Thursday, January 31, 2013

The "missing" tapestries at ATB9

Here at last are the last 16 tapestries from the American Tapestry Biennial 9 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. I was heartbroken not to see many of these pieces after traveling from Colorado, but I am grateful to Ellen and Phil Robertson for going to the show, taking these lovely photos, and allowing me to post them for you to see. The placement of the remaining tapestries is in the main hallway of the museum. It is a high-traffic area and so the tapestries should get a lot of viewing. I am pleased that the tapestries are up but wish I had been able to meet Barbara's Sarah Rebecca, Myla's trees, and Dorothy's landscapes in person.
**With apologies to Myla, there wasn't a photo taken of her entire piece. If anyone else went to the exhibit and has one, I'd love to see it. This is one of the pieces I really wanted to study.

As I was unable to view these tapestries myself, I am mostly just going to post the photos with a few comments from the catalog (which can be purchased from the American Tapestry Alliance at this link: http://americantapestryalliance.org/catalogs/).




In the catalog, Archie Brennan states that this is the third "partial portrait" he has done based on styles of clothing he wore in the 1960's, 1970's and 1990's.
Each tapestry focuses on the illusion of contemporary clothing in tapestry weaving that has run through the history of pictorial tapestry over more than 2000 years. Such a subject matter is one of the many themes (words / postcards / line drawing / reconstruction / windows / etc.) that I have focused on since the late 60's.
Partial Portrait-AB-Once Upon a Summer, Archie Brennan; 23 x 15 inches, cotton, wool
Partial Portrait-AB-Once Upon a Summer, detail
Joanne Sanburg says about this piece, "My goal is to communicate a specific personality type with my art and artifacts." I can only chuckle and remember fondly Peggy from ATB8. Thanks Joanne.
Bebe, Joanne Sanburg; 36 x 23 x 1 inch, wool, raffia, twine, silk, cotton, synthetics, embellishments
Bebe, detail
This is one tapestry I have seen before, as Kathy Spoering and I currently live in relatively close proximity (what is 400 miles in the American West? ... to most of us who have lived here a long time, it isn't all that far). It was nice to see the photos of this puppy dog again. Kathy says that this piece is also called 'The Dog Days of Summer' and is one of a series of 12 calendar tapestries she is working on "to categorize the movement and regularity of change in my life.... The 12 tapestries attempt to capture simple moments in time that can represent relationships, passions, or the bits that added together, sum up my changing life." I first saw this piece at the Intermountain Weaver's Conference in Durango, CO and was pleased it was showing again in a bigger show.
August, Kathy Spoering; 18 x 18 x 1.5 inches, wool, cotton
August, detail
I always enjoy Janet Austin's work. This is yet another piece in this show with text in it (see THIS post for the others). Janet says this about the piece in the catalog:
My tapestries grow out of my drawings and paintings. The Chaos series evolved from one 27 year-old painting of my messy studio table. After the usual copying and dismembering, I began to trace a small segment with black colored pencil: in a flash, the fallen cone of yarn morphed into a black hole in the universe. I had found the Chaos I was seeking.
On the Edge of Chaos, Janet Austin; 21.5 x 24 x 1 inches, wool, linen, silk, rayon
On the Edge of Chaos, detail
Here is yet another piece I would have loved to study in detail. Anne Brodersen says in the catalog,
Three things are basic in my work: The daily sense of impressions of strong nature -- the word -- and the material. I try to evoke the essence of the impressions I get from nature in simple idiom. My works often reflect the surface of the big, ragged landscape where everything is constantly formed by the wind. At other times I read the landscape closely, go deep down into the details, use many colors, and the lines and a more delicate technique. Often I work with words as a motive power. I search for a series of strong words, or one powerful sentence. On these I attach associations of form, color and experiences.
I love this description of her way of working. I will have to search out Anne's work in the future.
Departure, Anne Brodersen; 43.7 x 41.7 inches, cotton, linen, wool, silk
Departure, detail
Who can help but love Pat Williams' work. I find it so much fun every time I see photos of it (or once, an actual piece in ATB8). Here is what Pat says about this piece in the catalog:
Thousands of red winged black birds mysteriously fell from the sky onto roads and roofs in Beebe, Arkansas January 1, 2011; over 100,000 fish died at the same time in the Arkansas River. Over 500 black birds died at the same time in Louisiana. On October 11, 2011, there were more reports of dead birds falling from the sky in Sweden, and millions of dead fish have been found in Maryland, Brazil, New Zealand, Italy.
 I would love to know how she does the beautiful edge of the tapestry. I don't have a detail shot of that.
Red Winged Black birds: Memorial to Their Falling From the Sky, Pat Williams; 59 x 21 inches, wool, cotton, lurex
Red Winged Black Birds: Memorial to Their Falling From the Sky, detail
There are a lot of beautiful techniques in this piece. Nancy Jackson says this about it in the catalog:
The primary intent in my work is to look at humanity and the world on a spiritual level with particular attention to human failure and our responses to failure. Images of movement, change and transformation and a sense of being guarded, protected, and nurtured in the process are also important to me. My understanding of being "guarded, protected, and nurtured" does not eliminate suffering and it is not equal to happiness, comfort, and security.
Lakota Creation Myth II, Nancy Jackson; 47.375 x 21.125 inches, wool, cotton
This detail is helpful to me. It appears the tapestry was woven sideways and uses a lot of color blending in the weft bundle as well as hachure technique.
Lakota Creation Myth II, detail
Lakota Creation Myth II, detail
Lakota Creation Myth II, detail
I saw Marie-Thumette Brichard's piece in ATB8 when it was in Lincoln, NE and loved it. This piece is also fascinating. And I love her statement in the catalog:

