Archive for January, 2010

Dispatch: Artpalmbeach, art+photography+design

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 23, 2010 by arttextstyle

We’ve exhibited in Palm Beach, Florida in January for the last seven years. In that time, the exhibition has had three different owners, three different names and differing emphases each year. Despite the difficulty the fair has had finding a footing, we’ve returned each year. We are convinced there is a good audience in the Palm Beach area and we are always happy to catch up with our existing Florida clients, and family and friends.

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This year, however, the news is better. The latest incarnation, artpalmbeach, art+photography+design, seems to have found a workable formula. The crowds at the fair were large; the composition of the show varied and exciting, we added new clients to our list and the other dealers we spoke to seemed pleased sales. In this economic environment, those are impressive achievements. David Lester, of International Fine Art Exhibitions, who founded the fair in 1998 with his wife, Lee Ann, and resumed ownership a year ago, told Artinfo, “I want this fair to have broad appeal, quality art, and accessibility. My goal is to go out and bring in much more interesting art from around the globe.” The global emphasis was evident in the mix of galleries and work. The 70 galleries came from the US and abroad, including the Netherlands, Ukraine, UK, Sweden Argentina and Dubai. Chinese, Vietnamese, Icelandic and Latin American artists were featured. In the browngrotta arts booth alone was work created by artists from 15 countries.

“That power of attraction, admirable for any fair in an inhospitable economic climate, bodes well for the process of reinvention that the Lesters have only just begun, ” concluded Margery Gordon in her Artinfo article, “Art Palm Beach Mixes Media — and Messages.” http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/33659/art-palm-beach-mixes-media-and-messages. We were so optimistic, in fact, we are turning around and returning next week to participate in IFAE’s American International Fine Art Fair from February 2nd – 8th at the Palm Beach Convention Center http://www.aifaf.com. More on that to come.

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Sneak Peek: Artpalmbeach, January 14th -19th

Posted in Art, Bamboo, Exhibitions, Mixed Media, Sculpture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2010 by arttextstyle

Palm-Beach-Ad.jpgWe’re leaving the ice and snow (sigh) for sunnier climes next week, where browngrotta arts will join more than 50 other galleries exhibiting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center at Artpalmbeach, art + photography + design. The fair opens on January 15th and lasts through the 19th. A theme of this year’s Artpalmbeach,  art + photography + design is “going global.” As always, browngrotta arts will do its part; we are exhibiting the work of artists from 15 countries. Our installation in Booth 204 will include some of the highlights of this fall’s 10th Wave III exhibitions as well as new works by several artists including a significant wall sculpture by Ritzi Jacobi; pieces made of fish scales by Marian Bijlenga and new works of repurposed encyclopedias by Wendy Wahl. We’ll present the work of two artists in Palm Beach for the first time: We’ll present the work of two artists in Palm Beach for the first time: Jennifer Falck Linssen of the US and Carolina Yrarrázaval of Chile. US Artist Norma Minkowitz will be at the booth on Monday, January 18th from 2-4 p.m. to discuss her work; Dawn MacNutt of Nova Scotia will be at the booth to discuss her work on Tuesday, January 19th, from 2-4 p.m.

Stitching on the Silver Screen: A List in Progress

Posted in Film, Sewing with tags , on January 4, 2010 by arttextstyle

Writing about needlework in the film Bright Star last month got me wondering — and Googling — about other portrayals of sewing, weaving, embroidery, and the like in film. I poked around the web for a couple of weeks and contacted film experts and friends of long-standing Cari Beauchamp and Sloan Seale for suggestions. (Cari is the author of a host of books on film including: Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years and Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s with Valeria Belletti and Sam Goldwyn Jr.) The result is the highly idiosyncratic list below. I am indebted to artist Sabrina Gschwandtner and Fiberarts editor Marci Rae McDade who compiled a list of feature-length fiber-related films in the April/May 2009 issue of Fiberarts (their selections are asterisked below). I have added the parantheticals and other nominees in developing my own compilation. For a much more extensive list (132!) of films that feature just knitting, see Knitting in the Movies; there’s another at Knit Flix.

Films that Feature Handwork (a highly selective view):

The Addams Family; Addams Family Values, 1991;1993 (In the films and tv series, Mother Morticia often knits odd two-headed, three-legged items for family members.)

Amelie, 2001 (tobaccionist is crocheting).

Babette’s Feast, 1987 (Babette sews with her sisters in the kitchen.)

Bend It Like Beckham, 2002 (Mrs Bhamra (Shaheen Khan) is knitting for her expected grandchild.)

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s, * 1961 (Includes the famed line: “Jose brought up the blueprints for a new ranch house. I have this strange feeling that the blueprints and the knitting instructions got switched. I may be knitting a ranch house!” For more Audrey check out Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn stitchalong for across-stitch pattern of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.)

