Upcoming EventsMeet Your Maker 2013 Party and Sale!
Friday, December 13thIlka Hartmann Photos
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Opening Party Friday, December 13th
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
First Quarter Moon
7 days old
Union of Water and Fire (1974), photo by Tom Grotta. Then, Union of Water and Fire II (1964) and Lenore’s first solo show at the Elaine Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton NY in 1967. Eye spy Noguchi!
“I’m not just patiently doing it,” she said of such work. “It’s done with devotion.”Waters Above the Firmament (1976) and Lenore in her NYC studio with Dove (1974). Photo by Clayton Price. Then a view of Lenore in her studio.
Verdi (1967) then Four-Armed Cloud (1979), pictured with dancer Andy de Groat at the New Jersey State Museum. Then Discours Historique (1966), photo by George Erml.
Lenore working in 1979. Photo by George Erml. Then Lenore’s loft in 1994 as photographed by William Seitz. And a blissed out working Lenore dressed to match her loom set up.
Lenore Tawney, a great and tough beauty, lived to see 100 years. She studied sculpture with Alexander Archipenko, drawing with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and weaving with Marli Ehrman at the Art Institute of Chicago. Later she studied tapestry with the Finnish weaver Martta Taipale at Penland School of Crafts, where the weaving studio is heaven on earth. After some personal turmoil and travels, she went to New York and stayed working there for the rest of her day, breaking art rules. “I left Chicago,” she later wrote, “to seek a barer life, closer to reality, without all the things that clutter and fill our lives. The truest thing in my life was my work. I wanted my life to be as true. I almost gave up my life for my work, seeking a life of the spirit.” Sound familiar? She and Agnes Martin were close.
There is a really nice corral of images at the American Craft Council site, along with an article published in American Craft Magazine, in 2008, called “Lenore Tawney: Spiritual Revolutionary”. I wish I could meet Lenore.
Sheila in Guerrero, Mexico, 1964 from Weaving As Metaphor, the book I would most like to purchase but am too intimidated by the out of print price. Learning to Weave in Taxco, Mexico (c. 1960) and working on Solferino Tacubaya in Taxco el Viejo, Guerrero, Mexico, 1960-61.
La Memoire (1972) as it was originally installed at IBM headquarters in Paris.
Proust Visits the Brooding Winter Tree (1999), Lianes Nantaises (1973), Wow Bush / Turmoil in Full Bloom (1980), The Silk Rainforest (1975), Tahoe Wall (1970), and a study for Fugue Rothschild Bank Headquarters, Paris, 1969. Zaaaaannnnnngggggg -Holly Samuelsen
Photo of Sheila by Ryan Collerd for The New York Times (also a wonderful article).
I’m heading down to Philadelphia today, and all my life, Philadelphia will mostly just mean Sheila Hicks, ’cause I was one of the lucky ones to see her big show at the ICA a couple years ago. It completely spun me out. Sheila is our great head honcho, the top fiber arts dog of all time. She studied at Yale with Josef Albers in the mid-1950′s, then went down to learn weaving in Mexico. Since then she’s been based in New York and Paris, basically laying down the category of fiber arts both small and largescale, for both industrial use and for the purpose of just mind-melting wizardry.
One thing I noticed when I was at the show was how many of her pieces were commissioned for corporate lobbies, like at IBM, and corporate spaces, like a bank in Mexico City, an insurance company in Milwaukee, and the poshest Air France Boeing 747 ever. This got me thinking: 1. I often skip looking at woven panels and carpeting in public spaces because BART is so gross, but sometimes it’s magnificent and I should pay more attention (and I do). 2. If big corporations are the only guys with enough cash and foresight to commission crazy big fiber installations like hers, then suddenly I’m all for big corporations.
There is much to read and learn about Sheila. Check out Sikkema Jenkins & Co., her gallery in New York, for even more images of her work. The Smithsonian has also done an oral history with her and there are many nice books out—Sheila Hicks: 50 Years is one we carry at the shop.
