Monday, July 4, 2011

QSDS alumni show 2

I wrote yesterday about the QSDS show at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus. Today I want to talk about several representational pieces. I generally dislike such quilts, because I think the medium of fabric is not particularly conducive to represnetational imagery. Too many representational quilts are sentimental and sappy. But I liked some of the quilts at the Riffe that avoided that trap.

Georgie Cline, Olentangy 2, 39 x 32"

This one made me smile because it thumbs its nose at the beautiful landscape tradition.  Fittingly, the graffiti are painted on; the leaves and water are rendered with a 3-D effect of yarns and torn fabric.

Mary Ann Tipple, In the fourth Grade the Artist Discovered Picasso, 20 x 61"

The imagery is a bit edgy, with a touch of humor.   (I know, these dimensions are wrong; probably the 21" is correct but it's not that tall)

Sidnee Snell, Arrivals, 27 x 39"  (detail below)

The wavy, posterized solids of this photographic image add up to an evocative and slightly abstracted depiction.  Raw-edge applique is well-suited to this treatment.

Ginny Smith, Bird of Prophecy, 31 x 32"

Folk art sometimes comes off lame, but this one has a nice spirit.  I particularly liked the lettering -- primitive in character but a sophisticated, well-done primitivism! 

Shawn Quinlan, Look Dick, Look Jane, 37 x 47" (details below)

I know this quilt from its past life; a couple of years ago I gave it my award for political and social commentary at the annual Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie.  I remember giving a gallery talk at that show at which some old ladies were totally mystified by this piece.  Why are they standing there by the empty chair?  they demanded.  Why is the flag in the water?  I like Shawn's work because of his clever use of found fabrics and because you can always get the overall drift of his message, even if there's a bit of mystery still there (gee, ladies, I don't know, why do YOU think the flag is in the water???  maybe because it's the Fourth of July).

I'll write more tomorrow.

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