Textile news

JUNE 2017

Sarah Swett, Rough Copy #6: Postage Due.

Marginalia – Tapestries by Sarah Swett (closing on July 30)

I discovered this fascinating exhibition in Rebecca Mezoff’s blog, where she succinctly describes the collection: “I was able to go see her new show at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum in La Conner, Washington…. This is most likely the last time she’ll be exhibiting her Rough Copy series all together and it is not to be missed. This series of work consists of 13 large-format tapestries in which she weaves part of a novel she wrote. The story is fun to read in part because there are blanks in the narrative. You have to decide what happened between each vignette. The words are woven on various scraps of paper: hotel stationary, a grocery receipt, a library card. Some are burned, some are torn. There are coffee stains and ink splatters and you get to meet a very good-looking mule.”  Mezoff offers several informative photos from the exhibition:


Carson Davis Brown, NAQ 20, 2015. Consumer goods arranged on store shelves.


New American Quilt installations by Carson Davis Brown

What is a quilt? You might well ask that question when assessing the recent work of Carson Davis Brown. I will let the artist explain: “New American Quilts (NAQ) is a site-specific installation and photographic project simulating branded edifice and the promise of abundance, inspired by the tradition of American quilting… Adopting the formal conventions of the big box store as constraint, the patchworks are built on-site from found materials and products. These highly geometric arrangements are made without permission and left until disassembled by consumers and staff. Photographs of the patchworks are then ‘woven’ into blankets with the assistance of W@lm@rt’s personalized gifts department. Most recently, my process has focused on breaking-down the most basic element of this project: the quilt itself. For me, the quilt has a ton of potential as an art object because of its ingrained cultural, social, and historical weight.”


Lucy Sparrow in her 8 ‘Till Late installation in a storefront near Manhattan’s High Line, 9000 objects in felt.

8 ‘Till Late: Lucy Sparrow’s “store” in felted objects

Another art installation consisting of consumer items found in a storefront caught my eye this month. But these life-sized goods are made of felt—some 9000 objects, all for sale at affordable prices. While British artist Lucy Sparrow no longer crafts each piece herself, she does all the lettering. Her compulsion to produce multiples and meticulously reproduce mundane objects stems from this artist’s need to celebrate small, traditional businesses and the people who run them in the face of aggressive gentrification. Note that for this photograph she chose to cradle a “Brillo box” in her arm, perhaps a tongue-in-cheek reference to Warhol. Located at 69 Little West 12th Street in NYC, through June 30.


José Benítez Sánchez, Detail from Nierika and Tukari (The Gifts of Vision and Life), 2005.
 Yarn on wood. Artes de
México collection.

Yarn paintings from Mexico at the Textile Museum of Canada

Huicholes – A People Walking Towards the Light showcases the art and lives of the Huicholes, an Indigenous group from western Mexico whose history dates back 15,000 years. Featuring dazzling yarn paintings created using traditional techniques, the exhibition includes ceremonial objects, handmade textiles, and photographs documenting a unique and threatened way of life. This Toronto exhibition, on loan from Artes de México, closes on September 4.


Roz Chast, Motherboard, hand embroidery as published for the New Yorker magazine cover, May 15, 2017.


Motherboard by Roz Chast

Last but by no means least, the amazing Roz Chast has returned to hand embroidery! This famous cartoonist—one of the very few who can make me laugh out loud—is crafting some of her images in thread. See the web site below for additional examples. Finally, and this has nothing to do with art, she has published a graphic memoir about dealing with her aging parents, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? After reading it, I bought a copy for both of my children. If you are a parent or have living parents, I encourage you to buy this book. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will have a good idea of what it means to be old. It’s good to know.




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