Jun 072024
 

It was great to see new work by Keya Tama and his partner Isolina Minjeong at Court Tree Collective in Industry City. I last saw Tama’s work in Los Angeles in 2019. The woven and ceramic pieces they have created for Defender are charming and reflect their personal backgrounds. The couple have also kept the prices low to encourage younger collectors.

From the gallery-

Court Tree Collective proudly presents “Defender”, a duo exhibition by Isolina Minjeong and Keya Tama. These two young artists work by blending the old with the new and by infusing their cultural heritage into their creations. This new body of work breathes fresh life into traditional art forms. Their work is a vibrant reflection of their identity and experiences, enriching the viewer with diverse perspectives and narratives. The title “Defender” is for upholding traditions in a modern world. The exhibition features folklore history through ceramics, paintings, and tapestries. Combining traditional art forms, while incorporating elements of pop culture brings to light the protection of the past. Exacting the moment of when history becomes relevant in both the past and future.

Playing off each other’s strengths has unified the work as something special. Not only as two artists in pursuit of creating together, but in working in the present to bring a unique perspective on art history.

“Defender” is an exhibition of their collaborative language. Through tapestries, paintings, muralism, and ceramic sculptures, Keya and Isolina protect each other’s hearts. This is their first duo exhibition in New York.

This exhibition closes 6/8/24.

 

Jun 012024
 

“Tundra #8”, 2024, Silk and dye

“Lava Fields #23”, 2024, Silk and dye

Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson’s current depictions of the landscape in Iceland for Lava Fields and Tundras at Tibor de Nagy are created using a three part process. She first takes photos, then projects them to create a painting on thread, and finally the thread is transferred to a loom. The results are dreamy.

From the press release-

A painter and textile artist, Jónsson uses the unique and active landscape of Iceland as the source for her works. In the current exhibition, she focuses on lava fields, made from recent volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula, in eyeshot of the artist’s Icelandic home in Keflavik and tundras which are arctic deserts, near Melrakkasletta, in northern Iceland, just below the arctic circle. In recent years, Jónsson has observed these evolving and tumultuous aspects of the Icelandic landscape and translated it into her painted and woven works.

Jónsson travels to her part-time home in Iceland several times a year. There she takes photographs and makes preliminary studies. Back in her studio in Ohio, she enlarges and projects the images, reworking them until she has the desired composition. She begins each work by painting the images on the loose silk threads – next these hand painted warp threads are transferred to the loom. The weaving then commences and the image is combined with the woven weft horizontal threads. Jónsson’s practice is squarely at the intersection of weaving and painting, where she deconstructs elements of both processes. The hybridized results blur the boundaries and sit comfortably between fine art and craft.

This exhibition closes 6/1/24.

May 212024
 

“blood compass” 2023, Cotton and acrylic yarn

“summer somewhere (for Danez)”, 2020, Woven cotton and acrylic yarn

“how to approach a foal”, Cotton and acrylic yarn, 2024

“american wedding”, 2019, Cotton and acrylic yarn

Diedrick Brackens’ weavings for blood compass, currently at Jack Shainman’s two New York City locations, have a mystical language all their own. In the gallery’s newest space, inside the landmark Clock Tower Building, his creations look particularly majestic.

From the gallery-

In these weavings, the artist maps an imagined place —visualizing the internal mechanisms and symbols that animate his work while removing the anchor of direct narrative. The scenes depicted in each weaving exist out of time, suspended between a distant past and a world to come. The works in this series are set at dusk, twilight, and deep night—hours that become vehicles for ritual and interiority. The silhouetted inhabitants of this in-between realm are archetypes that Brackens once described as ciphers, or “needles through which I slip the threads of biography and myth, and pass through a mesh of history and context.”

His figures are accompanied by an ecosystem of symbols and shapes that have recurred over the course of his practice. The animals, natural elements, and man-made objects, accrue significance every time they are cast in this ever-evolving mythology. The characters in this series are placed in dialogue with lightning bolts, waning suns, and sourceless orbs of light—open-ended devices of orientation. In these distilled arrangements, footholds for straightforward interpretation dissolve—inviting viewers to parse the compositions and uncover meaning.

Brackens’ semiotic language emerges from lived experience, but also through revisiting books, poems, and legends. In blood compass, some of these references—alluded to in his titles— include the novel Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler, the poem “How you might approach a foal” by Wendy Videlock, and the Bible’s parable of the prodigal son. These stories, though dramatically diverse in genre and subject, speak to Brackens’ inclination to loop, lose, and locate one’s self in that which is known, but also to shape-shift, forming new meaning from that which is “familiar.” He approaches these symbols—weighted with memory, context, and history—with fresh eyes or, as Videlock’s poem concludes, ”like you / are new to the world.”

The show closes downtown on 5/24, but continues through 6/1/24 at the Chelsea location where the selections below are from.

