Thursday, September 14, 2017

NYC Gallery Hopping

A bad head cold + bad rain kept me from attending the immigration panel discussion.  Bummer.  But, I was able to head to the city to go gallery hopping.  In Chelsea, a number of the galleries will host their openings on Thursday nights, and the streets are packed with people going from one to the next.  There were a number of fascinating exhibition openings.  Here are glimpses of what I saw:

Some of Robert Motherwell's early paintings were on view at the Paul Kasmin Gallery.

Orange Personage, Robert Motherwell, 1947
Oil and sand on canvas
Orange Personage, detail
You can see the fabulous texture in this detail image here
Maya Lin had an opening of "Maya Lin: Ebb and Flow" at the Pace Gallery.  It was too crowded to be able to get full pictures of her installations; many of them are huge and extend from floor to ceiling.   There were guards posted throughout the gallery to protect the work on the floor. I asked one of the guards how all the marbles were adhered to the walls, and he said hot glue.  I don't know if that's true or not but it gives me pause to think about finger burns and threads of glue if I had done it (but nowhere to be found here).

Detail, "Ebb and Flow", Maya Lin

Detail, "Ebb and Flow", Maya Lin
I discovered a new-to-me artist that I found captivating: Nathalie Boutté.  Her exhibition at the Yossi Milo Gallery called "Crossing-over" was amazing. From a distance, these works seem to be, perhaps, a woven textile.  But no.  They're collages made from tiny hand-cut strips of Japanese paper, individually assembled into rows, using the tint and text on the paper to create images.

L: The African Choir (9), 2016; Japanese paper, ink
R: The African Choir (11), 2016; Japanese paper, ink

Detail, The African Choir (11)
Detail to appreciate the complexity of these collage constructions
The James Cohen gallery featured, A Line Can Go Anywhere, a curated exhibition featuring seven Bay Area artists who use fiber as their primary material.   It was a wonderful compilation of a variety of work dating from the 1950s to the present.
Installation view
Trude Guermonprez in front
Untitled (Space Hanging), 1965
silk, double weave
Ed Rossbach
After Miro, 1970
jute, horsehair


Any of these appeal or resonate with you?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Vacation stitching


A while back I came to the conclusion that, despite the extra time I seemed to have over the summer, it really wasn't a great time to set art-making deadlines.  I still wanted to make art, but with different expectations and parameters.

My solution: create a project that's a "vacation" quilt.  I only work on it while on vacation, during those downtimes when I don't want to nap, read, or just hang with my family. It had to be something I could pick up after months -- or years -- in between.

With that in mind I bought fabric, sorted it between lights, mediums, and darks, and cut out piles of triangles.   I stored them in bags to keep the sorting intact. Then it was time to go.


A few years passed before I had time to join triangles into a few blocks.  It wasn't significant stitching progress, but it was fun to touch the fabrics again, to enjoy the fabrics I'd selected.  More years passed and then this past week, I re-visted the project and sewed, making enough progress that the hidden pattern within the quilt began to emerge.


I really love where this is going and it's a pure pleasure to sew.  The color palette was inspired by the colors of the California coast.  I think it's speaking to me particularly strongly right now because I have a series of quilts in my head that have been percolating since our family scuba trip in December.  The series is a reflection on our governance and care of the ocean.  Perhaps after I've made progress on one of the quilts I'm thinking about, I'll show it to you.  In any event, it's exciting and cathartic to sit back down at my machine and piece.  I hope I can keep it going.

But not this week.  After so much travel, the house and gardens need some TLC.  PLUS, if all goes well, I'm heading into NYC this Wednesday to attend a panel discussion on immigration.  Should be very interesting.  

Hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend.  Right now, I'm off to dust.  My house is very happy.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Pure Magic

This last week was a gift.  My husband and I spent four days together on vacation.  Just the two of us.  No itinerary.  We hiked new trails and discovered new (to us) coves.



Took off our shoes to explore shores shrouded in fog.


Hiked along redwoods burned in last year's fire that were - miraculously -- surrounded by seedlings.  


Took in textures of all sorts; this is a rock wall battered by the ocean.



We woke to an incredible morning in San Francisco.  That city really is beautiful.


I also read (finished A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny) and sewed (a blog post for another day).

Now I'm home and trying to stretch the hours as long as possible.  Our oldest daughter is in for the day; she leaves tomorrow and I'm soaking up all I can.  

And so, I'll write more another time.  For now, I'm going to chat with her just a bit longer.  The empty nest begins in earnest tomorrow.