Saturday, December 17, 2011

MASTERS: Art Quilts Volume 2

MASTERS: Art Quilts Volume 2-- Can I just gush for a moment about and say; Wow, Wowee, Wowzee, Wowzer!!  I had the amazing opportunity to review this new wonder published by Lark Crafts and curated by Martha Sielman and what an honor it was!  Whether or not all the art within these pages speaks to you, it is imperative to our textile/fiber art community that we are aware of what strides are being taken to further our voices as a whole.

The first thing that struck me was the choice to use cool colors on the cover vs. the warm colors used on Volume 1.  The formatting of this book is ideal due to the ability to see an artist's body of work, instead of the typical 1 or 2 photos, which allows you to really get a feel for how that artist works.

About a month or so ago on the Quilt Art list there was a discussion about how textile/fiber artists discuss their work and how we generally discuss technique vs. thoughts or how we came to create a particular piece.  I don't know that that particular thought process would have mattered to me before the discussion but it stood out to me at this point in viewing.  Each artist has a mini bio at the beginning of their section and there are quotes of how they design sprinkled throughout their section but each photo has a list of techniques accompanying it.  Since my art consists of pretty basic techniques like photo printing, painting, and thread painting; I am fascinated by the endless variety of techniques used by the artists within these pages. 

There is a wonderful mixture of realism vs.abstract, traditional vs. innovative technique and you will be intrigued even when it isn't normally something you would be interested in.  I am not an abstract art viewer so when I find some I like, it is usually difficult for me to verbalize why I like it.  The following artists made me stop and take a second and third look:
Jan Myers-Newbury for her movement, texture, and Autumn colors.  I think color always plays a big part in the viewer being drawn into a piece.
Dirkje van der Horst-Beetsma for the movement of the jagged stitch lines and I really enjoyed the assembly of her work.
Nelda Warkentin for the movement, the sheer and light aspects, the obvious nature feel, and the repetition of design that spoke to me from a traditional perspective.

I would also like to point out a few other artists' work that I was intrigued by for various reasons:
Carolyn Crump for her great use of fabrics and her use of thread work for shading and facial detail.
Paula Nadelstern's work is mesmerizing from the urban (Tree Grate) to the magical (Ice Crystals-which prompted me to buy one of her books) but I am truly blown away by her landscapes, specifically Tulips in the Courtyard....Absolutely Lovely!
Laura Wasilowski's work is not only joyful but narrative and I can't believe she hasn't been approached to illustrate a children's book--specifically Lacking Gravity, Fences and Bridges 2, and Farm.
Linda MacDonald has a wonderful ability to bring serious subjects to the viewer in an extremely accessible way as you are drawn in trying to find other motifs with significance to the piece.
Maryline Collioud-Robert's repetitive lines are soothing even when meant to evoke vibrant energy.
Tim Harding intrigued from the cover and I wanted to see how he managed to create something abstract and realistic at the same time...his rippling water effects make you want to see them close up and/or go for a swim:)
Lastly, I am in love with The Tower by Izabella Baykova and want to visit that magical and ethereal destination.

"Quilting combines the best of what the art world has to give.  It can be sculptural. It can encompass drawing and painting.  It's the ultimate mixed medium."  Thank you, Jim Smoote, I couldn't have said it any better!

1 comment:

kathy said...

Smoote's statement about sums it all up! Good review Robin.