TAKE A LOOK
To inspire my thinking, refresh my eyes, or cheer my heart, I look at the world around me. Noted below are some look-worthy goings-on that pique my interest.
Marketing is a visual, emotional, experiential evocation of a concrete, quantifiable goal. There is a parallel between the power of art and architecture to persuade and inform and marketing's aspirations to do the same. The medium is different — marketing uses print ads, catalogs, social media platforms, special events, and the like, but the hoped-for results are the same: to provoke interest, create desire, and build a loyal tribe.
MARISA MERZ AT UCLA HAMMER
THE SKY IS A GREAT PLACE, THRU aug 20
Marisa Merz works with non-traditional materials, polymaterialism – wherein she combines humble material such as copper wire, bowls of salt, and knitting needles – exercises sculptural rigor while embracing a sense of play, and explores the possibilities of multimedia, collage, and unfired clay. A tremendous body of work. Artist walkthroughs scheduled for Jul 11 and Aug 16.
GETTY CENTER, thru july 30
Fans of graphic design, bold color, and the playful possibilities of language in space, as well as language as shape and form, will get a kick out of this bold exhibit. I was unaware (until I read the liner notes, as I like to call them) that there was an entire movement related to dimensional and graphic text, a "visual, verbal, and sonic experiment" that took place in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s.
FUNDACIóN casa wabi | OAXACA
ARCHITECTURE BY TADAO ANDO
Casa Wabi is a non-profit organization that promotes collaboration and social commitment through art. "Convinced that a personal encounter with art has a positive impact," Casa Wabi was created by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi. Wabi-Sabi represents a vision of the world focused on the acceptance of the ephemeral and the imperfect.
HABITUS | ANN HAMILTON
THE FABRIC WORKSHOP AND MUSEUM
Artist and Macarthur Fellow Ann Hamilton shot the video above in conjunction with an exhibit at the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. "What is here, what is close, what you can experience and then what is less visible and what you draw up, from underneath, the thing that is not visible or said." "Very few times in our lives we are not touching cloth, so cloth is the hand that is constantly touching us."
MEND | LISA BARTLESON
WORK OVER SCHOOL AT CAFAM
Mend is a sea of porcelain houses, broken and mended: representing the heart as home – a safe nourishing place. When we experience trauma, our walls crack, our foundations shift and our identity, as we know it, changes. The scars and fissures are signs of wisdom. Link to more images of Lisa's striking work below.
the box project at ucla fowler
A visually arresting and complex show, Uncommon Threads highlights several artists' interpretations of the same curatorial directive: to stay within the box. For sheer delight factor, and nostalgia for my grandmother, Gere Kavanaugh's piece was a favorite. Check out her site for a dive through her wide-ranging influence on the LA visual scene. Through January 15.
REVERIES, BY THREADWINNERS
THRU FRIDAY, AUGUST 11
Liz Flynn and Alyssa Arney created this immersive nature-scape installation to question what a landscape could be and to reflect on the human hand as both cultivator and destroyer of the world and our impact on the environment. A portion of art sales will be donated to the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter. Artist talk Saturday, July 15, 4 pm.
AFRICAN-PRINT FASHION NOW!
FOWLER MUSEUM, UCLA, Thru july 30
This show boasts an exuberantly colorful assemblage of print textiles, offering a commentary on literacy, politics, commerce, status, and more. Complete outfits mix with stunning b&w photos to tell a complex history of the print cloth trade in West and Central Africa. Featuring styles from Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and Senegal.
CALIFORNIA FIBERS: TIME
STUDIO CHANNEL ISLANDS, CAMARILLO, CA
The Blackboard Gallery will host an exhibit from California Fibers now through May 6. Work from the 17 artists on display address the theme of “Time." Inventive, unexpected, dimensional. A panel discussion with Carrie Burckle, Mary Beth Schwartzenberger, Cameron Taylor-Brown, and Lori Zimmerman is scheduled for Sat, April 22 at 1 PM.
the last bookstore
453 s spring street
Somebody special introduced me to The Last Bookstore. I'd become so discouraged by the closing of independent bookshops I'd stopped believing any existed. New and used books, vinyl records!, a yarn shop ('cause you know what they say about text and textiles!) and live events. See for yourself, soon. Their motto: "What are you waiting for? We won't be here forever."
TRUE IMAGE | SIGNING AT arcana books
Bicycling the streets of Los Angeles with camera in hand, Tony shoots textures, color, the discarded, worn out, and left behind. His body of work was collected and published by Verb Editions as True Image, four color offset on tabloid newsprint; edition of 1000 designed by David Blankenship for Because.
LONDON CALLING | GETTY
THRU nov 13
Not beautiful in any traditional sense, these paintings are a master class in the human form and landscape, as felt rather than seen. I found the work viscerally shocking, frequently uncomfortable, messy even. On a related note: Did you know you can walk down the access road back to the parking lot? Terrific for nighttime views of the glimmering lights on the 405.
