January Fiber Art Picks!
Photo courtesy of Museum of the City of New York.
Museum of the City of New York
Through April 1, 2018
A new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York explores the 1960s as an innovative, daring period in fashion and textile history. In the early 60s, Jacqueline Kennedy stepped onto the scene, and a new style icon was born, issuing in an energetic and inspired wave of youthful fashion. Mod fashion is not just the miniskirt or the color-block dress, in fact 1960s fashion is a lens through which cultural trends and interests (such as Beatlemania and Pop Art), as well as textile manufacturing methods can be explored. Social changes, too, are central to this exhibit, citing the women’s liberation, counterculture, and antiwar movements. Fashion in the 1960s was not only a time of color and texture, but also a reflection of societal and cultural changes that reveal a confrontational, exuberant, and creative moment in history.
Judy Chicago designing the entry banners for “The Dinner Party,” 1978. Photo courtesy of Through the Flower Archive.
Through March 4th, 2018
Special exhibition talk:
Thursday, January 18th at 7pm
This show celebrates perhaps one of the most well-known and beloved pieces of feminist artwork of all time. The Dinner Party (1974-79) by Judy Chicago re-establishes women’s place in history by “seating” 39 historical and imaginary women (along with honoring 999 others) at a triangular banquet table. A sculptural work combining ceramics and textile art, The Dinner Party and its genesis are examined at the Brooklyn Museum, where the piece is permanently displayed. This exhibition focuses specifically on its inception and Chicago’s process with presentation of test plates, research documents, ephemera, notebooks, and preparatory drawings. If you have never seen The Dinner Party before or you are a long-time admirer, this show will provide a rare viewpoint into the artistic process for a work that explores topics such as community art-making, women and domestic labor, and historical revisionism.
Installation view of “Rose Nestler / Strange Business.” Photo courtesy of Ortega y Gasset.
Ortega y Gasset Projects
January 6th through February 11th, 2018
Rose Nestler’s first solo show incorporates both video and sculpture to activate the viewer’s physical space in relation to totemic, soft, free-standing, bodily forms. Ideas surrounding gender, play, and monuments are generated as these forms own a certain movement in their groundedness.
Recent work by Alcides Rivas. Photos courtesy of Alcides Rivas.
January 11th through February 7th, 2018
Combining painting tradition with textiles and an educational background in architecture, Venezuelan artist, Alcides Rivas, presents a solo show of recent work that hints at understated absence. Reclaimed fabric and strings sew areas of defined space, often layering dimensions that are punctuated by text or graphics.
Family was the inspiration for Rivas – mainly his grandparents’ mountainside coffee farm. The faded, parched color and texture of the work mirrors a scene of coffee beans drying on a patio, according to Rivas. The needlework harkens back to the work of his mother and grandmother, both seamstresses. A pride in this heritage translates in this show, emanating a sense of peaceful simplicity.
Installation view of “Veiled Meanings.” Photo courtesy of The Jewish Museum, by Jason Mandella.
The Jewish Museum
Through March 18, 2018
Borrowed from the renowned costume collection of The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, textiles and clothing from diverse Jewish communities celebrate similarities and divergences in craft and culture. The pieces on display are from the 18th to 20th centuries and trace a story of inspiration across the globe. Central here are connections through patterns of migration and Jewish identity, culture, and belonging, as well as a running theme of clothing used to conceal or reveal, veil or unveil.
Installation view, ROYGBIV, 2017. Photo courtesy of Kate Werble Gallery.
Kate Werble Gallery
Through February 10th, 2018
A group show at Kate Werble Gallery exhibits works from two textile artists Baseera Khan and Cauleen Smith. Khan’s contribution comes in the form of three organized handmade silk prayer rugs designed by the artist and produced in Kashmir, India, which were originally shown in her first solo exhibition in NYC, iamuslima in 2017. The work “Psychedelic Prayer Rugs (Lunar Count Down, Act Up, and Purple Heart)” is inspired by her upbringing in a Muslim American family in Texas and is a meditation on her Indian-Iranian-Afghani heritage, as well as religious identity in relation to sexuality, military, and imprisonment.
Smith, an interdisciplinary artist, includes a vibrant group of abstract textile work that departs from past pieces that often include embroidered text or graphics. This time, striking patterns and color combinations excite and seem to reminisce on her filmmaking background and interest in mid-twentieth-century experimental film.