“if you have ghosts”, 2024, Cotton and acrylic yarn

 

“towards the greenest place on earth”, 2023, Cotton and acrylic yarn

“favorable conditions”, 2023, cotton and acrylic yarn

Mar 162024
 

Stephen Tornero “Don’t Tell Me” Hand dyed wool, acrylic rods

Chad Troyer “Crashing Waves” (bottom) and “Calming Shores” (top) Jacquard-woven, gradating waffle weave; Cotton, linen, rayon, silk, birch

Jen P. Harris “Oscillator” (left) and “Sphinx” (right) Hand-woven cotton, canvas, gesso, and thread on wood stretcher bars//Hand-woven cotton, canvas, thread, and acrylic paint on wood stretcher bars

Trey D. Gehring, “Stacked” Woven cotton yarn, crocheted acrylic yarn, fabric paint

Etta Sandry “Pivot: Moi-même” and “Pivot: Big Squish”, Cotton and cottolin, handwoven on Jacquard loom//Cotton and wool, handwoven on Jacquard loom

There are some incredible pieces in Waffle Weave Invitational, one of the current exhibitions at Summit Artspace. A few selections are pictured, but head to the gallery’s website to see all of the work on view.

From curator Stephen Tornero (who also has work in the show)-

This show was conceived as an idea to focus on a specific structural variable of a textile, and see how many different variations artists, artisans, and craftspeople would be able to produce. While researching the development of weaving technology, a loom with the capability to create complex structures was developed around 600 CE simultaneously in different cultures. This structure could have been produced by these looms, but also could have been designed much earlier by hand-manipulation of threads by the weaver. The waffle structure is so unique in its ability to transform a textile- seemingly a two dimensional surface- into a three dimensional object that has depth as shown by many repeated square pyramidal cells. Historically, this structure was used to create a textile that would hold water in its cells for cleaning or drying, or to help insulate the body with tiny pockets of air.  This structure can be modified by changing the color of the threads with which it is woven, the fiber content of those threads, or even by expanding the amount of threads used in a cell, expanding the scale. 

Statements from the artists about the work pictured above (from the Summit Artspace website)-

Stephen TorneroDon’t Tell Me– “This piece is part of a continuing study of material, color, and structure in textiles. I have been mesmerized with the “waffle weave” structure and its ability to create large, three dimensional pockets of space. This pieces experiments with the combination of the flexible, fibrous wool yarns with the rigid neon acrylic rods. These two materials are combined in a large textile in order to explore the effects that this unique weaving structure will have on these materials. This use these two opposing materials in the piece creates a dialogue between the traditional usefulness of this wool weaving and its display on the wall as a work of art.”

Chad TroyerCrashing Waves and Calming Shores– “The gradating structure allows for the weft to float acrost the surface of the weaving for varying lengths, from half an inch to nearly the whole width. The warp is allowed to float for varying lengths, but not nearly as long as the weft. After it was taken off the loom, the weaving was stretched. Parts of it were pulled, and others were left loose, allowing the floats to be accented by the folding and tautness of the cloth. The two pieces are the same piece of cloth cut apart, however they both display a different state of being: turbulent & calm.”

Jen P. HarrisOscillator and Sphinx– “These small weaving-painting hybrids are part of an ongoing, experimental body of work in which I am developing a heterogeneous formal language that both honors and questions histories and conventions of painting and weaving.”

Trey D. GehringStacked– “Stacked follows a line of investigation by the artist into a poststructuralist analysis of language as a system of symbols that lack meaning beyond context. The piece melds the namesake with the woven structure itself creating a hyper-literal interpretation of the exhibition’s theme. However, an understanding of the theoretical underpinning is unnecessary and secondary to the enjoyment of the whimsical and humorous nature of the work.”

Etta SandryPivot: Moi-même and Pivot: Big Squish- “My woven work focuses on samples that explore dimensionality in woven cloth using techniques such as multi-layer weaving, pleating, and woven structures that are elastic, self-shaping, and otherwise transformative, like the pocketed cells of waffle weave. This work creates a series of translations between the flat draft and the materiality of the cloth. Weaving is a technically binary structure: a warp thread can be either raised or lowered. When drafted, woven structure is drawn as a flat grid. Woven in multiple layers, cords, and pleats, weaving maintains its inherent binary nature but takes on a new physical dimensionality. Between the flat draft and the woven cloth, there is an unknowable material transformation that reflects the nuance, radical variation, and possibility that emerges from a seemingly set and limited system. In these works, this variation is expressed through two large waffle weave samples that test the limits of the waffle structure. Each piece weaves the same design of increasingly large waffle cells. Moi-même presents a balanced the waffle weave in which warp and weft threads of a similar weight and color draw out a subtle loosening of the structure as the size of the cells increase. In The Big Squish, the waffle structure is boldly packed, extended and distorted by colorful wool wefts.”

