August Textile Art Picks!
Through September 4, 2017
As this year’s Young Architects Program winner, Jenny Sabin studio created an immersive and interactive installation to inhabit the courtyard of MoMA PS1 for Summer 2017, offering visitors a photosensitive structure that changes throughout the day according to sunlight, heat, and people. Playing with the two common definitions of Lumen, the unit of luminous flux or the inside of a tubular structure, the installation acts as an intersection of architecture and fibers, inspired by the relations between people and spaces. Made of over 1 million yards of digitally knitted fiber, Lumen is described as a large-scale cellular canopies featuring 250 hanging tubular structures, 100 robotically woven recycled spool stools, and a misting system that responds to visitor’s proximity. In addition, Lumen also serves as the setting for the 20th iteration of Warm Up, MoMA PS1 music pioneering series.
Kathryn Markel Fine Arts
August 3–September 2, 2017
In an exploration of textile aesthetic qualities, inspired by their cultural and political connotations, “Following the Thread” includes the works of 9 artists who have dove into the medium and the multiple possibilities it can offer. Each artist has experimented with different textile techniques, incorporating them into the modern age and their own body of work. As the gap between craft and fine art is constantly questioned, the selected artists introduced fiber and textiles as part of the ongoing conversation on contemporary art.
A. I. R. Gallery
August 3–20, 2017
The “Another Gesture” exhibition aims to move away from the male Abstract Expressionist legacy, and explore the concept of the “other” especially between Brazil and Germany, and each country’s history. Featuring the work of 2 Brazilian artists, and 2 German, all of them female artists, whose works range from photography, painting, and drawing, and for one the use of textiles. Teresa Viana, as the modern Brazilian representative, has created a colorful body of work using sheep wool felt. Viana started her artistic career in the 1980s along with other painters during a time of political and social tension in Brazil after the end of the dictatorship. This is Viana’s first exhibition in New York, where she joins fellow Brazilian artists like Helio Oiticica at the Whitney Museum and Lygia Pape who was just at the Met Breuer, in what seems a revival of Brazilian modernism exploring art that emerged as a response to political tensions.
For the past 20 years, Viana has created large-scale works using the encaustic (cold wax) technique and oil paint. Her works are characterized by multiple, undistinguished layers of paint, exploring the boundaries of abstract non-figurative art , two dimensionality in the canvas, and action painting carried by male AbEx artist. However for “Another Gesture” Viana has moved into textiles to explore the texture and volume that different fabrics can offer. Using mostly sheep wool felt, Viana presents intricate vibrant, colorful works inspired by the urban chaotic landscape of Sao Paulo, filled with graffitis, that she reimagines into imprecise shapes.
The High Line
Through March 2018
What better way to enjoy the summer sunshine than walking by the High Line and experiencing beautiful public art? Sheila Hicks was put to the task of creating an installation by the rail yards. Inspired by the history of the High Line as well as it surrounding, Hicks laid down 200 meters of serpentine aluminum tubes wrapped in colorful, weatherproof fibers, contrasting with the industrial construction background.
For over 50 years, Hicks has crossed the boundaries between craft and fine art mixed with design and architecture, acting as one of the most recognized figures exploring textiles as her medium.
Five Myles Gallery
July 20–August 18. 2017
Nicholas Heller doesn’t have what can be called a “conventional textiles career.” For over 30 years he has worked as a furniture designer and a cabinet maker, but also as illustrator for children’s books and special art books. It was not till 2014 in Quebec City, where he wandered into an exhibition titled “Haiti in Extremis: Death and Life in 21st century Haitian Art.” Among the works included in the show, several Voudou beaded flags captivated Heller and made him realize he was interested in the expressive, and story telling qualities that embroidery offers. In “This Is What I see,” Heller’s solo show, focusing on the subject of social injustice, working over 2 to 3 hundred hours in each piece, he is meticulous about what he is trying to convey through his work. The exhibition in general is meant to provoke and challenge the viewer’s understanding of the world’s politics, while proving that beauty and horror can coexist.
August 9–15, 2017
Marrying stunning visuals with social advocacy, Rahul Jain’s debut documentary — winner of the Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival — takes audiences into the labyrinthine passages of an enormous textile factory in Gujarat, India. Jain’s camera wanders freely between pulsating machines and bubbling vats of dye to create a moving portrait of the human laborers who toil away there for 12 hours a day to eke out a meager living for their families back home. Interviews with these workers and the factory owners who employ them reveal the stark inequality and dangerous working conditions brought about by unregulated industrialization in the region. This political message is delivered amidst the unsettling beauty of the factory’s mechanical underworld and the colorful, billowing fabrics it produces.