Archives for posts with tag: embroidery

Last Monday TAC took a rest and celebrated President’s Day – which for me pretty much ended up being the day that I finally did all my laundry, cleaned my room, and faced the world as a grown-up woman. The bright and shiny moment of the day was the quick stop that my roommate and I did at a pop-up gallery space in 147 Franklin Street, in Greenpoint.

The gallery is hosting the 600/3×9 project, which consists of 3 different exhibitions, by 3 different curators, featuring an x amount of artists, and all this happening in a 600 sq feet space, during only 9 days (each show is up for only 2 days!). The three emerging curators, Jiyoun Lee-Lodge, Ati Egas, Renee Bovenzi were selected amongst a group of 12, by the curators of the IN RiVERS gallery.

Hannah and I catch the end of the first show, Hybrid Lifeforms,  curated by Jiyoun Lee-Lodge, and I fell in love with the work of Aidan Sofia Earle.

Sorting, dyed fabric and thread on paper, 2010

Aidan Sofia Earle studied painting but has “always been drawn to fiber arts” and her work brings together painting, embroidery, fabric applique and found objects. The result are beautiful and detailed compositions, that ask you to take a closer look and spend time discovering. One of my favorites is “At Nostrand”, which had kind of  a finding-a-treasure-box effect in me.

Small Pile, watercolor, thread and fabric on paper, 2009

At Nostrand, found objects, mixed media, 2010

About her work, Aidan Sofia Earle says:

“Man made objects accumulate in many ways. Things are collated and stacked, piled and flushed, bundled and lined-up. We have numerous approaches to organizing our belongings and our waste. Even the forces of nature come into play in the way objects are accumulated. The gyres of trash in the oceans, the accretion of items on shorelines, these discarded items, small and large, have transformed landscapes.

From the streets of my environment I gather and accumulate discarded items. As a magpie chooses its treasure I collect the left behind objects of daily life. Physically stitching the objects together I think of the accumulation as story quilts, each item carrying its perceived history while becoming part of a new whole.”

The Collection, wood, metal, dyed fabric, thread, 2008

Aidan worked as a fashion textile dyer and painter, puppet and prop designer builder, carpenter and artists assistant, experiences that allowed her to have contact with a wide range of materials and techniques, which is reflected in her work. She still hand-dyes the fabric and the thread used in her artwork.

Untitled, collage watercolor, thread, pencil on paper, 2008

Aidan Sofia Earle is currently an MFA candidate at the Brooklyn College.  She has exhibited with Sharon Arts Center, NH, Chase Gallery and Bates College Gallery, ME, Target Gallery, VA and had several residency fellowships, including Vermont Studio Center 2009, CAC Woodside 2010. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

What a busy week! We’ll leave you with a nice, relaxing film put together by Etsy about a 91-year old Alaskan moccasin-maker named Mabel. We want our own Mabel moccasins to kick around this weekend…

Students will be finishing up the last class of Shoe-Making 101: North American Footwear, where they got to choose from 17 different designs for their leather shoes.

If you missed this round of Shoe Making, you can join in April! Check it out.

Enjoy!

(courtesy Craft Zine)

Join us and curator Scott Henstrand tonight for an Artist Talk on the current exhibition missing/Missed.

Textile Arts Center, 505 Carroll Street (btwn 3rd + 4th ave), January 24, 7PM

The following artists will be sharing about their work:

Regina Agu

Audrey Anastasi

Julia Elsas

Pat Hickman

Sara Jones

Mary Lippin

Jill Magi

John Paul Morabito

Maria Scarpini

Ed Schexnayder

Leonie Wunderlich.

Visit the missing/Missed website for more information on each artist!

Some days ago, after attending the opening party for the Missing/Missed show, curated by Scott Henstrand my friend and art blogger Lauren Palmor told me about Ghada Amer work. Sara Jone’s work, on view in the exhibition, was the reason that made Lauren think about Amer. And you’ll understand why.

