November Fiber Art Picks!

Xenobia Bailey amongst her work. Photo courtesy of MAD.

Xenobia Bailey “Studio Views: Craft in the Expanded Field”

Museum of Art and Design

Through December 17, 2017


Two new artists, Xenobia Bailey and Maria Hupfield, rotate into the second iteration of this show at MAD, which displays “large-scale, immersive, and community-engaged installations that challenge and expand the boundaries of traditional craft-practice.” Bailey, a textile artist, is known for crocheted hats, mandalas, and tents that vibrate with swirling colors and patterns. Inspired by the African American homemaker, as well as her hometown of Seattle’s disappearing multicultural African American, Asian, and Native American community, Bailey works at the intersection of craft and abstraction. Bailey also fuses these cultural references with a 1960’s funk aesthetic influence, which emits a musical vibrancy of colors.


Hillary Steel, Walkabout. Photo courtesy of Hillary Steel.



Featuring work by Dominie Nash, Nancy McNamara, and Hillary Steel

Julio Valdez Project Space

Through November 26, 2017


A trio of artists, Nash, McNamara, and Steel, who work in art quilts, prints, and woven textiles, respectively, exhibit together in a show that places paper and cloth in direct conversation with one another. Nash’s “collage-like art quilts” have a painterly aspect to them, often taking on the form of a still life or of natural assemblages. The printmaking practices of McNamara explore motifs of clothing, formed even without a human figure to give them shape, as well as themes surrounding a “woman’s role, place, and image.” Lastly, Steel, a specialist in weaving and resist dyeing, presents work influenced by her travels in Côte d’Ivoire, Peru, Chile and Mexico, and her passion for ikat techniques and plangi (shibori or tie-dye). All very different artists, they approach materials and color with a similar intensity.

Liz Collins’s performance of “Weaving Walls” (Knitting Nation, Phase 15). Photo courtesy of Liz Collins.


“Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon”

Featuring textile artists Tuesday Smillie, Liz Collins, Tschabalala Self, and Josh Fraught

New Museum

Through January 21, 2018


Following the New Museum’s tradition of exhibits surround themes of gender and sexuality, “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” highlights the complex intersections between gender and race, class, sexuality, and disability. Artists explore how gender interacts with forms of power and refusal of categorical repression. The inclusion of textile artists in this show widens the scope of sculptural works; Tuesday Smillie, for example, presents a series of pieces that references both historical and contemporary protest signs.


Liz Magor, Stretch Fabric, 2016. Polymerized gypsum, painted glassine paper, plastic, fabric. Photo courtesy of Andrew Kreps Gallery.

Liz Magor “Previously…”

Andrew Kreps Gallery

Through December 22, 2017


Canadian sculptor, Liz Magor, shows a body of work in a solo exhibition at Andrew Kreps Gallery, entitled “Previously…” Suggesting a past, of which we are familiar. Clothing, fabric, ceramics, trinkets, and other commonplace but strange materials create a narrative amongst themselves. They assemble together on their own accord, acknowledging and redefining each other’s presence. We, the viewer and the owner of many similar objects, often swap them out, reorganizing, and re-assembling them for ourselves. Here, however, the objects take on their own agency.

Left: Ashley Lyon, In Kind (2017); Right: Jane Bustin, Hanging (2016). Photos courtesy of Jane Lombard Gallery.


“Modern Domestics”

Featuring work by Ashley Lyon and Jane Bustin

Jane Lombard Gallery

Through December 21, 2017


Lyon and Bustin’s duo show is a confident display and investigation of the often gendered territory of the home. Taking on similar domiciliary themes, both artists strike balances between “equally comforting and melancholic, durable and decayed.”

Lyon’s ceramic work replicates the texture of soft, often bulging, objects. Duvets, mattresses, and floor tiles have an uncanny realism about them – one that tells a story of texture and material, becoming harder, yet more fragile.

Bustin, working in softer materials themselves, draws inspiration from her grandmother’s actions of laundering, baking, and crocheting. Herself, she mimics familiar actions as sculptural ones: folding, flattening, and rolling. Assemblages of pale colors reference the bedroom vanity: specific, with an intimate human history, yet completely changed by its displacement into the gallery space.

Both artists work on an intimate level with materials and textures, which creates an appealing and energizing show – one that takes female ownership over the domestic space. As a safe and transcendent – yet fragile – space, “Modern Domestics,” actively separates these works from an implied external world.


Orcival’s French sailor shirt, 1960s-1970s, left, and Bret.on’s shirt, customized for a Surrealist, 2017. Photo courtesy of Mark Wickens for The New York Times.


“Items: Is Fashion Modern?”


Through January 28, 2018


MoMA returns to a fashion and design exhibition after 73 years! Exploring what a fashion “item” is in a sociological sense, 111 fashion and accessory pieces have been selected for the show based on their impact during the 20th and 21st centuries. Expect more classic and humble items such as Levi jeans and flip-flops, as well as more culturally-charged ones that bear more weight. In addition to original items, MoMA invited artists, designers, manufacturers, and engineers to respond to certain items, creating a dialogue between item and idea. Elevating these items to the realm of the gallery challenges the way one looks at everyday design.

Eugene Brodsky, W2F3 (2017). Ink on silk. Photo Courtesy of Sears Peyton Gallery.


Eugene Brodsky, “Takes & Outtakes”

Sears Peyton Gallery

Through November 11, 2017


In his fourth solo exhibit at the Sears Peyton Gallery, Brodsky utilizes cutting and silkscreening processes on silk. Shapes with interruptions of different opacities play on the surface of silk, contrasting the precision of the forms. Shapes are often reversed next to or found within each other, appearing and reappearing elsewhere, “fight[ing] taste and habit.”

Leave a Reply