Archive for Lia Cook

News Flash: browngrotta arts and artists get good press

Posted in Magazines with tags , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by arttextstyle


The last couple of months have seen browngrotta arts and the artists whose work we represent make the news in periodicals online and around the world.  Lia Cook’s work graced the cover of the December 2010 issue of Textil Forum, published in Germany, as part of a fascinating article by the artist, “An investigation: Woven Faces and Neuroscience” http://www.exacteditions.com/exact/browse/573/911/7936/2/44?dps=on (more on that project in an upcoming post). The January issue of the always striking online magazine Hand/Eye included a piece on our singular business/life model, “Living with Art,” by artist and writer Scott Rothstein http://handeyemagazine.com/content/browngrotta-arts. The related slideshow features dozen of art works on display in our barn/gallery/home. (You can read more by Scott Rothstein on his blog, http://artfoundout.blogspot.com, in American Craft magazine and elsewhere.) Meanwhile, the January/February of the UK Crafts magazine includes images from Lizzie Farey’s solo exhibition at City Art Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/crafts-magazine/latest-issueThe January issue of Artist Magazine from Taiwan has a several-page article about Norie Hatakeyama by Ming-Whe Liou, with photos by Tom Grotta. We can’t tell you what it says — but it looks good. http://www.artist-magazine.com/magazine/index.php.
Last, but certainly not least,
the cover of the Spring 2011 issue
of The Journal of Wealth Management,
features Tom Grotta’s photo of
Christine Joy’s willow sculpture, Bundle
http://www.iijournals.com/toc/jwm/13/4.

 

Art into Type: Books We Talked Up in 2010

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2011 by arttextstyle

Last year saw several books published that we recommended to clients and purchased for family and friends.  Among these were Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Mid-century Designers by Leslie Williamson, a collection of photographs of beautiful, iconic, and undiscovered mid-century interiors, including the homes of Russel Wright, George Nakashima, Harry Bertoia, Charles and Ray Eames, and Eva Zeisel, among others. Williamson’s photographs show these creative homes as they were lived in by their designers: Walter Gropius’ historic Bauhaus home in Massachusetts; Albert Frey’s floating modernist aerie on a Palm Springs rock outcropping; and Wharton Esherick’s completely handmade Pennsylvania house, from the organic hand-carved staircase to the iconic furniture.

Another favorite volume of ours was 3-D Typography. We added “text” to the title of this blog so that we could cover two things we are passionate about: art that involves text and interesting books.  3-D Typography, which includes work by Gyöngy Laky and dozens of other artists who have created lettering out of everything from shopping carts and toilet paper to toothpaste and pinched flesh, fits both criteria.  The book’s creation was serendipitous.  The authors, Jeanne Abbink and Emily CM Anderson looked at three-dimensional type in the course on a redesign of American Craft magazine in 2007. There’s a 3D Typography Book blog, too at: http://www.3dtypographybook.com.  If you enjoy the book as much as we have, check out the blog, including Bavarian pretzel alphabet.

Long overdue was the first comprehensive survey of modern craft in the United States, Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, by Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf.  Makers follows the development of studio craft–objects in fiber, clay, glass, wood, and metal–from its roots in 19th-century reform movements to the rich diversity of expression at the end of the 20th century. More than 400 illustrations — including two photographs by Tom — complement this chronological exploration of the American craft tradition. Keeping as their main focus the objects and the makers — including Lenore Tawney, Ed Rossbach, Kay Sekimachi, Katherine Westphal, François Grossen, Lia Cook, Warren Seelig, Arturo Sandoval, Gyöngy Laky, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Clare Zeisler, Anni Albers, Lillian Elliott, Helena Hernmarck, Norma Minkowitz and Trude Guermonprez — the authors offer a detailed analysis of major works and discuss education, institutional support and the philosophical underpinnings of craft.

Another very special volume from 2010 is Written Weed, by Marian Bijlenga, published by Hein Elferink. This exquisite book includes 111 paste-ups / collages by the artist made of dried leaves, grasses and seeds. The images are like handwriting, Chinese characters, the letters of an alphabet. In order to emphasize the graphic quality of these works, the book is published in black/white. Only 400 copies were produced; each is numbered and signed. You can order it from browngrotta arts for $185.00

Though it was written in 2009, I didn’t discover The Bird Catcher, by Laura Jacobs, until last year. I loved it and ordered copies for several friends.  It’s a tender story of grief and healing in the big city.  But it was the detailed description of the protagonist’s window displays for a high-end department store and the evolution of her closest friend’s craft gallery — including a display of elegantly crafted goblets — that I most appreciated.