Sara Jones, You Are Now a Strange Here, acrylic and thread on canvas, 2010

(photo courtesty of Sara Jones)

Lauren told me that I really needed to check her work and the video of the talk she gave at ArtTalks, organized by the American Federation of Arts. “You have to see it”, and when Lauren says this she means. And now I want all you to see it too.

Ghada Amer is an american contemporary artist,  born in Egypt,  educated in France and now lives and works in New York City. Her most recognized and characteristic work are her abstract painted and embroidered canvases, often with erotic motifs. However, Ghada Amer is a very versatile multimedia artist and has worked also with sculpture, photography, video, installation and performance.

Ghada Amer (American, born Egypt, 1963). Red Diagonales, 2000. Acrylic, embroidery, and gel medium on canvas. © Ghada Amer, Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Private collection

Ghada Amer, The Woman who failed to be Shehrazade, 2008. Acrylic, embroidery and gel medium on canvas.

(photo courtesy of Cheim & Read Gallery)

She has been specially interested in exploring and addressing themes like the “submission of women to the tyranny of domestic life, the celebration of female sexuality and pleasure, the incomprehensibility of love, the foolishness of war and violence, and an overall quest for formal beauty”. (in Brooklyn Museum website) Other themes included the ” Western (mis)perceptions of Middle Eastern culture”, world politics and, recently, she has been working on antiwar pieces. (ArtTalks PR and Brooklyn Museum)

Ghada Amer,  Barbie Loves Ken, Ken Loves Barbie, 1995/2002. Embroidery on cotton. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

In 1991, Amer decided to replace the pencil/brush by the embroidery needle, so she could talk about women and women contemporary issues and problems, through a medium that have always been associated with women’s craft.

“I was always attracted to deal with the subject but I never dared, really, to do it (..) Then I had to, in a way, because I was looking for a way to paint with embroidery. I was depicting women doing domestic activities and the embroidery itself was a domestic activity. I needed to find imagery that would really challenge the embroidery as a medium and contradict it.”

(in TheDailyBeast)

On her talk at ArtTalks, Ghada Amer talks more about her choice for embroidery and her work (start at minute 13, to jump to the embroidery section).

Ghada Amer’s  work has been shown in the USA and internationally in several museums and galleries, including the Whitney Biennal, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Tel-Aviv Art Museum. She is currently represented by the Cheim & Read Gallery in New York.

In his latest book, “At Home”, Bill Bryson has dedicated a whole, enormously entertaining and informative chapter to the dressing room. Through the recounting of the history of this room, Bryson discusses some of the most decidedly exotic fashion trends of the Victorian era and earlier.

In his lively and engaging way, Bryson suggests that, “it can seem as if the whole impulse of fashion has been to look maximally ridiculous. If one could be maximally uncomfortable as well, the triumph was all the greater.”

Because it is impossible to paraphrase Bryson in a way that is more witty or lovely, I will simply include an excerpt of this chapter starting with the discussion on the surprisingly irrational trend of male wig-wearing starting in the 1660’s that lasted for 150 years.

“Wigs might be made of almost anything- human hair, horsehair, cotton thread, goat hair, silk. One maker advertised a model made of fine wire. They came in many styles- bag, bob, campaign, grizzle, Ramillies, cauliflower, brown tie, riding bob, and more, all denoting some crucial difference in length of braid or bounciness of curl. Wigs were so valuable – a full one could cost 50 pounds – that they were left in wills. The more substantial the wig, the higher up the social echalon one stood- one became literally a bigwig. Wigs were also one of the first things snatched by robbers.

