Shunning mere esthetic representations of industrial ruin, the strength of Chris Larson’s project is the artist’s deep engagement with the material conditions of the factory itself—from its textile remnants to its architecture to its deserted machinery—and with the residual traces of human labor that such objects bear.
At once a celebration of beauty in all its opulence and material forms, Nick Cave’s Forothermore, the artist’s largest museum survey to date, is also a eulogy to Black lives lost to police violence and those harmed by societal bigotry and racism.
The subjects who populate the 22 quilts that comprise Bisa Butler’s exhibition Portraits transcend their historical sources–vintage photographs of anonymous African Americans, whose visages Butler transforms through vibrant layers of fabric and thread.
Revealed throughout Mirror of the Universe, a suite of four exhibitions recently on view at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center exploring the life, work, and influence of Lenore Tawney (1907–2007), is an artist whose creative and everyday lives were intimately intertwined.
Throughout her prodigious work, Anne Wilson employs human hair and found cloth (damask fabrics, table linens, family heirlooms, remnants of clothing), as stand-ins for the body and as fragments of memory imbued with their own personal and collective histories.
In her installation Shoretime Spaceline (2016), Karen Reimer distorts our perceptions of space and time: the sky becomes the sea, the sea becomes the sky, the present and past combine.
Thread Lines, with its impressive roster of artists, offered a first take on the relationship between fiber art and drawing.
Toward Textiles sets out to reclaim fiber art from disciplines of mainstream contemporary art that have appropriated, and perhaps misappropriated, material-based practices. As such, it attempts to deliver fiber art back to the realm of the physical and the experiential.
Hardline feminism and cottage industry craft, in particular textiles, are employed or rather deployed throughout the works on view, installed en masse to emulate a makeshift agora or meeting space that exists in a not-so-distant future.