slightly wonky


Getting more fiber…
October 21, 2014, 8:41 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., textile forms | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was going through museum withdrawal recently, so I went to the ICA in order to get my art fix.  I went specifically to the ICA because of their current show: Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – Present.  EXCITING!!!  My excitement should not be surprising as I have a yarn stash the size of a water buffalo in the attic.  Hee hee!  (Don’t tell my husband.)

Before going to the show, and speaking of fiber, I noticed this on the windowsill:

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No, not the Halloween decoration.  THE TOAST.  My son somehow decided that THIS would be a good place to leave his egg covered toast.  Why, you may ask?  Who knows.  Six-year-olds work in mysterious ways…and mine typically works in ways that are MOST MYSTERIOUS.

Back on topic: the work at the ICA was fantastic.  I loved the textures, the colors…everything.  It was hard to restrain myself not to TOUCH the artwork, as it just begs to be poked and hugged.  If you like to knit, you know what I’m talking about.  I get itchy fingers in a yarn store NOT because I’m allergic to wool, but because I need to snuggle the yarn.  This is frowned upon at a museum, though.  Humph.

Here are a few of the works, (you will note that some would be more “snuggly” than others)…

(BTW…this blog is a “grammar free zone”…)

Alan Sheilds, Nina Got It for 100 Francs, 1971

This looked like an intricate mesh interlaced with thin wood dowels and suspended from the ceiling.  LOVE IT!  It isn’t clear if the main textile in the piece was created or found.  It looks like a found piece that was dyed, especially if you consider the title.  If I had a big, white, modern house…I’d love to have this floating in a corner.  I’d sit in a white Bertoia bird chair while drinking a pumpkin latte (’tis the season), and just gaze at it for hours.  I love the tension between it’s opacity and its transparency.  They are so balanced.  (Not to change the subject, but does anyone want to buy me one of those Bertoia chairs?  No?  What about a pumpkin latte?  Bueller?)

And a detail:

Alan Shields, Nina Got It for 100 Francs (detail), 1971

It looks kind of childish with it’s bright colors simple construction…but it looks really great as a whole.

Another cool piece:

Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color, 1965

Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color (detail), 1965

TINY RAFFIA BRAIDS.  This looks like some kind of dried sea creature.  I like the colors.  Small hands.  Look at that texture!

Next:

Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element), 1979

And a detail:

Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element) (detail), 1979

I loved this too!  This would also go fabulously in that imaginary white modern house that I do not own.  It’s interesting that some of pieces in the show were very heavy, while others very light.  That sounds kind of dumb and obvious, but I love the contrast.  In other words…I think of other sculptural materials, such as bronze, as…well, heavy…always heavy.  But look how different fiber can be!  I suppose it is generally linear, but can be bundled, knotted, woven, etc. to create density or lightness.

Next:

Alexandre Da Cunha, Kentucky Pied de Poule I, 2012

I love the neutral colors here.  I also love the thickness and almost Amish look to it.  The most fabulous thing about that piece is that it is made of mop heads.  I KID YOU NOT.  Isn’t that fantastic????  No?  Too bad.

Next:

Diane Itter, Color Point, 1981

Diane Itter, Color Point (detail), 1981

Oh. My. God.  HUNDREDS of brightly colored embroidery threads (a guess), are deftly knotted to form a kind of textile Op Art.  CAN YOU SEE HOW MANY KNOTS THERE ARE IN THIS???  Amazing.  The colors are incredible, and the precision is ridiculous.  It makes my inept “friendship bracelets” of elementary school look a bajillion times more inept.

Next:

Sherri Smith, Front Range, 1976

Sherri Smith, Front Range (detail), 1976

Ahhhh…layers and layers of knotted, knitted wool.  AMAZING.  This one begs to be touched, and yet I did not.  (Wouldn’t this be a FANTASTIC sweater?  Is that gauche to say so?  Probably.)  Again…look at the texture!!!  Sigh…swoon…

Next:

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Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent, 1993-2009

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Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent (detail), 1993-2009

WHOA.  If there were crocheting Olympics, this artist would be on the cover of a Wheaties box.  How does one even BEGIN this kind of fantastic creation????  I think this artist needs to do an installation at the ICA.  She needs to fill an entire room with her works.  It would probably be asking too much if I wanted to snuggle some of her works, but I digress…

I need more pom poms.  Just sayin’.

A trip to the ICA is always a fantastic few hours.  I wish that I lived closer, or I’d just hang out there ALL THE TIME.  I’m sure that they’re glad that I’m not a local.

Coincidentally, I recently started dabbling in weaving.  It’s pretty fun, and works up MUCH faster than knitting.  Here is my crude start:

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Don’t you wonder how I can muster up the gumption to continue weaving this little thing after seeing that show at the ICA???  I do.  I clearly have no shame!  I like to learn new things, so I am perpetually a beginner…(and one of those “jack of all trades/master of none.”)  This thing screams, “BEGINNER!” and has that tell-tale D.I.Y. aura.  Oh well.  At least I can snuggle it.