All wigs tended to be scratchy, uncomfortable, and hot, particularly in summer. To make them more bearable, many men shaved their heads, so we should be surprised to see many famous seventeenth- and eighteenth- century figures as their wives saw them first thing in the morning. It was an odd situation. For a century and a half, men got rid of their own hair which was perfectly comfortable, and instead covered their heads with something foreign and uncomfortable. Very often it was actually their own hair made into a wig. People who couldn’t afford wigs tried to make their own hair look like a wig”

This all sounds particularly funny because the victims of the fashion trend are men like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, men who built the social and legal structure of this country. Men of gravity and importance who it seems, made time to fret about the beauty and trendiness of their hair. The susceptibility to follow an irrational trend makes them seem almost too human. It’s rattling to think that the founding fathers’ judgment is not beyond reproach, at least where hairstyle is concerned.

Although this sensitivity to the fashion of the times seems like a weakness, upon deeper consideration it shows a kind of personal commitment to social and cultural cohesion that is necessary to form a united whole, or social unit, like a country. After all, fashion trends often carry in them a political statement, and are by nature faithfully democratic.

Last Friday I went to MoMA. I haven’t been there in a while and there’re a couple of exhibitions I wanted to see, like  the exhibition “On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century”.

Julie Mehretu. Rising Down. 2008. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 96 x 144″ (243.8 x 365.8 cm). Collection Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer. © 2010 Julie Mehretu

This exhibition “explores the radical transformation of the medium of drawing throughout the twentieth century, a period when numerous artists subjected the traditional concepts of drawing to a critical examination and expanded the medium’s definition in relation to gesture and form”. ( in MoMA website)

One of the mediums explored by several artists was fiber and thread. No surprises here, if we think that embroidering can be seen as drawing with a needle and thread, and the first examples of embroidered work date back to a couple of centuries BC.

However, the way the following artists used a fiber medium to draw, either two and tri-dimentionally, it’s nothing but amazing.

 

Susan Hefuna (German, born 1962)

Untitled, Mixed media, embroidery on tracing paper, 2008

 

Cildo Meireles (Brazilian, born 1948)

Malhas da Liberdade (Meshes of Freedom), Cotton rope, 1976

 

Anna Maria Maiolino (Brazilian, born Italy 1942)

Desde A até M (From A to M) From the series “Mapas Mentais” (Mental Maps), Thread, synthetic polymer paint, ink, transfer type, and pencil on paper,         1972-1999

 

Ranjani Shettar (Indian, born 1977)

Just a bit more, Hand-molded beeswax, pigments, and thread dyed in tea, 2005-2006

(photo courtesy of http://artinthestudio.blogspot.com/)

The exhibition will be on view until February 7th. Well-known-and-renowed artists like Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Vassily Kandinsky and Eva Hesse are featured, as well as the highlighted artists and many many more.

Make sure you don’t miss it!

On Line: Drawing Through The Twentieth Century is organized by Connie Butler, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings, The Museum of Modern Art, and Catherine de Zegher, former director, The Drawing Center, New York.


 

 

Somedays ago, my friend (and amazing artist David Pinto) introduced me to the work of Gabriel Dawe. I’ve been thinking of candy for the last days and can’t think of his work as anything else but eye candy.

plexus no. 3, site specific installation at guerillaarts, gütermann thread, wood and nails, 12′ x 6′ x 16′, 2010

Gabriel was born in Mexico City, surrounded by the” intensity and color of Mexican Culture”. He got his BFA in Graphic Design at the Universidad de las Américas-Puebla, in Mexico and worked as a graphic designer until moving to Montreal, Canada, in 2000 “following a desire to explore foreign land”.

It was in Montreal that Gabriel started experimenting with different materials and creating artwork. This experimentation led him to explore textiles and embroidery – “activities traditionally associated with women and which were forbidden for a boy growing up in Mexico.” (www.gabrieldawe.com)

By choosing thread and textiles as his main medium,  Gabriel’s work plays and subverts the notion of masculinity so ingrained in Mexican culture. On “don’t ask don’t tell”, I think the idea of masculinity subversion is specially achieved by wrapping combat boots in colorful threads and pins, materials normally associated with sewing and embroidery.

don’t ask don’t tell no. 1,  air force desert boots and pins , 2009

don’t ask don’t tell no. 2, combat boots and thread, 2009

The Plexus series are his most recent work and consist of site specific large-scale installations using multi-colored thread. The thread creates massive and bold three-dimensional structures, “creating environments that deal with notions of social constructions and their relation to evolutionary theory and the self-organizing force of nature.” (www.gabrieldawe.com) The colors of threads also make us recall the beautiful palette of the mexican embroidery and weavings.