Today when everything must be done in a great hurry, tapestry may seem to be anachronistic. For me tapestry is an obvious fact, a slow, solitary work, out of time, where creation feeds on technical constraints and the tactile pleasure of weaving, touching the material, intertwining the threads, the rhythm of the spindle sounding like music... All my work is inspired by my maritime environment and mainly the Isle of Groix, its light, its colors, its rocks. 
Glaucophanes et Prasinites 2, Marie-Thumette Brichard; 51 x 51 inches, wool

Glaucophanes et Prasinites 2, detail
Of all the pieces I didn't get to see, I have to admit that missing a meeting with Sarah Rebecca was the worst blow. I am fascinated by Barbara Heller's imagery and her ghost series tapestries. She must use a split warp technique (doubled warp) for the more detailed portions of these tapestries. Here is what Barbara says about this tapestry in the catalog:
With this tapestry I have returned to my ghost images from a new perspective. Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah are the four matriarchs of Judaism. My Sarah Rebecca represents all the people dislocated from home by fear or hope. They have traveled through time and space to find a better life and their spirits linger on in their homes and in our memories.
Sarah Rebecca, Barbara Heller; 48 x 70 x 2 inches, linen, wool, cotton, rayon; photograph courtesy of the artist
Sarah Rebecca, detail; photograph courtesy of the artist

I really admire Dorothy Clews' work. Her work exudes earthiness and feels like I imagine her home in Australia feels. I was able to see a few of her pieces in a show she was in in Albuquerque, NM in July 2010. From the catalog for ATB9:
The fragile fragment - a flower, person, a culture - out of place, but nonetheless embedded in harsh antipodean soils that give it a new context. Wherever I have travelled in Australia in the most unlikely environment and climate I have found plants from elsewhere, roses in the black soils of the Queensland outback and pansies in the harsh red soils of the Northern Territory sometimes thriving, sometimes not. My own gardens have been planted with exotic plants mixed with natives. These precious fragments of memory make their own story of adaptation and relocation, in the space between one place and another on the opposite sides of the globe creating a new antipodean landscape.
Antipodean Landscape, Dorothy Clews; 9 x 6.75 x 0.5 inches, seine twine, raffie, antique tapestry
Antipodean Landscape, detail
I love the pencils in this image as well as the wonderful framing of the face. Deann Rubin talks about this tapestry being part of a "series of small tapestries reminiscent of vintage children's blocks.
Draw/#2 Pencil, Deann Rubin; 10 x 10 x 1.4 inches, cotton, wool, silk, other materials
Draw/#2 Pencil, detail

Mary Kester says this about her work in the catalog:
My tapestry images are visual responses to the enigma of Neolithic stones. Standing stones are objects unexplained by written language and affected by elapsed time. Their shapes, purposes, and the meanings of their inscribed symbols are outside our frame of reference. My vision of them leads me to build them back, to rearrange them, to place their symbols as I will to evoke their potent presence. I respond to what I've seen with fiber forms in the visual language of texture, shape, color and the illusion of depth.
Broken Lintel, Mary Kester; 54 x 62 x 4 inches, wool, cotton, linen
Broken Lintel, detail
I don't have a photo of Myla Collier's Urban Forest (17 x 52 x 1 inch, wool, cotton). If anyone goes to the show and takes one, I'd love to see it. I think the first detail shot is fabulous. Myla says this about her work:
My recent work has focused on woven interpretations of the lush landscapes and environment of my hometown, San Luis Obispo on California's Central Coast.
Urban Forest, detail
Urban Forest, detail
Erica Lynn Diazoni provided a poem with this piece in the catalog.

