniting contemporary ideas and a centuries-old medium.

 

PODROZ (Journey) from the Kolodia series Agnieszka Ruszczynska-Szafranska

Thursday, November 4, 2010 Special exhibit: for Art: Polish and Czech Fiber Artists from the Anne and Jacques Baruch
Navy Pier, SOFA Chicago
Booth S 114
Opening Night Preview 7-9
through November 7, 2010

This special exhibit features 21 works by more than a dozen of the Eastern European textile artists introduced in Chicago in the 1970s by legendary dealers Anne and Jacques Baruch. The couple traveled regularly to Central and Eastern Europe to bring art back from behind the Iron Curtain. Their goal was to broaden exposure to art that Jacques Baruch once described as “the finest work of tomorrow…the new blood,” including work by  Magdalena AbakanowiczZofia Butrymowicz. The exhibition is cosponsored by the Baruch Foundation, browngrotta arts of Wilton, Connecticut and The Art Fair Company, sponsors of SOFA Chicago. SOFA opens at 11 on Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th and at 12 on Sunday, November 7th.  It closes on the 7th at 6.p.m. For more information visit:http://www.sofaexpo.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010
Navy Pier, SOFA Chicago, Booth 120
browngrotta arts
Opening Night Preview 7-9
through November 7, 2010

browngrotta arts, which has focused on promoting fiber art for more than 22 years, will present a varied display of contemporary art textiles from Japan, Europe the US and the UK at SOFA Chicago. SOFA opens at 11 on Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th and at 12 on Sunday, November 7th.  It closes on the 7th at 6.p.m. For more information visit:

http://browngrotta.com/index.php

Friday, November 5, 2010
Fiber Art: Unraveling Some Threads
Navy Pier, SOFA Chicago, Room 327
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Illustrated, individual presentations by fiber artist Margaret Cusack, Cindy Hickock, Kiyomi Iwata, and Donna Rosenthal.

Friday, November 5, 2010
Panel Discussion: Advocates for Art: Polish and Czech Fiber Artists from the Anne and Jacques Baruch
Navy Pier, SOFA Chicago, Room 324

2 p.m.
The panel will feature Christa C. Mayer Thurman, Emerita, the Art Institute of Chicago, chair and curator of the Department of Textiles (1967 – 2009), who founded the Textile Society of the Art Institute of Chicago and initiated the 20th Century textile collection at the Art Institute, collector Fern Grauer, now President of The Textile Society of the Art Institute and Barbara Kalwajtys, former Assistant to Anne Baruch. It will be moderated by Rhonda Brown, co-curator of browngrotta arts.

Christa Thurman and Anne Baruch

Friday, November 5, 2010
Catalog Signing: Advocates for Art: Polish and Czech Fiber Artists from the Anne and Jacques Baruch
Navy Pier, SOFA Chicago
Booth S 114
3:30 – 4:30.pm.

Christa C. Mayer Thurman, Emerita, the Art Institute of Chicago, chair and curator of the Department of Textiles (1967 – 2009), founded The Textile Society of the Art Institute of Chicago and initiated the 20th Century textile collection there. Mr. Thurman for which she wrote the introductory essay.

Circle Boat by Jane Balsgaard

Saturday, November 6, 2010
“Addicted to Nature”
Jane Balsgaard
Artist’s Talk
and Book Signing
Navy Pier
SOFA Chicago
Booth 120
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Danish Artist Jane Balsgaard, will speak at browngrotta arts booth about her airy boat sculptures of twigs and handmade plant paper and sign copies of the book, STAR SHIP AND SKY SEA an exhibition by Inge Lise Westman and JANE Balsgaard.

SHEATHE by Jennifer Falck Linseen

SHEATHE by Jennifer Falck Linseen

Saturday, November 6, 2010
“Fire & Emotion”  
Jennifer Falck Linssen
Artist’s Talk
Navy Pier, SOFA Chicago, Booth 120
From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Colorado artist Jennifer Falck Linssen
will talk about her Fire & Emotion series of katagami-style hand-carved paper “stencils,” which reflects the form and shape of human emotions and interactions.

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Art, Art Installation, Artist Lectures, Contemporary Tapestry, Helena Hernmarck, Museums, Tapestry, SOFA CHicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jacques and and Baruch, Eastern European Textile, Jane Balsgaard, Jennifer Falck Linssen, Lenore Tawney, Ethel Stein