Textile news

APRIL 2017

Book of the Month


Korean fiber artist Chunghie Lee finds inspiration for her artwork and fashion designs in bojagi, Korea’s venerated cloth-wrapping tradition. She discusses its history and traditional uses, and gives step-by-step illustrated instructions for the special seaming techniques used in making a variety of bojagi, including several patchwork versions. This revised edition of her book contains new sections on designing for bojagi and on its contemporary art applications. Seven projects are provided, including traditional items, wall hangings, bojagi garments, and a bojagi sculpture. Photo galleries of Lee’s artwork and of bojagi-inspired works by international artists highlight the many possibilities for using this elegant art form. Paperback, 176 pages, more than 250 color illustrations, $38 plus shipping.


Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Jacuzzi Jazz #1 (2015), 60 x 60 in.

40 Years of Color, Light, and Motion

The Texas Quilt Museum has opened a major solo exhibition of studio art quilts by award-winning artist Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, best known as a master colorist working in abstraction, especially for her illusions of light, depth, and motion. From 1986 until 2013, Fallert-Gentry traveled extensively, lecturing and conducting workshops for symposia, festivals, and textile arts groups throughout the United State, and in eleven foreign countries on five continents. She continues to share her expertise through her publications and website at www.bryerpatch.com. A quilt artist since 1976, she uses her own hand-dyed, painted, and printed cotton fabric for her expressive compositions. Fallert-Gentry’s geometric color studies as well as her more organic, curved-seam abstracts are inspired by visual impressions collected in her travels, her everyday life, and her very creative imagination. The exhibition closes on June 25.





Romare Bearden, Bayou Fever, The Buzzard and the Snake (The Conjur Woman, 1979), collage on fiberboard with attached string and safety pin
9 x 6 in. Copyright: Estate of Romare Bearden. Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York.

Shall We Dance?

Romare Bearden: Bayou Fever and Related Works, features a series of twenty-one vibrant collages from 1979 on view at DC Moore Gallery (New York) created by Bearden for a ballet that invokes African-American traditions and the African presence deeply rooted in the Louisiana bayou near New Orleans, and elsewhere in North America and the Caribbean. Never before shown in New York, these collages represent the main characters and settings of a performance that the artist hoped would be choreographed by Alvin Ailey. Bearden had worked with Ailey, most notably two years earlier when he created a scrim for the ballet Ancestral Voices. He had been interested in dance for some time, as his wife had her own company, the Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater. While the Bayou Fever dance was never performed, the bold imagery of Bearden’s collages speaks to the power of his visual imagination and narrative strength of his original concept. Ritual, magic, and mystery infuse the Bayou Fever series. Much of the storyline involves a confrontation between the Conjur Woman and the Swamp Witch, in a dramatic struggle between good and evil that plays out in a rural cabin deep in the bayou. The dance’s imagery incorporates many of the most prominent motifs and elements found in Bearden’s art, including strong women, elders, musicians, Caribbean masquerade figures, domestic interiors, and rural landscapes, in addition to the powerful Conjur Woman. His costume designs for the characters in the dance often combine photos of African masks with pieces of cloth and textiles. On view until April 29.







Josef Frank, Dixieland, designed between 1943 and 1945 in New York City, first printed in 1974. This is one of Frank’s “map” designs, with Africa to the right.

A Swedish Modern Extravaganza

The Fashion and Textile Museum in London has mounted the first exhibition in the U.K. of textiles designed by Josef Frank, who spent much of his career working in Sweden for Svenskt Tenn. Trish Lorenz, writing for The Guardian, tells us about Frank: “Born in Austria of Jewish heritage, Frank moved to Stockholm with his Swedish wife in 1933 … to escape growing Nazi discrimination. A committed socialist, he had a successful practice in Vienna … where he designed houses, interiors, furniture and fabrics. But when he arrived in Sweden, as an immigrant and a Jew, he couldn’t find work. ‘It was very difficult for him to get established,’ says Svenskt Tenn creative director Thommy Bindefeld. ‘People didn’t want Jewish immigrants taking their work.’ Svenskt Tenn founder Estrid Ericson was the exception: she had created the brand in 1924, with a focus on pewter pieces (‘tenn’ means pewter), but by the early 1930s her interest had shifted to interiors. Her style was functional and utilitarian, popular in Sweden at the time. Ericson had long been an admirer, so she asked Frank if he’d consider designing for her brand. His first pieces were opulent and glamorous, using luxurious materials such as brass and velvet, and introducing pattern. ‘She trusted her eye and her tastes, and didn’t worry too much about what other people thought,’ Bindefeld says. ‘She gave Frank a platform. He would have found life much harder without her, but the opposite is true, too: Svenskt Tenn wouldn’t be here today without him.’” Neither would Marimekko. The exhibition runs through May 7. I plan to visit London this month and share more information about this very interesting museum in my May blog.




Ashley Blalock, Keeping Up Appearances (2017 installation), cotton yarn. Photo by Christine Leong.

Time, Time, Time Is On My Mind

What is happening with time? Am I the only person who feels that the day is becoming sliced into shorter and shorter moments? What is instant everything doing to our psyches? This fleeting topic is being addressed in California Fibers: Time at The Studio Channel Islands Blackboard Gallery in Camarillo, California. Seventeen members of California Fibers (founded in 1970) interpret various aspects of time, including how time lives in our memories, how time can change, and how a lot of time was well spent creating much of the art on view. On view until May 6.





Durian Fruit designs, large batik panels from Turtle Hand.

Malaysian Handcrafted Batiks

The mission of Turtle Hand Batiks is to keep Malaysian heritage crafts alive and thriving, this supporting and enhancing the livelihood of individual artisan producers and their communities. The batiks can be purchased in “art panels” and in yardage, including marbled designs and fractured patterns. This company is relatively new, with their web site still being developed.




One Response to “APRIL 2017”

  1. Sue Kaufman says:

    Thank you for another excellent read! Perfect Sunday morning muse material. I appreciate the time you take to put it all together.

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