Thoughts
are small stones.
I pick them up, like pebbles on the beach.

I put them in my pocket.
As I roll them between my fingers.
I simply notice and take delight.
Here smooth, here rough
This one cold, this one warm.

I take the pebbles back out
Setting them carefully
back on the sand
And marvel at their raw beauty
gleaming back at me.
Psyche, Erica Lynn Diazoni; 5.11 x 6 inches, wool, cotton
Psyche, detail
Suzanne Pretty:
The modern landscape often contains elements of the natural world juxtaposed to the world of technology and machines with its flash and glitter. Construction trucks are parked in a tidy row at the road side ready for the next day's work. The patterns are very different from the William Morris patterning of vines and birds. These trucks create patterns with harsh colors and chrome pulsing with power. These scenes, juxtaposed and infringing on the natural landscape, occur at a rapidly increasing rate. In my work I focus on these intersections at the very edges with the contrast and blend of the elements.
Road Construction in Detail, Suzanne Pretty; 9.4 x 7.9 inches, wool, silk, cotton, linen
Road Construction in Detail, detail
Bozena Pychova:
My tapestries are always based on my own designs and I weave the vertical way to see the whole composition. The characteristic sign is my enchantment by a line and depth of the colorful spaces clustered in changing configurations. The tapestry "Blue Prelludium" also had a colored design - a simple drawing. During the realization, I used streaky strands of different thickness according to the needed tint. I let this material go through the warp. The strands appear only where the material allows it, which brings inspirational moments to me. In the case of this tapestry, I also started to improvise with color spaces and their tonal values and I played with them like with musical tones, which gave the title to this piece of work.
I love how she blends the blues which you can see in the detail.
Blue Prelludium, Bozena Pychova; 59 x 67 inches, wool
Blue Prelludium, detail
When I started posting the photos from this show, I never intended to show every single tapestry. But now it looks like I almost have. My perfectionistic tendencies have reared their head again, but hopefully it has been useful to people who didn't get to see the show at all. I realized when looking back that I missed a few tapestries from the initial group. Here they are, these photographs are mine.

This tapestry by Tori S. Kleinert reminded me of a quilting method I tried once which I think is called Bargello. I like the movement of the blocks and the curved forms at the bottom. This piece was behind glass and was difficult to photograph.

Semblance of the Ancient Ones, Tori S. Kleinert; 5 x 7.75 x 1 inches, cotton, linen

This piece was woven sideways and had the interesting feature of empty warp threads between the squares. Carol Chave says in the catalog, "After Albers," five linked tapestries, was inspired by Josef Albers' Homage to a Square series. (Tapestry in the distance is DisConnect by Linda Wallace.)

After Albers, Carol Chave; 18 x 86 inches, wool
After Albers, detail
The fiber in this Barbara Burns piece was very shiny cotton which made a photograph difficult. The expression is well done and this piece is on the back of the catalog.
Little Spinner Girl, Barbara Burns; 13 x 13 inches, cotton
Ann Booth:
Recently I have been working on a series of portraits I call my Sheroes (female heroes). Women who have been strong role models along my spiritual journey.
I like the way Ann uses shapes in her pieces to move color and create background as in the surface behind the figure in this tapestry.
Munirih Khanum, Ann Booth; 25 x 26 inches, wool, cotton
Munirih Khanum, detail

 Helen Gold:
Sometimes I look to the past for inspiration for a tapestry project. Seated Woman is a tribute to the barrier breaking modernist art forms of Fauvism, Cubism and Art Nouveau. The women, textiles and interiors of that period are the spirit of this tapestry.
Seated woman, Helen Gold; 19 x 17.5 inches, wool, cotton
Seated Woman, detail

The End

(for the moment)

6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing all these beautiful tapestries, it is especially interesting to see close up views of how other weavers work.

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  3. Thanks for all your postings about the show and photos of the work of so many talented people. Although I'm no longer weaving, it makes me happy to stay a bit connected through your blog.

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  4. Thank you for all these inspiring photos and for the comments re each tapestry. As novice tapestry weaver your blog is a wonderful source of inspiration.

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  5. Rebecca, thank you so much for posting this update, and of course thanks also to Ellen and Phil Robertson for taking the time to visit and photograph the tapestries added. The placement of these is a prime viewing area, and features them well. In fact, I was told by the museum director that some visitors had remarked that these must be the best, as they had such a prime location.

    Michael Rohde

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  6. Such wonderful tapsteries! After taking your workshop I have had a whole new appreciation for gradation and I look forward to getting back into it as soon as possible (after April??)

    -Jenny

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