Aeqai Review: Interwoven


The aim of “Interwoven/Contemporary Textiles” at the Marta Hewett Gallery is to explore “traditional and alternative textile materials.” Despite the diversity of what’s on view, the exhibition can be divided into artists who use traditional techniques and materials, and others who use alternative materials but still work with basically traditional techniques.

(Above) Orly Genger, Untitled (black), nd, rope and paint, crocheted, 38” x 28” x 1.5”. Courtesy of Sara and Michelle Vance Waddell.

Erika Diamond, Airline Series: Three Fates Floating, 2016, hand-woven alpaca tapestry, 24” x 48”.

In the first category, Erika Diamond weaves and Kevin Cole interlaces painted paper strips.

Kevin Cole, Heaven Help Us All II, 2017, acrylic on paper, 22” x 14”.

Jones quilts (see aeqai.com, December 2017, for a review of her solo exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art).

Heather Jones, Stolen from the Sea, 2017, cotton, 80” x 60”.

Ed Bing Lee (one of my favorites with his wry humor),

Ed Bing Lee, LIFE IS JUST (bowl of cherries). 2015, linen, waxed linen, ribbons, plastic base, 12” x 18” x 18”

Jappie Black King, Judith Scott, and Orly Genger knot and/or wrap.

Sheila Hicks uses a variety of techniques and materials, but is represented by a knitted piece. Tim Harding devised a variation on traditional appliqué that he calls “complex free-reverse appliqué.”

Sheila Hicks, Foret Bleue I, 2001, milliner’s synthetic plaited banding and cotton, plaited stitch, 12 ¾” x 6 ¼”. Courtesy of Neil Tetkowski and Olga Valle Tetkowski.

The best known artist in the show, co-curated by gallery owner, Marta Hewett, and David Smith, director, is Hicks whose large-scale installations changed the public’s perception of what fiber could do. Here she’s represented by one of her “minimes” (pronounced min-EEMZ), small weavings that she has been producing for more than half a century. She may have made her mark in the art world with her monumental, site-specific works, but the impact of her smaller pieces should not be underestimated. In fact, Roberta Smith wrote in her 2015 New York Times review 1 that these intimate pieces tend to be her best efforts, comparing them to Giorgio Morandi’s small still lifes because of “their intimate size, restricted format and great variety. . .”