Artistic Endeavors – Choi So Young

Used denim from pants, skirts, shirts, etc., isn’t the most likely medium for art, but Korean artist Choi So Young can see whole urban landscapes in it. He (or she, websites differ) is especially clever in using the bits most textile artists don’t use – the belt loops, pockets, seams, pocket liners, labels, and buttons. The pieces are best described as collages. I believe acrylic paint is also used.

Hong Kong Soho Street, 2013

London Street At Night, 2010

After The Snow 2, 2011

Gaya, 2005

After The Snow, 2010

Other work by her/him is at artnet. So far my searches haven’t found any biographical data, except for year of birth (1980,) education, and residence (Korea.) I’d love to see a video of the artist at work, but while my YouTube search found some bizarre stuff, it turned up no artists.

Ian Berry is another artist who works with denim, often in portraits. I wrote about his work here.

 

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Stars From My Scrap Bins

My last procrastination to avoid my canal project was a scrappy stars quilt. The canal project is onto its next phase, so I can stop making excuses now. Meanwhile, I have yet another top to quilt. I don’t think I thought my diversion through to its logical end.

As I’ve done before, I pulled out my scrap strips bins to create lots of strip squares, which I then cut into two triangles. Many of the light colored squares were made from scrap bags I bought at the Sew Batik sewing expo booth. I just don’t use light fabrics enough to have a good stockpile of light strips.

I paired the triangles in mostly light/dark combinations, with a few all light ones, and had fun creating stars with them. I was inspired by a quilt posted on Pinterest. It was made by Stash Lab Quilts, and is brighter than mine.

I had made a rough drawing of my layout, but found that getting the light triangles to flow together really drove the composition. I guess I know who or what is really in charge. That’s right, color and value.

I’m linking up to Nina-Marie’s Off The Wall Friday.

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Artistic Endeavors – Richard Landis

I think weaving could tie with quilting as the most under recognized art medium. Both are usually considered crafts. I suspect the only “name” weavers most art lovers know are Sheila Hicks and Anni Albers.

So, I was humbled when I came across the work of Richard Landis and realized I’m just as uninformed as other art lovers. From what I saw on the Cooper Hewitt website about Landis’ recent Color Decoded exhibit, Landis works combine color, rectangles and squares, and double weaving. The double weave is crucial to the new colors Landis creates. What’s double weave? It’s “a four-element weaving technique using two sets of warp and two sets of weft to produce two interwoven cloths, one over the other.” Essentially you weave two pieces at the same time, interconnecting them at intervals.

Textile Cathedral (detail)

[Landis’] drawings demonstrate how Landis would calculate and visualize every permutation possible within a defined set of colors. While the actual weaving could be completed in days, it sometimes took Landis a month or more to work out the full range of tones and hues on paper, design the geometric pattern, and prepare the loom to weave the cloth. Using his preferred weave structure—double-cloth—Landis would simultaneously weave two parallel planes of fabric, a technique that allowed for the creation of the multicolored complex patterning of his textiles. (taken from https://www.cooperhewitt.org/channel/color-decoded/)

Textile, Red and Green

Textile, Cluster, 1979

Textile, Fourth Dimension (detail)

The short video on the Cooper Hewitt website shows 87 year old Landis dressed in khaki pants and a long sleeve button down shirt, not your standard arty wardrobe. He and my husband must shop from the same catalog.

I’d love to share more information about Landis and examples of his work, but he doesn’t have much of a internet presence. You can see all the work in the Color Decoded exhibition here.

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The Nancy Crow Experience

Many art quilters make a pilgrimage to the Crow barn outside Reynoldsburg, Ohio, to study with Nancy Crow for a week or two. Work by Crow and some of her students, as featured in an exhibit called Color Improvisations 2 that’s now touring, will give you an idea of Crow’s style.  I’ve not had the nerve, or cash, for the experience, but I think Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog posts give me a good idea of what’s involved.

Julie is a whirling dervish of a multi-media artist. She paints, does art journaling, hosts the “Make It Artsy” show on PBS Create TV, designs stencils, shows how to make your own stamps, blogs copiously about her work and her trips, and has taken up quilting. She leans toward the modern style, no surprise.