The concept of shelter and protection is also very present in these installations. As Gabriel explains:

“Among numerous other reasons, we use clothing to protect ourselves from the elements. Similarly, one of the functions of architecture is to safeguard us from the inclemency of the weather. In taking the main component of clothing–sewing thread–and generating an architectural structure, scale and material are reversed to create a new construction that no longer shelters the material needs of the body, but instead creates something that is symbolic of the non-physical structures humanity needs to survive as a species.”

plexus no. 1, gütermann thread, wood, and nails, 15′ x 15′ x 3′, 2010

“Ultimately, what I want to give the viewers is an experience with light and color. The thread is so thin, that when it is used in such a large scale it kind of disappears, which is why these installations sometimes look so ethereal. It plays with perceptions and it can even mess with your sight, because your eyes don’t know where to focus; it is very much like op art in this sense. Despite being static objects, they move as soon as you start moving. This is what is most challenging to capture in the documentation of the pieces, because you cannot capture that with the camera. You can have great photos, but they will never fully give you the experience of seeing them in person.”

plexus no. 2: convergence, site specific installation, gütermann thread, wood and nails, 14′ x 10′ x 13′, 2010

plexus no. 3 , site specific installation at guerillaarts, gütermann thread, wood and nails,  2′ x 6′ x 16′, 2010

“What is very satisfying is that I hear all the time that people go back to see them and stay for half hour, experiencing the piece. They seem to be installations that really engage the mind, and as an artist I don’t think I could ask for anything more.”

plexus no. 4, site specific installation at the dallas contemporary, gütermann thread, wood and nails, 11′ x 25′ x 25′, 2010

Gabriel now lives and studies in Dallas, where he is a candidate for an MFA in Arts and Technology, at the University of Texas. His work has been exhibited in Dallas, Houston, Montreal, Toronto and Barcelona, and you can find more about him and his work in his website or in this interview.

It was another successful party at the Textile Arts Center September 17th.  So successful that the guests began to encircle the Raya Brass Band so that they couldn’t leave the venue and stop playing their feet-stepping music.

The exhibition is beautiful, and if you were unable to view all the pieces you should stop by anytime between Mon-Fri from 10am-6pm to walk around and take all the art in.

left: “Creatures- Strength, Wisdom, Trust” — Virginia Fitzgerald

middle: “Nobody” — Sierra Furtwangler (Mixed Media)

right: “RB Dress” — Margarita Mileva (Rubber Bands)

“The Weavers Bench” — Andrea Donnelly (Warp Painted, Hand-Woven Cotton)

“Chlorobionta” — Lucia Lavilla Havelins (Needlepoint and Beading)

“(Untitled) rocks” — Emily Barletta (Embroidery, Felting)

“Plastic in Trees” — Julia Kornblum (Weaving)

left: “Dream Home Sweet Home (Mature Landscape)” — Jennifer Hunold (Hand Embroidered)

right: “Bill Cosby” — Amanda Tiller (Embroidery)

“Cover” — Luke Haynes (Quilting)

“Seven Houses Never At Home” — Mallory Feltz (Hand -Warped Yarn)

“Conciliate” — Janice Jakielski (Porcelain and Mixed Media)

Title Unknown — Suyeon Na

“Creatures – Strength, Wisdom, Trust” — Virginia Fitzgerald (Organic Crochet)

“Self Portrait with Son” — Leslie Schomp (Hand-stitched with Hair, Nylon and Thread)

“Martina” — Cayce Zavaglia (Hand Embroidery)

“Beer Pong” — Erin M. Riley (Hand Woven Tapestry with Hand Dyed Wool)