Sheila Hicks, photographed by Giulia Noni
A polaroid from the Smithsonian archive, then Coil III- A Celebration (1977)
Claire with Dimensional Fiber, c. 1980, a sketch for Hirise on graph paper, ca. 1983, and two study samples (1950)
Breakwater (1968) and Claire putting pegboard to excellent use in her studio
Red Forest II (1971) in it’s full 38 foot long majesty and a detail, then Coil Series I (1977) (I’m with you Cathy.)
from Beyond Craft: The Art of Fabric by Mildred Constantine and Jack Lenor Larsen, 1972
Save this date! Our own Special Projects Manager, Tessa Watson, is launching her own very special project this coming Saturday. OGAARD is a textile-focused studio and gallery space in Oakland that will contain four textile-oriented studios for rent, workshop space, hourly space for rent, dye vats, and other resources to help bring together the Bay Area textile community. A show of Ashley Helvey’s work will inaugurate this great and much-needed space. WAY YES.
OGAARD 5861 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland
Saturday, April 13th, 6-9 pm
Photo by Lina Bertucci (1993)
Eyes and hands scarf on rayon (1982) and photo of Kika by Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy (1984)
Kiki Smith, obvi an auntie, was also born in Germany like Eva Hesse, but really she is the boss of the Lower East Side (See: This 1994 profile. “I was happy at Fawbush, but my astrologer said I had to make a change”). See also: Tony Smith / Seton Smith. Lili—ink like this, yeah?
Eva Hesse then in her Bowery studio, NYC (1968)
This group- Henry Groskinsky for LIFE (1969)
Eva Hesse in her Kettwig Studio, Germany 1964 and 1965
Repetition Nineteen III (1968)
Top is Gretchen Lambert, “Eva Hesse in her Bowery studio” (1965) then Ingeminate (1965) and Hess with it
At an opening in 1965, then Ascension (1967)
Untitled or Not Yet (1966)Stephen Korbet, “Portrait of Eva Hesse” (c.1959)
If you’ve made it this far without cracking your heart open like a watermelon and you need to obsess some more about Eva, check out her archive at Oberlin College. That’ll do the trick. And then this sweet letter from Sol to finish you off.
We have been so lucky these past years that Em has presided over Gravel & Gold. And now that she’s officially off to Maine to do her majik at Watershed, a residency and retreat center for ceramic arts in Newcastle, we’re sending her on with a BANG! Or rather, she’s sending herself off with her own big bang. As of tomorrow night, she will be showing her paintings at the shop—sharing and joy-spreading as only she can. Please stop by to celebrate this great work she’s been up to and to celebrate Em Gift, Our Lady of Management, Vibe-tone, Voice, and Voilà! We will miss her bangs major. xoxo
For those of you not fortunate enough to be on the Dharma Trading Co. (since 1969) e-newsletter list, I would like to share with you the shenanigans that landed in my inbox today and strongly urge you to sign up yourself. It took me a minute to figure out that this was their April Fools’ shenanery, though obvi I knew they were joking around. The Dharma supply store in San Rafael has been one of my favorite spots for years and years. It sells all manner of fabric dye, prepared for dye white cultwear, yarn, and so on. And now that we deal often with the wholesale mothership in Petaluma, I have many opportunities to confirm their reputation as one of the friendliest and most accommodating companies around. Best of all, “it all began with an acid trip! That’s LSD for those who didn’t grow up in the 60′s.” Read the story! Join the e-club! They do a great catalog too. Into it.
Milk River (1963)
Untitled #6 (1980)
Falling Blue (1963)
Faraway Love (1999)
Thanks for a wonderful weekend, Jana. xoxo
“Every beginner should be afforded this freedom of creativity. Courage is a key factor in every form of artistic creative process, it can best unfold when it is not curtailed too early by knowledge.” (I like imagining the tricks Anni taught Ruth.)
I’m not entirely sure that Anni is in this circle of the Bauhaus weavers, tho she was certainly one of their best and anyway it’s a beautiful thing. If you would like to see more of Anni’s work, and of course you do!, definitely check out the websites for the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation and the MoMA archive.