Textile news

JULY 2017

Book of the Month

 Artistry in Fiber, Vol. 1: Wall Art

This new book from Schiffer is edited by Anne Lee and E. Ashley Rooney, with a foreword by Marcia Young and introduction by Meredith Re’ Grimsley. Known for showcasing fiber and textile art, Schiffer has assembled a stellar team for this first volume of Artistry in Fiber, containing 595 color images in 224 pages. Their blurb is enticing: “Connecting us to the wide variety of contemporary fiber art in wall-mounted format, this resource combines…photos with personal comments from 100 of today’s established and emerging artists.… The creators here are pushing the boundaries of what wall-mounted fiber art is, using fibers of paper, metal, fiberglass, milkweed seeds, or high-tech polymers….Artists [in the book] expertly combine different fiber techniques in a single piece, go beyond the technical processes, and cross-pollinate mediums.” (Disclaimer: several of my own quilts are in this book.) Available in late July.



Regina Benson. Burning Monoliths, first created in 2015, 104 x 28 x 28 x 14 in. (5 monoliths in the current exhibition).

Regina V. Benson at the Textile Center in Minneapolis

Regina Benson, who lives in Colorado, brings her textile surfaces to life with a variety of hands-on processes. She describes her new solo show for my blog readers, “In Wildfires I have brought together an experiential textile installation of my burning monoliths, digitized hillside flames, celestial fires, and volcanic eruptions to explore our universal consciousness of the beauty and fear of fire. I have created a living sculptural environment in which visitors can pass around and between fiery giants that glow from within at various stages of ignition, to experience glowing surface designs that flicker from ember to flame.” Her interactive exhibition involves two major installations and four three-dimensional pieces of wall art. In the Joan Mondale Gallery, closing on August 26.






Sheila Hicks. Hop, Skip, Jump, and Fly: Escape from Gravity, 2017 installation on the High Line, New York.

Sheila Hicks Works Her Magic on the High Line

Textured color, the hallmark of this renowned fiber sculptor, swoops and loops in monumental forms around the western rail yards of Manhattan’s High Line park. Currently in their most dynamic presentation, the fibrous tubes in Hop, Skip, Jump, and Fly: Escape from Gravity will change with the seasons, partly veiled by leaves in the autumn and most likely echoed by snow and ice this winter. Through March 2018.





Joana Vasconcelos. Viriato, 2005, 29.5 inches high. Collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Revival at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

A survey of the museum’s collection in its 30th year inspired this exhibition, which is enriched by important loans from public and private collections as well as artists’ studios. While the NMWA (Washington, DC) owns some important sculptural works, acquiring more textile and fiber pieces would help to balance the collection. Chief curator Kathryn Wat informs us, “Revival presents contemporary women sculptors and photo-based artists whose arresting aesthetics and intense subject matter spur the viewer into a transcendent encounter with the art object. Spectacle and visual enchantment undergird much contemporary art. Yet the artists gathered here harness the illimitability of scale, technique, and effect in sculpture and photography explicitly to reanimate deep-rooted emotions related to the human experience.” A few of my favorite fiber artists are in this show, including Beverly Semmes and Joana Vasconcelos, who is Portuguese. Her wittily crocheted Viriator is named after a heroic figure in ancient Lusitania who battled the Romans. Here he is reduced to a seated dog, his military fervor chained by the soft medium of fiber. Until September 10.





Ken Lum. The Path from Shallow Love to Deeper Love, 2015, wool, 118 x 79 in. Photo: Jerry Birchfield, (c) MOCA Cleveland 2016.

Wall To Wall: Carpets By Artists at the Katonah Museum of Art

Wall to Wall presents a highly original take on a material that, while occupying a familiar role in our daily lives, is only now gaining wide recognition in the contemporary art world as a source for a diverse array of artists,” says Darsie Alexander, Executive Director of the Katonah Museum of Art (Katonah, NY). “This exhibition builds on the KMA’s history of introducing innovative perspectives on seemingly utilitarian mediums—such as clay and glass—showcasing the material’s surprising elasticity in the hands of artists. Such unexpected encounters offer a glimpse into an artist’s imagination and can prompt us to experience domestic items anew.” Unlike exhibitions that examine artist carpets through an ethnographic lens, Wall to Wall takes as its point of departure the history of art, focusing on the ways in which the medium advances relevant explorations in contemporary artistic practice. The exhibition examines the increasing prominence of carpets in today’s art sphere and asks the simple question: Why? Artists in the show include Polly Apfelbaum, Alan Belcher, Guillaume Bijl, Liam Gillick, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Joseph Kosuth, Ken Lum, Marilyn Minter, Sarah Morris, Paulina Olowska, Jorge Pardo, Richard Prince, Julião Sarmento, Rosemarie Trockel, Christopher Wool, and Heimo Zobernig, with dates spanning 1985 to 2016. The exhibition was organized by MOCA Cleveland and curated by Dr. Cornelia Lauf, independent curator. On view From July 9 until October 1.



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