My granny square strait jacket…
April 14, 2014, 10:17 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., sculpture | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Spring is here!  Time to frolic through the dead garden!  Mince through the muddy lawn!   Leap amongst the leafless trees!

In celebration of the GLORIOUS change in weather (it’s above freezing now…), I went to the ICA in Boston.

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Yes, I managed to stop scrubbing the kitchen floor long enough to make this visit.  (Ha ha!…just kidding, I never scrub the kitchen floor!!!)

I did see some sunshine for a brief period.  Luckily, I got a sunny-ish photo to prove that, yes, indeed…it isn’t snowing!

a-ica view

This sunshine didn’t last long, as you will see in subsequent photos.

ANYHOO…the reason I went was to see the AMAZING work by Nick Cave now on exhibit:

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

He had three of these sculptures together.  They are so comical, and yet somehow regal as well…

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

THAT is a closeup of what is going on in that mass of beads/ornament/tchotchke-palooza.  CRAZY!

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

This piece is four ENORMOUS panels of chaotic, antiquated, thrift store finery.

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

You’ll notice that there isn’t any plastic “junk.”  It’s mostly beads, metal ornaments, ceramic figurines of birds/fruit, and brightly colored afghans.  I think because of this palette, and because the items don’t appear broken or damaged, there is a certain refinement and respect for the materials.  While it does look haphazard, the figurines do have an orientation and are placed upright…the beads are draped and not wadded up/thrown on, so there is some order to the chaos.  HOW he managed to fix all of these things together with no apparent fasteners is VERY interesting.  They aren’t bound together as much as suspended somehow…

Okay, so that is his new work.  Mind-boggling, right?  Here is is older work, which he is more known for:

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

These “Soundsuits” are AMAZING.  Apparently, Cave created the first one in response to the Rodney King beatings.  “I built this sort of suit of armor, and by putting it on,  I realized that I could make a sound from moving in it,” Cave told the Washington Post.  “It made me think of ideas around protest, and how we should be a voice and speak louder,” Cave says.

These suits are beyond incredible.  The materials and excess are astounding…the fantastic manipulation of the human form is phenomenal…and the fact that they could actually be worn and in motion is superb.  See videos here and here for some of his other suits in action.  Cave is an Alvin Ailey trained dancer.  I LOVE the idea of these forms in motion. These photos are terrible in comparison to seeing them in person.  Their enormous size/height makes them overwhelming and mesmerizing.

Here are some close ups of the INSANE textures/colors/materials he used to make these:

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

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Nick Cave at the ICA Boston

I LOOOVE THIS!  Pure genius.  I would LOOOVE to see one of his soundsuit performances!  I’m almost inspired to cover myself in handmade potholders and jump around the living room for an hour!  (Just kidding, that sounds too much like exercise…)  Someday, I fear that I may end up in a crocheted strait jacket made out of colorful granny squares…at least then I’ll have an excuse for not mopping…

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ANYWAY, I had a super fun time at the ICA.  After paying $15 for parking, I felt guilty about leaving.  Wasn’t there anything else that I could do in the area?  I decided no, and headed out.  Now, I am missing the navigational genes that most normal people have.  As a result, I rely heavily upon GPS to get me places.  I know…did I really need GPS to get home when I had JUST driven to the ICA from home a few hours ago????  Well, yes…yes I did.

Unfortunately, my GPS had a momentary lapse in usefulness:

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REALLY?  In order to get to Arlington from Boston I need to take a FERRY????  Why don’t I remember the ferry ride coming over here???  Is traffic really THAT bad that it makes sense for me to take a BOAT home instead???

Sigh.  I guess I’m not the only one that’s “navigationally” challenged around here.  No wonder why I get lost so often…

 



Cresmes and One lump or two…
January 3, 2014, 12:45 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve managed to make it through this holiday season with most of my sanity intact.  The snow day today and tomorrow, however, has REALLY made me borderline cray-cray.  If it hadn’t been 15 degrees outside, I might have just  bundled up my son and shoved him out to get him some FRESH AIR, and me some SANITY.  Alas…I was fearful that his cherubic cheeks would ice over, so we’ve been inside all day.  ALL DAAAAY.

I may have to go for a walk/trudge to Trader Joe’s tomorrow…just to get out.  I’ll just hang out there all day, eating samples and commenting on what people are buying, until I am asked to leave.  There’s a Starbucks next door, so I’ll just move my insanity show over there.  I suppose I’ll return home when I’m no longer welcome there either.