This exhibition closes 3/16/24.

Feb 272024
 

Jo Westfall, “The Queens Astronomer”, 2023, Mixed media

Christine Mauersberger, “Kates Bouquet”, 2022, Digital print on Japanese Kozo paper, of loom weaving

Cat Mailloux, “Rose Window”, 2023, Quilted appliqué on found fabric

Suzi Hyden, “If the Sun Could Kiss Me”, 2023, Toned cyanotype on vintage linen hand-stitched onto metal fencing

Above are a few of the works from Common Thread, the current exhibition at Malone University’s art gallery. It is on view until 2/29/24.

From the gallery about the show-

Although quite different, all artists in this exhibition are united by the idea of textiles. Suzi Hyden’s work celebrates the environment by combining elements from nature and repurposed materials to create cyanotypes on vintage fabrics.

Cat Mailloux’s textile practice is focused in quilt making, pursuing connections between the visual language of churches, cathedrals, and domestic spaces that slowly bleed their way into imagined and limitless landscapes, exploring questions of the infinite through material.

Christine Mauersberger’s body of work is aesthetically eclectic. Hard and soft. Digital and analog. Some pieces fill a room, others can be held in your hand. The common thread is that each piece attempts to make the invisible visible.

Jo Westfall creates visual work considered resource art. It is portraiture, fiber art, and assemblage made with local materials that were discarded, overlooked, or unused. It reclaims the aesthetic capacity and utility of these items by integrating them into fresh renderings.

Apr 222023
 

cabeza güera, 2019 Glazed ceramic and crochet cotton

“encuero”, 2022-2023, Crochet leather and copper; “gotitas”, 2023 Agate, glazed ceramic, plasma cut metal, steel, onyx, palm, and seed podand; “telaraña de cobre”, 2020 (web in upper corner)

“trastes ceramica”, 2023 Glazed ceramic, gourds, crochet copper wire, and limpet shell

There’s only two days left to see ektor garcia: esfuerzo at James Fuentes. The enchanting sculptures inspire curiosity and encourage the viewer to imagine the story behind the work while also admiring their construction.

From Art Daily about the exhibition-

Each of ektor garcia’s exhibitions are more like a marker of a moment of pause in his work, rather than a presentation of something complete or discrete. In this way his works are evidence of a continual natural progression, as things build on top of each other, evolving. In relation to the specific time and place of this newest exhibition; it marks a cyclical continuation of the garcia’s presentations at the New Museum in 2017 and Sculpture Center in 2019—both of which moments in the artist’s life when he was traveling a lot, largely moving between Mexico, being on the road, and New York, specifically. This is the case once again, today:

For this show garcia traveled from his studio in Mexico City, suitcases filled with materials, to occupy the basement space below the gallery at 55 Delancey St in the lead up to the exhibition’s opening to the public. He has also retrieved objects previously exhibited or in storage—for example a 15-ft copper link piece recently exhibited at the Henry Art Museum has been broken into smaller pieces, added to and reconfigured into a new work(s). The exhibition title, esfuerzo translates to effort; as in a big push, like a birth, which feels apt for what the artist does. Pieces come together little by little over a long period of time; and the work comprises many small parts that each reflect his esfuerzo in making them. Another translation for esfuerzo could be output; and, shortened, fuerza means strength. Via his artistic practice, garcia is the conduit or vessel through which that life-force runs, resulting in an output that is this body of work. garcia is constantly making, hands always moving; this is simply part of how he lives his life. The work therefore isn’t made toward constructing a larger conceptual conceit; instead, its making is its meaning, the working is the work. Its presence in the space is evidence of all this; making room for it to be approached and even interceded, we inherently take part in the work’s life cycle, even potentially changing its course by entering this domain.

This sense of force, therefore, isn’t tied to garcia’s hand only, but relates externally as well. One piece in the show, cochinilla (2022), is woven from wool dyed red from the shell of the cochineal insect. Last year it was installed on the exterior of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico, and upon taking it down garcia’s realized it had become sun bleached unexpectedly. With other pieces he more deliberately pushes, forcing change, for example by using a blowtorch against copper to catalyze an oil-spill patina. Over time, crochet has been one constant; a crocheted piece needs time, and then it meets time. In his words: “The materials are vibrating back and forth, taking turns. That is how they evolve.” And so although the works reference the past they do not prioritize it; likewise the future. Rather, in the style of the ouroboros, they are cyclical, perpetual, and most generous about the present.

Artist Cy Gavin wrote this piece to accompany the exhibition, which is worth a read as well.

 

Aug 102021
 

summer syllables, 2021

soft, dark, demigod, 2021

marshling, 2021

Currently at Jack Shainman Gallery is Diedrick Brackens: Rhyming Positions, the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery. Brackens’ weavings use nature as symbolism to tell stories about the current world.

