Friday, June 29, 2018
Art report / Denmark 1
When I visit a big-time museum I always like to look for fiber. The fiber art you find in such venues hardly ever looks like any fiber art you would see at a dedicated fiber show in the U.S.; more inscrutable, often more casual in construction. Many times you'll find fiber constructions made by artists whose major reputations are in other mediums.
Here's a major work from the Statens Museum for Kunst (the Danish National Gallery) in Copenhagen, by Yvette Brackman, a Danish-American sculptor. It's a series of five cloaks or garments, made in 2014, titled The Troublemaker, Father America, The Chorus, The Good Mothers & Hitler-Stalin. Inexplicably I have photos for only four of the five, and don't know which is which.
To my eye, the way these pieces are slapped together is so distracting that I have a hard time focusing on the meaning. When I do, I'm still mystified.
I recognize the fragmented shapes on the red and black one as bits of swastikas and sickles (that must be the Hitler-Stalin cloak) and I suppose the meaning is that totalitarian regimes, whether left or right, are all the same. I suppose the yellow cloak with the strange maroon joined sleeves is The Good Mother -- are her arms permanently joined to cradle her child or because she's locked in a straitjacket? I get no clues from the other pieces, and I feel as though each cloak might be stronger displayed by itself instead of in with the others.
I hate to not like fiber work when I see it in a mainstream museum venue, but this batch left me cold.