Monday, March 16, 2020

"Fiber art" at the Indianapolis Museum 1

We visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art a couple of weeks ago to see the Yayoi Kusama infinity room, which took a stopwatch-timed 45 seconds, and then went on to the contemporary art collection for a more leisurely visit.  When I go to museums I always look for how mainstream artists incorporate fiber into their work.  Sometimes there's even enough that I would call it "fiber art."  Here's some of what I found on this trip.

Orly Genger, Len

It's two big rectangular piles of "looped and knotted" nylon rope, with "acrylic latex," whatever that is, apparently coating the rope.  Sorry, my camera refused to focus on the shiny surface, so no detail shots.  The wall sign says the sculpture "evokes the intimate processes of knitting and crocheting, but expanded to an epic scale."

Of course that made me crabby, because why does looping and knotting "evoke" knitting and crocheting, they're disrespecting us again, anything with yarn-like stuff makes them think of grandma.  But then I thought, well what is knitting and crocheting if not looping?  So maybe I'm not crabby.  What do you think? 

Either way, I say this is fiber art.

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, details below

Cave has made hundreds of these works, sometimes with a mannequin inside for display like this one, sometimes wearable for performances.  They're called soundsuits because when worn, they rustle and clink and clank and that sort of thing.  The headdress of this suit is full of random found objects, but the body is mostly crocheted doilies, with knitting underneath and a nifty hooked codpiece.  My internet research seems to say that Cave doesn't do his own handwork, but uses found doilies and fabric (although obviously somebody has to put it all together; wonder who?).  Definitely fiber art.

Antoni Tàpies, Dìptic amb collage, details below

Here the fiber is a hunk of an old basket, partly unwoven and affixed to a support described as wood but looking to me like plaster or ceramic.  I like the simplicity of the composition and the contrast between the dark and light halves of the diptych; I like the finger-in-the-sand glyph.  But I say this is not "fiber art," this is "art with a little bit of fiber."

More in the next post....

1 comment:

  1. This is a knitting link that really makes you smile!