August Fiber Art Picks!

Lucy T. Pettway. “Housetop and Bricklayer with Bars Quilt.” Photo courtesy of Gift of Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection.

Lucy T. Pettway. “Housetop and Bricklayer with Bars Quilt.” Photo courtesy of Gift of Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection.

History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift

The Met Fifth Avenue

May 22 to September 23, 2018

History Refused to Die features thirty paintings, sculptures, drawings, and quilts by self-taught contemporary African American Artists from the South. Thornton Dial’s paintings and mixed-media assemblages will be on view as well as a selection of quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama by quilters like Annie Mae Young, Lucy Mingo, and Loretta Pettway (above). As described in The Met’s press release, works on exhibition are “rooted in personal history and experience, regional identity—particularly common legacies of slavery and post-Reconstruction histories of oppression under the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws—in addition to national and international events.”

Nicholas Hlobo. Intlantsana (2017). Photo courtesy of Lehmann Maupin.

Nicholas Hlobo. Intlantsana (2017). Photo courtesy of Lehmann Maupin.

Nicholas Hlobo: Ulwamkelo

Lehmann Maupin Gallery

July 12 to August 24, 2018

The Lehmann Maupin Gallery presents Ulwamkelo, a solo exhibition of South African artist Nicholas Hlobo’s sculptures and mixed media paintings. Using unconventional materials like ribbon, rubber, wood, leather, lace, and found objects, Hlobo constructs large sculptural works that reference forms of the body, cultural constructions of gender and sexuality, as well as issues of identity and ethnicity. To learn more about Hlobo’s process and artistic journey, consider watching Bloomberg’s feature here.

Cecilia Vicuña. Skyscraper Quipu (2006). Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Cecilia Vicuña. Skyscraper Quipu (2006). Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Disappeared Quipu

Cecilia Vicuña

Brooklyn Museum

May 18 to November 25, 2018

Disappeared Quipu explores the history and ongoing Andean tradition of creating quipus—”complex record-keeping devices made of knotted cords.” Banned during Spanish colonization of South America, quipus “served as an essential medium for reading and writing, registering and remembering.” This exhibition features a number of ancient quipus from the Brooklyn Museum collection, knotted wool pieces by Chilean artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña, as well as thirteen ancient Andean textiles. The museum’s press release notes, “Vicuña’s modern-day quipus gives radical possibility to the connective and expressive capacities of a language nearly lost to history.”

Gil Yefman. Ladder of Bones (2010). Photo courtesy of Musée Magazine.

Gil Yefman. Ladder of Bones (2010). Photo courtesy of Musée Magazine.

Reprise: Summer Show 2018

Ronald Feldman Gallery

June 12 to August 31, 2018

This summer, the Ronald Feldman Gallery will exhibit works by fifteen artists, selected from over fifty artists represented by the gallery between 1973 to 2018. Israeli artist, Gil Yefman and his knit sculptures will be on view, in which he explores themes of gender, sexuality, trauma, violence, and otherness. Yefman explains: “My work is aimed at inspiring all peoples; it is meant to transcend differences among human beings and encourage all of us to cherish and explore the intrinsic potential of the world we live in.”

For a comprehensive list of the artists on view, read the gallery’s press release here.

Anna Boghiguian. Untitled (2016). Photo courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.

Anna Boghiguian. Untitled (2016). Photo courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.

Anna Boghiguian: The Loom of History

Curated by Natalie Bell, Associate Curator

The New Museum

Through August 19, 2018

Armenian-Egyptian artist Anna Boghiguian’s first US solo exhibition, The Loom of History, features a selection of her cutout paper figures, collaged paintings in beehive frames, painted sailcloth, and hand-painted texts. Boghiguian often references various forms of storytelling or folk theater in her work, while also addressing historical events, “including wars and revolutions, histories of materials and labor, and the ancient roots of modern imperialism.” The show’s curator, Natalie Bell notes, “That’s one of the ways her work is very powerful…That she can have a micro perspective, and then a macro, as well. She’s thinking not just globally, but across history.”

Fiber Book Picks:

This month’s museum exhibitions and gallery shows highlight the unique role that textiles play in the preservation of memory as well as the construction of historical narrative. Sculptural works featured in Reprise: Summer Show 2018 and Nicholas Hlobo: Ulwamkelo, for example, explore themes of sexuality, gender, and ethnicity within a broader context of national identity. In History Refused to Die, Disappeared Quipu, and Anna Boghiguian: The Loom of History, artists and curators bring us pieces that carry strong political messages and hold potential for community resistance in times of political violence, imperial conquest, and colonialism. In “Fiber Book Picks,” we contribute to the textile-craft discourse by suggesting five books which resonate with August’s textile and fiber art picks:

  • Inka History in Knots: Reading Khipus as Primary Sources (1946) by Gary Urton. Available at NY Public Library.
  • And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations (2015) by Carolyn Mazloomi. Available at NY Public Library and Thomas J. Watson Library.
  • Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa (2016) by Terry Kurgan et al. Available at Thomas J. Watson Library.
  • Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals (2003) by Andrea M. Heckman. Available at NY Public Library.
  • The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between (2016) by James Young. Available at NY Public Library.

Leave a Reply