September Fiber Art Picks!
Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
Cycle 1: LJ Roberts, and Sarah Zapata August 22-October 15, 2017
In what could be understood as micro-residencies, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) welcomes back four alumni of the Museum’s Artists Studios Programs, whose interdisciplinary practices challenge the boundaries of traditional craft-practice, expanding the discourse into large-scale, immersive, and community engaged installations. For the first cycle of these micro-residencies, LJ Roberts and Sarah Zapata take over the gallery space where they will feature their textile works along with ephemera, research materials, drawings, and studio experiments, all together to enhance the visitor’s experience and provide them a well-rounded understanding of their work.
LJ Roberts approaches textiles as a political medium, using feminist histories combined with sewing and knitting (techniques reclaimed by Second-Wave feminists). The artist pays homage to pioneering lesbians, queer, and transgender histories. Roberts addresses anxiety over the imminent environmental and economic collapse, while examining their own roots as a third-generation Detroiter who grew up immersed in car culture. During this period, Roberts will work on a full-scale fiber conversion van inspired by the “Van Dykes” a group of outlaw lesbian separatists who traversed the North American continent during the 70s carrying a sense of adventure, community, and mayhem. Roberts has exhibited work nationally and internationally, and in 2015 received a Champion of Change Awards for LGBT artists from the White House.
Sarah Zapata produces large-scale, often immersive installations where she explores the feminine, the fetishized, and the handmade through yarn and textiles. Her process is often time-consuming, and labor-intensive as she employs various techniques like handweaving, rope coiling, latch hooking, and sewing. Her current work explores the complexity of being a Peruvian American woman, and how her personal heritage relates to evangelical and indigenous histories. The installation that Zapata created at MAD is an examination of the transformative power of cloth created by women in male-dominated spaces, in which Zapata uses fiber in multiple ways to create various surfaces. Zapata was recently awarded a Fund for the Arts Project Grant by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture.
American Folk Art Museum
September 6, 2017–January 7, 2018
Have you ever learned about quilts made by men using military and dress uniforms? “War and Pieced” is the perfect chance! This is the first exhibition in the United States to showcase the spectacular and complex geometric quilts made by men using the rich dyed wools that were once British military and dress uniforms. Once known as “Soldiers” or “Convalescent Quilts” the pieced textiles are commonly associated with the Crimean War (1853–56) as well as conflicts in India, South Africa, and other troubled regions of the British Empire during the 19th century. The quilts on display belong to the collection of Dr. Annette Gero, acclaimed quilt historian, and most of the quilts have never been on view before.
September 15–October 1, 2017
Inspired by textile techniques and traditions, “Borrowed” offers a collection of works that have dove into the debate between fine or “high arts” versus craft or “applied arts,” debate in which textiles have particularly played an important role. Instead of following historical standards, the artists featured in the show reject the distinctions and try to bridge the gap between “high art” and “applied art” while exploring the various techniques and endless possibilities that textiles can offer, “with one foot in each world they see the infinite potential of textiles to push their art in new and innovative ways.”
Abrons Arts Center, Henry Street Settlement
September 1–October 8, 2017
An installation of 84 hand-sewn, community-made quilts designed by Makwa Studio textile artist Maggie Thompson that served as a platform for Emily Johnson/Catalyst’ performance of Then a Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars.
The Java Project
September 16–October 20, 2017
In this solo exhibition, artist, educator, producer, and AIR cycle 7 alumni, Victoria Manganiello presents new Women Paintings along with a collection of Flower Paintings, a series that has never been presented to the public before. In addition, this is the first time that both series are presented together, providing an interesting juxtaposition of the artist’s vision, and differences between materials and creative process.
The Flower Paintings are machine-woven cloths that Manganiello treats with a mix of natural floral dyes and accents of acrylic paint. The floral dyes are derived from seasonal flowers and the synthetic materials represent the passage of time, as they nod to technology and the artist’s evolution during her process. In addition, Manganiello is involved in every aspect of the production of her paintings, from spinning the raw wool, cotton, or silk, to dyeing the yarn, dressing the loom, and weaving the cloth. As Nasim Mirzai, curator of the show expressed “the paintings become a geographical map and timeline. Each thread is an axis. Each weave is a fixed coordinate, or a fixed moment in time, striking somewhere.”
Noho M55 Gallery
September 5–23, 2017
As the exhibition title indicates, in “How It Feels Falling for You” Juliet Martin takes visitors into her interpretations of the pain caused by a heartbreak. Through three-dimensional, hand-woven tapestries, Martin combines weaving and drawing to satirize the trauma of romantic life, while also offering companionship and a crying pillow for those times. As Martin said, “spoofing the drama of love, my satiric fiber memoirs make being on the wrong side of a breakup a little less lonely.”
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Closing October 9, 2017
After being on view for over a year, this is the last month to check out this amazing exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through luxurious textiles, visitors can witness the impressive artistic and technical qualities of the pieces drawn from the Met’s collection. In addition, the exhibition also offers a scope into 18th and 19th century Chinese theater, a time when the Peking Opera was fully developed. Characterized by minimal stage settings, the importance of exaggerated gestures and movements made costumes gain an unusually significant role. In its second rotation, the exhibition features costumes from plays derived from legends and myths.
For its second consecutive year, New York Textile Month is back! Created with the intention of bringing awareness on textiles as well as celebrating textile creativity; several events are organized, including talks, studio visits, among others for the month of September around the city. Initiated by Lidewij Edelkoort, trend forecaster and Dean of Hybrid Design Studies at The New School, and assisted by Willem Schenk, NYTM offers textile lovers the chance to enjoy all the amazing opportunities that the city has to offer. To view the gram and schedule visit NYTM.