“(Untitled)” — Tod Hensley (Hand Embroidery)

“Knit together in that Secret Place” — Meredith Re Grimsley (Hand Embroidery and Beading)

“Sewn Home” — Alisha McCurdy (Hand Embroidery and Color Photograph)

“Bounty” — Rebecca Ringquist (Machine and Hand Stitching on Found Cloth)

**Pictures provided by Roland Kielman

Cutting Edge has many more artists being shown and other works done by some of the artists you see here.  Stop by any time between Monday-Friday from 10:00am-6:00pm to see all the art in person.  It really is quite an experience.

Cutting Edge (Showing until October 11)

Curated by: Joetta Maue

Artist Talk on October 8th at 7pm (must RSVP at rsvp@textileartscenter.com with subject “Artist Talk” to reserve a seat)

I know what you are thinking.  How gross!  But I wanted to start this new week off with a bang. I want to introduce you an artist who has two hobbies that give me the heebie-geebies, hunting and taxidermy.

David R. Harper specializes in sculpture, drawing, and embroidery and combines them with the unappealing, self-taught hobby of taxidermy.  At 26 years old, is finishing up his Masters in Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and his works are currently being shown at the Textile Museum of Canada. My question is: When will he show in an American museum?

His painstaking work takes a lot of time to perfect and complete.  One of his larger works includes a life-size horse which is made entirely out of cow hides with a Victorian woman delicately embroidered into the rear of the animal.

The Last to Win (2008)

His pelts are intricately embroidered and deliberate in their message.  They give a new spin on a luxury, giving it a rough edge with a little dab of mortality.  I love that he embroiders pictures of long-past persons on these pelts that belong to a long-past animal.  To me it is a unification of man and animal, blurring the lines that define humans from other mammals.  It’s as he is saying that we shouldn’t care about defining ourselves from our animal friends, for in the end it doesn’t matter.

Then there are David’s sculptures which echo the themes of his pelts.  However, I feel that these pieces are like a car crash: you are revolted by the sight but find it so interesting that you are unable to look away.  His sculptures are not the most beautiful by traditional standards, but definitely are stunning in their own right.

Guild (2007)

Title Unknown

Bear Skin Rug (2008)

Fox 39 (2008)

Graze (2005)

A Tribute to Canadian Rock and Roll (2005)


Wikipedia says:

Clothing and textiles have been enormously important throughout human history—so have their materials, production tools and techniques, cultural influences, and social significance.

Textiles, defined as felt or spun fibers made into yarn and subsequently netted, looped, knit or woven to make fabrics, appeared in the Middle East during the late stone age. From ancient times to the present day, methods of textile production have continually evolved, and the choices of textiles available have influenced how people carried their possessions, clothed themselves, and decorated their surroundings.

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Historically, textiles began as any other means of expressing stories and present experiences. Today, we see textiles as a way of expressing our personalities, of reserving a place in history specifically for ourselves.  Not really much different from what has happened for centuries, so our perceptions of its techniques should not be so different.  This is where you would be wrong. Now-a-days we are not so concerned with how our products are made, just that we have them and as many of them as possible.  We have lost the joys that a process brings, and that is what textile artists, slow fashion, and centers are bringing back.

The techniques have changed significantly, but the ideals remain the same.

Weaving

Dyeing

Screen Printing

Felting

Knitting

And these are just a few examples.  There is still quilting, crocheting, lace making, sewing, macrame, batik, tie dyeing, cross stitching, embroidery, not to mention the possibilities of combining all of these techniques.

What my anger issue is about is that such a small group of people really appreciate the work that goes into a hand-crafted textile.  It is such a shame that everyone does not have appreciation for something that is a part of their everyday life.

This is what the Textile Arts Center is helping to rectify.  By educating we can help the public gain more smarts, appreciation, and overall experience in a field that affects their lives immensely.

Happy Grand Opening, and I promise that next week we get back to our regularly scheduled program!