Archive for the linen Category

Dispatch: American International Fine Art Fair, Palm Beach, February 3rd-8th

Posted in collage, Exhibitions, linen, sisal with tags , , , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by arttextstyle
Tawney-Colles-at-AIFAF.jpg

Lenore Tawney collages, In Chaco and The Loftiest Word and sculpture, Boy with Duck, at AIFAF

From February 3rd to the 8th. browngrotta arts will join more than 80 international galleries exhibiting at the American International Fine Art Fair (AIFAF) in Palm Beach, Florida. AIFAF is recognized as the “crown jewel” of American art fairs and is the only American art and antiques fair rated 5 stars by The Art Newspaper. AIFAF is a fully vetted fair, featuring prestigious international dealers presenting a mix of paintings, sculpture, jewelry, antiques, contemporary design and decorative arts. In cooperation with the Baruch Foundation and the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, browngrotta arts will feature the work of Magdalena Abakanowicz and Lenore Tawney at AIFAF, artists whose work redefined weaving and sculpture in the 20th Century.

Abakanowicz is the best-known Polish artist in the world. She initially gained acclaim for her “Abakans,” monumental woven works of sisal, ropes and other fibers that hung free in space. Next were headless human forms of burlap and later bronze. Large groupings of her sculptures are installed around the world, from Chicago’s Millennium Park to Olympic Park in Seoul to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. In presenting her a Visionaries! award in 2000, the Museum of Arts and Design cited her for “her powerful explorations, dealing with the impact of social and political reality on individual identity, that have demonstrated the potential of fiber as an effective and expressive sculptural material.”

Abakans-at-AIFAF.jpg

Weavings by Magdalena Abakanowicz at AIFAF. The weavings on the far right and far left were woven in the 1980s; the piece in the center is from the 1960s.

At AIFAF, browngrotta arts will exhibit three weavings by Abakanowicz, one from the 1960s and two, from the Anne and Jacques Baruch Collection, Ltd., created in the 1980s. The Baruchs opened a gallery in Chicago in the late 1960s, bringing work to the U. S. from Central Europe in order to give exposure to the Slavic art that Jacques, who died in 1986, once described as “the finest work of tomorrow…not what is known…the new blood.” Jacques was unable to travel after 1970, but Anne continued to travel to Central Europe to search for art. As the political situation in the area tightened, Anne, began smuggling art into the US, often at great risk. Government agents would seal her packages of approved art before she left; with the help of artists, she would often unseal the packages and reseal them in order to add unsanctioned works. She would travel with a bright red Hartman suitcase with a false bottom, filled with art supplies that the artists could not buy. On her return trip, artworks would be hidden inside. In this manner, Anne amassed a singular collection of contemporary textiles and historical and contemporary Czech photography. The Baruch Foundation was established in 2008, subsequent to Anne’s death in 2006 and is comprised of her personal art collection and the artwork inventory of The Anne and Jacques Baruch Collection, Ltd. The missions of the Foundation are to preserve and foster the growth of the visual arts of Eastern and Central Europe through donations of artwork to museums and schools, and to fund educational programs and scholarships by the sale of artwork.

Tawney Weavings.jpg

Works by Lenore Tawney on display in the browngrotta arts booth at AIFAF.

At AIFAF, browngrotta arts will also show weavings, drawings, collages and mixed media assemblages by Lenore Tawney, who died in 2007 at the age of 100. “Luminous is an apt word to describe the entire career of the American artist Lenore Tawney,” wrote Holland Cotter in the New York Times in 2004. In the 1950’s, he noted, “she created a series of monumental open-weave sculptures that were like nothing seen before or since. Astonishing.” About her collages Cotter has written, “Whether she sets cut-up bits of handwriting spinning around a reproduction of a Michelangelo sibyl or turns strips of antique German books into suspended grids, she touches on the roots of the collage medium in language and personal history with a reticent orginality.” The Lenore G Tawney Foundation was established in 1989 by Tawney for charitable and educational purposes. Its aim is to support other artists in their own artistic efforts and to support special projects at art museums and non-profit educational arts organizations; its highest priority is to nurture emerging artists and to provide them with learning opportunities through established educational programs.