From the press release-

In several tableaux situated in nature, Brackens plays with the idea of creating home in a wild space, honoring the outdoors as a place in which queerness lives. This is a nod to the history of queer and femme folks who have gathered in nature, creating safe spaces for ritual and communion. This notion of commune is present in summer syllables, in which two figures stretch in lyrical movement, seemingly fashioning loops out of their own bodies, as if flowing one into the other within a vast, yellow landscape. In soft, dark, demigod, a figure bends over, caught within a thicket of roses in full bloom. This moment is indicative of Brackens’ own observation of the outside world over the course of the past year, as he has relished in these quiet moments of continued life as flowers grow. The presence of roses hint at the sensuality and eroticism that are apparent throughout this body of work and in Brackens’ practice more broadly.

In marshling a lone figure stands poised in the water, akimbo, surrounded by catfish and flora of the swamp. Catfish are a recurring motif in Brackens’ work, an emblem of the American South, embodying the soul and ancestral spirits. Continuing his practice of pulling from traditional folklore, two rabbits rest on chairs in each their own, almost as if they have been conjured up by the figure seated in their midst. Rabbits, creatures that live both above and below the earth, have shown up throughout African and African-American tales and literature as messengers and trickster figures. To Brackens, the animals in these works feel less literal and more like other humans or spirits  in communion with the figures, the trio seated together almost as if awaiting a dance.

This exhibition closes 8/20/21.

Feb 232019
 

Artist Pierre Daquin’s tapestry “La Vue” courtesy of Galerie Chevalier as part of The 13th Floor project

Several art fairs took over Los Angeles last weekend, two of which used hotels to create temporary galleries and installations.

At the The Hollywood Roosevelt was the first edition of Felix, a free art fair co-founded by Dean Valentine along with brothers Al Morán and Mills Morán (of LA gallery Morán Morán). Galleries took over rooms along the pool, on the 11th floor, and the penthouse.  Starting at the penthouse was The 13th Floor (pictured above), a collection of work by French artists curated by writer Andrew Berardini and presented by The French Committee of Art Galleries and the Cultural Services of the French embassy.

Kenny Schachter had some fun pieces in his room on the 11th Floor including Ilona Rich’s sculptures, one of which was in the bathroom shower (pictured above), and a framed collection of artist Chris Burden’s cancelled checks.

Bodega gallery, from New York’s Lower East Side, had a selection of interesting work including paintings by Alexandra Noel.

Alexandra Noel, “And then the air was filled with 10,000 things (or when a minor piece of wood becomes a missile)”

Grice Bench’s selections included a collection of lovely watercolors by Roger White and a painting placed above the bed by Lara Schnitger.

Work by Lara Schnitger and Roger White

On the ground floor Marc Selwyn Fine Art presented Jennifer Aniston’s Used Book Sale, artist Kristen Morgin’s incredibly realistic ceramic replicas of books she imagines might make up the actress’ collection (the VHS tape is real).

Kristen Morgin’s ceramic books

At a hotel in a completely different part of town was the stARTup Art Fair, taking place at The Kinney in Venice. Here, instead of galleries representing the artists, it’s the artists that set up their rooms and sell their art.  It made for a great experience as the artists were all very friendly and eager to discuss their work. Below are a few highlights from the fair.

Lisa Kairos and Melissa Mohammadi’s work

“Leaf Insects Turn Into Butterflies” by Melissa Mohammadi

San Francisco artists Lisa Kairos and Melissa Mohammadi’s room was filled with really beautiful work. Kairos makes dreamy multilayered paintings based on natural landscapes. She then cuts patterns into the images which adds yet another dimension to the paintings. Mohammadi’s work incorporates botanical and marine life into a meditative world where bright pastels stand out among subdued watercolor backgrounds; highly detailed sections mix with the more abstract. The end result for both artists is work you want to spend time looking at.

Work by Annie Galvin of 3 Fish Studios

Work by Eric Rewitzer of 3 Fish Studios

Husband and wife artists Eric Rewitzer and Annie Galvin of 3 Fish Studios in San Francisco had lots of great, affordable prints. They also teach printmaking and collage classes in their studio.

One of Camilla Magrane’s artworks

Artist Camila Magrane had several pieces in her darkened hotel room that use augmented reality technology to make the works animated and three dimensional when looked at through her Virtual Mutations app. The video above illustrates the effect.

Jeff Horton uses his architecture background to create paintings of urban structures (often larger than what’s pictured above), some of which incorporate wax with oil paint for an added layer.

Other artists work not shown but worth checking out- Margaret Hyde makes ethereal still life photographs of natural objects she finds and combines with water, and Kyong Ae Kim showed a variety of impressive work including her animal skulls cut from multiple layers of drafting film and acrylic paintings combined with hand cut elements.