HAUSER & WIRTH
TOUR WITH FAST CO/LA CREATIVITY EVENT
Hauser & Wirth is a contemporary art gallery, bookstore, urban garden and farm (oy, there are chickens!!), host-er of a restaurant – Manuela – and event space. Whew! I didn't know what to look at first. Jason Rhoades' neon assemblage was leaving, so I started there. If you're interested in joining me for a return visit, email here.
MARIO YBARRA BOOKS OF DRAWINGS
THE FABRIC WORKSHOP AND MUSEUM
I met Mario in a previous chapter of our lives and became an immediate fan of Slanguage (a multi-disciplinary arts studio he co-runs with Karla Diaz). Mario had a show at the Fabric Workshop and Museum (see Ann Hamilton's post, below left). Title: Books Of Drawings, Beyond Our Dreams, Blame Our Dads, Brains On Drugs, Better Off Dead.
union, maine: demolition derby
On the other end of the aesthetic spectrum from big city museums – yet equally visually and culturally stimulating – are state fairs. 4H animals, fried foods, local crafts, a ferris wheel, and my great luck: a demolition derby. Among the most viscerally satisfying and wholly unexpected displays of raw aggression and silliness I've ever witnessed. Bring it on.
UNICEF NEXT GEN ART PARTY
MARCH 11 | 800MAIN SPACE in venice
Photographer Lindsay Meggers shared her latest project, a blend of art, philanthropy, and vibrant company: NextGen brings together young leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators who commit their resources, resolve, and enthusiasm to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work. Annual art sale / fundraiser is March 11.
PROCESS. PASTELS. pink.
DEGAS EXHIBIT | GETTY MUSEUM
Wandering around the Getty last weekend I came across a small room featuring Edgar Degas' "Russian Dancers" and an instructive multimedia explanation of his materials (pastels) and process. The effect was a visceral and humanizing peek into the tactile and creative experience of art-making.
scraps: fashion, textiles, and creative reuse
cooper hewitt nyc | thru April 16, 2017
Featuring creative and alternative approaches to textile industry waste, “Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse,” showcases the work of three designers who embrace the tradition of using handcraft to give new life to scraps and cast-offs: Luisa Cevese, founder of Milan-based design studio Riedizioni; Christina Kim, founder of Los Angeles-based brand dosa; and Reiko Sudo, cofounder of Toyko textile design firm Nuno.
TEXTILE WORKER AND ACTIVIST
"I pledge my life to mending America by being a watchful and vigilant community member; peacefully and firmly fighting racism, sexism, and oppression; crafting spaces where all people are welcome; to continue to create change through call to actions, skill sharing, sewing, and mending; and to persistently persevere in spite of the seeming futility of it all." Stop Shopping Start Sewing
THE WEAVING MILL
Last summer I had the good fortune to meet the women behind The Weaving Mill, proprietors of 54" and 90" looms that had been sitting dormant in a warehouse re-purposed as a social services agency for developmentally disabled adults. Can technically trained artists harness the production demands of industrial scale equipment and sustain a viable business? Let's hope so.
color in cloth: the weaves you want and why
WEAVERS GUILD OF MINNESOTA
Although I'm unlikely to make it to Minnesota, this workshop deserves a mention as it will be taught by professional textile educator and new friend Cameron Taylor-Brown, who I met at last year's SDA conference (see below). "Explore a wide range of weaving across different cultures and time periods and closely examine how weave choices dramatically affect our perception of color in cloth."
GATLINBERG, TENNESSEE (smoky mountains)
The Surface Design Association hosted their 2015 conference at Arrowmont, one of our nation's oldest craft schools (and site of devastating fires this past week). How can we develop a business model that captures the value of professional craft work when we have become so reliant on low cost, disposable goods – and are generally so unaware of the alternatives?
TEXT AND TEXTILES
what weaves them together
Despite the delight I take in language, I was not aware until recently that the the word text comes from the Latin "woven." So we weave stories and we weave textiles, explaining perhaps why this blog of words devotes so much space to textile art. The piece above is from a Surface Design Association exhibit at CAFAM – more images and details via the button below.
GEMINI G.E.L. AND PRINTMAKING: the serial impulse
LACMA | thru january 2, 2017
As a child growing up outside Washington, D.C. I distinctly recall spending hours staring at Robert Rauschenberg's works in the Smithsonian. I didn't know what "Gemini G.E.L." was, and only now learned the workshop was based in Los Angeles . . . but the power of this creative group to engage my attention has never flagged. Next up on my list of exhibits to explore: The Serial Impulse at LACMA.
yoshiko iwamoto wada
artist, author, textile researcher
Ms. Wada is an proponent of traditional and sustainable practices in fashion and textile production. She is president of the World Shibori Network and founder of Slow Fiber Studios. The 10th International Shibori Symposium was held in Oaxaca in November.
'recycled' featuring valya
BRANCH GALLERY | THRU JANUARY 19
Internationally recognized fiber artist Valya has curated a striking selection of textile and art-to-wear works for this one-woman show at the Branch Gallery (connected to The Knitting Tree LA). Each piece offers an evocative neutral palette and experimental forms. Valya has previously exhibited at Lithuania's National Art Museum, as well as galleries in Laguna and throughout So Cal.