International Year of Natural Fibres, Part I

Posted in angora, cashmere, hemp, jute, linen, mohair, ramie, silk, sisal with tags on November 5, 2009 by arttextstyle

naturalfibers.poster.jpgOnly a few weeks left to left observe the official International Year of Natural Fibres (yes, we’re sticking with the international spelling here). For browngrotta arts and many of the artists we represent, of course, promotion of natural fiber in art and otherwise is a lifelong pursuit. In 2009, however, we had the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, which declared this year the International Year of Natural Fibres

If you haven’t been there, the website naturalfibres2009.org offers a wealth of material — informative videos, lush images of natural fiber sources and production methods, interviews with producers and more fibre facts than you can shake a spindle at. The website even includes images of 15 natural fibres under the microscope. (I don’t know why they are there — but I found them interesting in a nerdy way.) Mostly, I just enjoyed the photographs of rice fields at sunset; workers knee deep in cotton and angora bunnies and cashmere goats, just being themselves, but I learned a couple of things.

In case you’ve ever wondered:
• ramie is a natural fibre, one of the strongest in fact and its grown mainly in China, Brazil, the Lao PDR and the Philippines.
• Hemp fibres are also used to reinforce molded thermoplastics in the automobile industry; abaca yarn is used in automobile parts by Mercedes-Benz.
• The biggest producer of mohair is South Africa, but Texas is also important, too, with 200,000 head of mohair goats. Just 20% mohair added to a wool blend provides crease resistance.

natural-fibers.jpg

Why is the UN urging us to choose natural fibres? Because they are:
• a healthy choice. As most people know, natural fibres provide natural ventilation. Coconut fibres used in mattresses have natural resistance to fungus and mites. Hemp fibre has antibacterial properties, and studies show that linen is the most hygienic textile for hospital bed sheets.
• a responsible choice. Natural fibres are vital to the livelihoods and food security of millions of small-scale farmers and processors. They include 10 million people in the cotton sector in West and Central Africa, 4 million small-scale jute farmers in Bangladesh and India, one million silk industry workers in China, and 120 000 alpaca herding families in the Andes. By choosing natural fibres we boost the sector’s contribution to economic growth and help fight hunger and rural poverty.
• a sustainable choice. Natural fibres are a renewable resource. Growing one ton of jute fibre requires less than 10% of the energy used for the production of polypropylene. Natural fibres are carbon neutral. Processing produces residues that can be used in biocomposites for building houses or to generate electricity. At the end of their life cycle, natural fibres are 100% biodegradable.
• a high-tech choice. Natural fibres have good mechanical strength, low weight and low cost, which has made them particularly attractive to the automobile industry. India has developed composite boards made from coconut fibre that are more resistant to rotting than teak. Brazil is making roofing material reinforced with sisal. In Europe, hemp wastes are used in cement, and China used hemp-based construction materials for the 2008 Olympics.
• a fashionable choice. Natural fibres are at the heart of an eco-fashion or “sustainable clothing” movement that seeks to create garments that are sustainable at every stage of their life cycle, from production to disposal.

More Natural Fibre Fun to Come: Wood was intentionally excluded from this year’s promotion. The International Year of Forests will be in 2011.

Next post: The International Year of Natural Fibres through Art

Add to Technorati Favorites

10th Wave III: Online– The next best thing to being there

Posted in Art, Bamboo, Exhibitions, Installations, linen, Mixed Media, Safety Pins, Sculpture, silk, Waxed Cotton, Willow, Wire with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by arttextstyle
Jazzy-10th-wave.jpg

Our first online exhibit, the10th Wave III: Online, opens today. The exhibit is a carefully curated selection of works presented in installation shots, images of individual works and detail photos. Approximating the in-person experience, viewers can “walk” through 26 images of the exhibit installed; click to view each of the 125 works in the show more closely, focus in on images of dozen of details and click to read more about each of the artists in the exhibition. “Images of individual works of art online are commonplace,” says Tom Grotta, president of browngrotta arts. “We have tried, instead, to give viewers a sense of the work in space, combined with the option of looking more closely at the pieces that interest them, just as they would have if they were visiting the exhibit in person.”

The artists in the 10th Wave III are experimenting with forms and techniques in novel and surprising ways, exploring new relationships among structure, design, color, and pattern.” They work in a wide range of materials from silk, stainless steel and rubber to recycled raincoats and linen to tree bark, safety pins and telephone books. Among the artists in the online exhibition are Lewis Knauss, Lia Cook, Gyöngy Laky from the US, Sue Lawty from the UK, Ritzi Jacobi from Germany, Jin-Sook So from Sweden, Carolina Yrarrázaval from Chile and Hisako Sekijima and Jiro Yonezawa from Japan.

The 10th Wave III: Online runs through December 20, 2009.

Add to Technorati Favorites