City Lights, Charlie Chaplin, 1931 (Skein winding.)

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Coraline,* 2009 (see Thread for Thought for a comprehensive discussion of the “loving attention” given to handcrafts in this film.)

Dancing at Lughnasa,* Pat O’Connor, 1998, (Meryl Streep knits socks.)

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Fargo, 1996 (Jean in a bobble and cable sweater, knitting her next project. (thank you Vickie Howell.)

Gone with the Wind,* Victor Fleming, 1939 (When Melanie is reading while the women are waiting, one of them is crocething).

Handmade Nation,* Faythe Levine, 2009 (Includes portraits of crafters across the US, including knitters and embroiderers.)

The Heiress, 1949 (Olivia deHaviland begins an embroidered sampler when her lover abandons her on the night they were to elope.) (In 1999, artist Elaine Reicker who uses embroidery to explore aesthetics in art created a video, When This You See . . ., that combined nine appropriated film clips that show women knitting, sewing, or weaving — including The Heiress. “Each segment reveals a pivotal moment in the source movie’s drama and is punctuated by a freeze-frame and the superimposition of a single word written in bright pink cursive script: ‘obsession,’ ‘betrayal,’ ‘revolution,’ ‘revenge,'” wrote Margaret Sundell, in Art Forum (6/22/99). In this way, Reichek captures cinema’s structural interplay between repetition and temporal unfolding, and – as the viewer starts anticipating the arrival of her interpretative captions – the rhythm of expectation and delivery that drives its narrative engine.”)

Heavenly Creatures, 1994 (Kate Winslet knits.)

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,* 2005 (At one point, the entire cast is turned into stop-animation knitted dolls. One of them vomits multicolored yarn.)

How to Make an American Quilt, 1995 (The story centers on the stories of several women in a quilting bee as they construct a wedding quilt as a gift for a member’s granddaughter, Finn Dodd (Winona Ryder).)

Like Water for Chocolate,* 1992 (Tita crochets onto a bedspread when upset, as a way of coping with disappointment.)

Mr. Lucky, 1943 (Cary Grant learns to knit.)

The Odyssey, 1997 (Penelope (Greta Saatchi) weaves a shroud by day and unravels it by night — having promised to pick a suitor when her weaving is finished, and having no intention of ever reaching the end, certain that Ulysses will yet return home.)

Pluto’s Sweater, 1949, animated (Pluto is teased when he wears a red sweater knit for him by Minnie.).

Preparez vos Mouchoirs (Get Out Your Handkerchiefs) 1978 (The leading lady knits for her lovers and when her knitting shows up on other men, they immediately know what’s up — as does the audience.)

The Price of Milk,* 2000 (key role for patchwork quilt.)

Repo Man, 1984 (A knitting security guard.)

The Science of Sleep,* 2006 (Knit objects take on an animated life.)

The Secret Code, 1918 (The villainess crochets coded messages into mufflers)

Tale of Two Cities, 1935 (Madame DeFarge knits a register of names of those headed to the guillotine); also A History of the World, Part I, Mel Brooks, 1981 (Madame Defarge (played by Cloris Leachman) has become so poor she has run out of wool, simply rubbing her knitting needles together.)


Wallace & Gromit
: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit 2005 (Gromit, knits a scarf while waiting in the car for Wallace); also Wallace and Gromit in A Close Shave,* 1995 (this one’s just 30 minutes, but it’s all about hand knitting and knitting machines.)

Wanted,* 2008 (A mild-mannered man leaves a dead-end job to join a fraternity of assassins headquartered in an unassuming textile mill. The group is giving its assignments by the Loom of Fate, a loom that gives the names of the targets through binary code hidden in weaving errors of the fabric.)

Wool 100%,* 2006 (In this Japanese film, two elderly sisters live in a mansion piled to the roof with things they have found in the trash, including a jumble of brilliant red yarn. A strange, wild girl breaks into their house and starts to knit the yarn into a formless sweater.)

And What’s with handwork and the criminal element?

In A Cry In The Dark, 1988, Meryl Streep knits while discussing the trial where her baby is carried off by a dingo in Australia. In Chicago, 2002, Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) knits during her murder trial and in Murder Most Foul, 1964. Margaret Rutherford knits in jury box. In No Escape, 1999, male prisoners are seen spinning and knitting. And in Foul Play, 1978, Goldie Hawn uses a knitting needle as a weapon and so does a seemingly mild-mannered grandmother in George Romero’s The Crazies, 1973).

Add your nominees to the list by posting a comment here or writing us at art@browngrotta.com. Thanks!