Books Make Great Gifts, Part II Artist Recommendations

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by arttextstyle

More insightful answers to the question: “Is there a book that has had a particular influence on your work or decision to pursue art as a career?”
Thanks everyone for your help.

Adela Akers: Textiles of Ancient Peru and Their Techniques by Raoul D’harcourt (Univ of Washington Press, 1974; Dover Publications, 2002). I discovered this book in the Public Library in Chicago around 1958. It was a reference book and only in French. Later it was translated in English, and a few years later it was reprinted. Wonderful examples, history and diagrams; there’s nothing like it. It was like my bible. Not sure if it still available. There are many other books on Philosophy and Architecture that I would recommend, but the D’harcourt book was the most influential.

Randy Walker: There are many books that have inspired me. Here are two: Mark Tobey published by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 1997. The intricate, two-dimensional paintings of Mark Tobey give me a continued faith in the inexhaustible potential of delicate lines to create rich, three-dimensional spaces. A bounding framework, filaments, color and light can provide a lifetime of artistic exploration. This book is one of my most coveted possessions. Also, The Book of Looms: A History of the Handloom from Ancient Times to the Present by Eric Broudy( Littlehampton Book Services Ltd., 1979; Published by the University Press of New England, 1993). This book is absolutely fascinating from a visual, historical, and technical point of view. The forms of looms have inspired me as sculptural elements in themselves. Understanding the evolution of their forms in a cultural context is invaluable. I have to imagine this book of interest to non-fiber people as well as serious fiber artists.

Mary Giles: Agnes Martin: Writings, ed. Dieter Schwarz (Hatje Cantz Publishers; Bilingual edition 2005). Agnes talked about waiting for inspiration… and waiting…and waiting…and waiting. She also spoke of not having unnecessary distractions in your life such as pets and unnecessary friends. I put my husband and the two cats up for adoption but so far no takers.

Lia Cook: On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not, by Robert A Burton, M.D. (Reprint edition, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009) is a book I have read recently that I think will be influential going forward. I am interested in emotional responses to visual perception of handwoven works. It is perhaps tangential to my main focus but nevertheless important to the research process.

Glen Kaufman: One book I recall reading when i was working in ceramics prior to fiber was A Potters Book by Bernard Leach (Faber & Faber 1988).

Nancy Moore Bess: How to Wrap Five Eggs: Traditional Japanese Packaging (and all of its variations)(recent reprint, Weatherhill, 2008) had a HUGE influence on my work. The Japanese have a wonderful way of using indigenous materials to wrap things…packaging, transporting, presenting. Even now, years later, the influence of these old techniques prevails. This book and its information, not basketry nor bamboo, drove me to Japan in the first place. Who knew it would have such a profound influence on my work? If you look at some of the earlier work I exhibited through browngrotta arts, you’ll see Japanese packaging everywhere. In New York, the recent reprint can be found in Kinokuniya Bookstore on 6th Avenue. Love that place!

Lena McGrath Welker: Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art (University of California Press, 2004) is the absolute cornerstone of the project I have worked on for six years for the North Dakota Museum of Art. The book contains a series of papers and artist interviews that resulted from a year-long project all up and down the west coast (why not Portland???) in which Jacquelynn Bass and independent curator Mary Jane Jacobs looked at how curators shy away (to say the least) from work that has anything to do with spirituality. There were several retreats at a Zen Center in California, where papers on the topic were delivered. There’s more information about the project on the UC Press website. As to pursuing a career, I never really did that. I do what I do because I have to. It is what keeps me in the world.

Ethel Stein: Josef Albers: To Open Eyes by Frederick A. Horowitz and Brenda Danilowitz (Phaidon Press, 2009) It’s an account of Albers’ teaching at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College and Yale. I took a summer course with him at Harvard when I lived in Cambridge and this book sums up some of the thing he had us do. It was very exciting.

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.

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