This has been a particularly busy time.  Not only was it Christmas…but my son’s birthday IS Christmas day, which adds complication and hysteria.  Not only that…just a few days before, I drove out to Cohoes, NY for the opening of a two-person show that I am in at The Foundry.  The show is titled, “The Human Condition + Communication Technologies,” and my series titled, “Are You Still There?” is on display.

a-kostojohn1Elizabeth Kostojohn at The Foundry

The work of the other artist, Nancy Daly, was SO interesting…

a-daly 1Nancy Daly, Status Update, at The Foundry

a-daly 2Nancy Daly, Looking for Love, at The Foundry

Her work comments on social media, its simultaneously transient yet permanent nature, and the vastness of it.  It’s just a coincidence that her work is as monochromatic as mine.   The pieces looked good together!

My best Christmas gift this year was not a nap or a box of chocolates, but an amazingly funny poster that my son’s teacher had him fill out.  I guess this poster is supposed to be an “about me” type of thing.  I love the fact that my son didn’t even ask for help in any way…he just grabbed a marker and set out working on it.  Here are some of the things that I learned about him:

a-pekokHe is six years old and his favorite animal is a “pekok.”  REALLY????  Since when does he like peacocks???  Look at his crazy self portrait….I love his arms.  He’s kind of “groovin'” along like he’s on Soul Train, or something.

a-familyYes, that’s our happy family.  I’m just glad that we’re all smiling.  Let’s hope that he remembers his childhood this way.  Mommy looks so relaxed and happy!  Look how wiggly I am!  Please also notice that his favorite color is white (wht?), and that his favorite food is “hot dog.”  So true.

a-cap codHere is his favorite place…no surprise here.  I notice that he omitted including the lyme disease infested deer ticks in the long grass, which he so lovingly drew.  Good call.  He also doesn’t show mommy yelling, “AAAAA!! GET OUT OF THE GRASS!!!!!”  Nice.

a-treehouseMake the treehouse?  WHAT???  I think that he and his dad must have come up with some idea about this.  I’m staying out of it so that I can’t be blamed when he falls out of the tree and DSS arrives.

a-demolisherOh, joy.  He wants to be a demolisher when her grows up.  Greaaaat.  Well, judging by the looks of our living room, I’d say that he’s going to be a natural.

a-cresmesOkay, how friggin’ cute is that???? He’s wishing for Christmas.  Notice that all that’s needed is himself, a present, and a tree.  Notice also the enormous grin on his face.  Mommy is probably still asleep upstairs in this image.  I know…I know…he didn’t wish for “peace on earth” or anything thoughtful like that.  We’re working on peaceful at home before we move onto the whole dang planet.

Besides this fantastically funny poster from my son, my other treat this holiday vacation was to get myself to the ICA to see Amy Sillman‘s show, “One Lump or Two,” JUST before the show closes on January 5.  I LOVED IT.  Sillman is a wry, master of color, and supremely talented.  I bask in her artistic brilliance.  Here are just a few of the highlights…

a-ocean 1Any Sillman, Ocean 1, 1977, Oil on Canvas

So gorgeous.  I love the use of primary colors…the contrast between the saturated background and the bold, graphic waves…the layering and transparency…ahhh.

a-gouacheAmy Sillman, The Umbrian Line, 1999-2000, Gouache on paper

This series of drawings is so beautiful.  Sillman’s colors and her mix of almost collage-like flatness with delicate linework in these works is amazing.  I felt like I could have stared at each one for an eternity.

a-portraitsAmy Sillman

This series of portraits was fantastic.  I love the distortions in the figures…they seem more real, as a result.

a-psychology todayAmy Sillman, Psychology Today, 2006, Oil on Canvas

She has many large, bold paintings with a combination of discernible figures and loose abstraction.  I think that one of the things that I really love about what she does is that she is always mixing unexpected colors, images, shapes, and ideas.  She can create both minimal drawings of great humor and enormous paintings with visceral intensity.  This show feels as if it gives a very rich view into this artist and her world.  Perhaps that is more a result of her willingness or desire to have herself revealed in these works?  Not sure…

a-bird in the handAmy Sillman, A Bird In the Hand, 2006, Oil on Canvas

a-shadeAmy Sillman, Shade, 2010, Oil on Canvas

a-drawerAmy Sillman, Drawer, 2010, Oil on Canvas

This is a MUST SEE show.  I’m sorry that I’m writing about it so late!  Sigh. Now, I’m getting panicky that it’s closing soon…it would take a small miracle for me to be able to see it again.  Best not push my luck…but YOU should see it.  I know that there is a blizzard outside, but if you head out now with your team of sled dogs…you’ll probably make it to the ICA in time to see this before it closes.  Hey…while you’re at it, pick me up along the way!  I’m lovely company, and I’ll bring you a bunch of extra samples from Trader Joe’s.  I PROMISE.




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