Textile news

JUNE 2018

Worth a visit to New York City:

Museum of Modern Art, New York, Celebrates Agnes Gund

Through July 22, MoMA is featuring Studio Visit: Selected Gifts from Agnes Gund, who is 80 years young this year.  Since 1967 she has served in several capacities at MoMA, including president from 1991 until 2002.  This amazing woman has championed women’s art and non-traditional mediums such as fiber, exploring artists’ studios and becoming friends with numerous makers who today are recognized as major figures.  Nick Cave, for example, caught Gund’s interest with his performance art well before he was widely known in the art world. “My friendships with artists,” she has said, “as well as a sensitivity to the challenges facing women artists and artists of color, have been formative in shaping my collection, which is deeply personal and deeply autobiographical.” This exhibition reflects the depth of her collecting by bringing together a broad-ranging group of artworks from the 1950s to today. Agnes Gund has funded some 800 works of art for the MoMA permanent collection. Studio Visit: Selected Gifts from Agnes Gund was organized by Ann Temkin.

Mary Lee Bendolph (Gee’s Bend), Lonnie Holley’s Freedom, 2005. Aquatint and etching from pieced quilt top, Paulson Press, Berkeley, edition of 50.












Willie Cole, Domestic I.D. IV, 1992. Steam iron scorch and pencil on paper, mounted in recycled wooden window frame.











Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2001. Found objects, knit head and bodysuit, mannequin.

Terry Adkins, Methane Sea, 2013. Wood, welded steel, rope, tape.











Museum of Arts and Design: Decoration as an Artistic Strategy

Curated by Elissa Auther, Surface/Depth: The Decorative After Miriam Schapiro runs through September 9. Filling the fourth and fifth floors of the museum, this momentous exhibition presents 29 works by Schapiro in dialogue with 28 pieces by other artists. As Auther explains, In examining the aesthetic and political objectives of Schapiro’s femmages,this exhibition highlights the pivotal role her work and leadership played in the expansion of the art world to include historically marginalized forms of craft, decoration, and abstract patterning associated with femininity and women’s work. Although she is unheralded as the source, the influence of Schapiro’s subjective approach to forms of decoration can be identified today in an remarkably diverse group of artists who continue to find inspiration in her embrace of artistic practices outside the art historical canon. To highlight this legacy, works by a select group of contemporary artists, including Sanford Biggers, Josh Blackwell, Edie Fake, Jeffrey Gibson, Judy Ledgerwood, Jodie Mack, Sara Rahbar, Ruth Root, and Jasmin Sian, will be exhibited alongside Schapiro’s signature femmages. This juxtaposition of historic and contemporary work brings into critical focus the tremendous role Schapiro’s femmages played in the reframing of craft and decoration, while shining a light on the way artists today, both distinguished and emerging, continue to approach the decorative as a language of abstraction tied to the personal and the political.

Miriam Schapiro, In Her Own Image, 1983. Acrylic paint and fabric on canvas. Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Detail of Miriam Schapiro, In Her Own Image, 1983.









Sanford Biggers, Ooo Oui, 2017. Textiles, fabric, antique quilt fragment, sequins.

Sara Rahbar, Flag #5, Kurdistan, 2007. Mixed media.











Josh Blackwell, detail of Neveruses à Table (me and LP), 2018. Plastic, fiber, wood.











Jeffrey Gibson, Speak to Me in Your Way So That I Can Hear You, 2015. Driftwood, hardware, wool, canvas, glass beads, artificial sinew, metal jingles, nylon fringe, acrylic, high fire glazed ceramic. (Behind this work is Miriam Schapiro, Mexican Memory, 1981.)

Detail of Jeffrey Gibson, Speak to Me in Your Way So That I Can Hear You, 2015.


















MAD is also showing Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft &  Care. Founded by Aguiñiga and launched in 2015, AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides) is a long-term initiative that activates sites along the US–Mexico border through collaborative art-making and storytelling projects. Started as a month-long activation at the San Ysidro border crossing in Tijuana, it has evolved its focus to record and paint a picture of life along the length of the border. To date, AMBOS, in collaboration with artists and community organizations working with border issues/themes, has produced programs along the border between the United States and Mexico, stopping at thirteen US/Mexico ports of entry, and crossing a total of forty times. In 2018 Aguiñiga will complete the project, activating the remainder of the border from where she left off at El Paso/Ciudad Juárez. AMBOS was born out of Aguiñiga’s drive to use her skills in service to the ongoing issues that her family and community face in Tijuana, Mexico, where she was raised, and from which she crossed the border every day for fourteen years to get her education in the United States. Through the different phases of the project, AMBOS has fostered a greater sense of interconnectedness in the border regions it has visited. AMBOS as a project has become multifaceted: it is part documentation of the border, part collaboration with artists, part community activism, part exploration of identities influenced by the liminal zone of the borderlands. By connecting with local artists, activists, and makers in the border region, AMBOS works to capture an accurate representation of the sister cities and communities living and working on both sides. Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care, curated by Shannon R. Stratton, closes October 2. Be sure to climb the stairs to the second-floor gallery, reading the messages printed on the stair risers for this very timely exhibition.

Tanya Aguiñiga, CRAFT Weave, 2015. Seventy-five deconstructed Mexican blankets,

Detail of Tanya Aguiñiga, CRAFT Weave, 2015.


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