Julie has graciously given me permission to reblog her two posts about her experiences. Please check out all her posts at Balzer Designs. Her week one post is below. You can also check out her five lessons from the Crow Barn here, and her “rear view mirror” view in her podcast. (It’s at the beginning.)

Now I’ll turn this over to Julie.

June 04, 2018

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Artistic Endeavors – Yayoi Kusama

Atrium of Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is now showing the much heralded Yayoi Kusama‘s Infinity Mirrors, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I joined many, many others who shelled out $30 to stand in lines for an opportunity to spend about 30 seconds in each mirrored box.

I have no photos of the box interiors because I spent my brief time taking in the effects. However, this exhibit description contains a photo of “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away,” as well as other exhibit items. It is indeed all done with mirrors.

Besides those marquee items, the exhibit spans other work by Kusama from the 1960s to the present. Some of her more recent work shows further evolution of her trademark polka dots.

What great ideas for quilt borders!

One of my favorite pieces was “Flower” (1975,) in part because of the reflections off the glass that protects this collage. I think it goes well with the exhibit’s theme.

I also saw dots on other items displayed at the museum, especially these two pottery pieces from the central Andes, made sometime between 600 and 1000 AD.

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Catching Up

Despite my preoccupation with canals, I made a few non-related pieces in June and July. Both are improv based and on the small side.

The first is “Primary Directive,” which I showed before. It’s now quilted and faced.

The detail shot shows I quilted it mostly with straight lines, with a few zigzags thrown in.

Once I began sorting a long neglected bag of scraps culled at a workshop, I decided to go raw – raw edges that is. “Mining Copper” is the result. I layered fusible fleece onto muslin and sewed down strips and bits of fabric with machine decorative stitches. Then I sewed on some ribbons and mylar I had deformed with an iron and painted. Finally, I sewed and tied on zinc washers I had painted a while ago. The resulting color scheme led me to the name.

I’m linking up to Nina-Marie’s Off The Wall Friday.

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Artistic Endeavors – Jean Shin

Sometimes it takes an artist’s eye to see possibilities in discarded objects.  Pieces at a recent exhibit of Jean Shin’s work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art use discarded clothing and fashion related materials Shin often crowd sources and refashions into installations. Worn Soles particularly appealed to me. I gather the artist re-configures it for each display space.

Worn Soles
detail
In Worn Soles, the artist has separated the bodies of used shoes from their soles. These disembodied objects are placed heel-side up along the floor in crowded groups, the resulting topography undulating as the heels vary in height. The arrangement of the soles suggests the movement of crowds of people—at times spreading outward, ready to disperse, and at others flowing together in a single direction. Every worn sole is unique and evokes the presence of the body that wore it. Like wrinkles on the skin, the surface is a drawing in which every step produces a mark that maps the owners’ pasts. (taken from Shin’s website)
 
Following are some of her other installations that caught my eye. Many are for public spaces rather than museums, and so their intent and effects differ. The descriptions are from Shin’s website.

Unraveling

A site-specific installation, Unraveling visualizes the web of interrelationships among members of the Asian American arts community. The artist unravels sweaters that have been donated by individuals in each exhibition city and then reassembles the brightly colored yarns into a dynamic installation that maps this dense social network. The name of each participant is silkscreened onto a label that is sewn onto the edge of the owner’s deconstructed sweater.

Sound Wave
Records were melted and sculpted to form a cascading wave, dotted with bursts of colorful labels. The resulting structure speaks to the inevitable waves of technology that render each successive generation of recordable media obsolete. The piece also aims to physically manifest the ephemerality of music as well as one man’s musical tastes, as represented by his personal record collection.
Penumbra
 
Rescued from the street after windy storms, broken umbrellas have been deconstructed, reassembled and re-introduced to the outdoor elements. Attached to trees, this large canopy of primarily black umbrellas provides a passage of welcome shade in the park as it interacts with the sun and breeze, creating a play of shadows below.

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