Monday, May 22, 2017

Thread Lines exhibition 3 -- hand stitching that I loved

OK, got the crabby stuff out of the way, now I can talk about the work in the Thread Lines exhibit that I liked.  And guess what, it was almost all all hand stitching.

Here's an unassuming but solid and joyous work, simply little shapes of felt hand-stitched to felt backgrounds.

William J. O'Brien, Untitled (detail below)

Just two colors, simple shapes, the simplest possible stitching, but it all goes together into complex and sophisticated compositions that make you smile.  The background layer is thick, a tad more than 1/4 inch, so it hangs solidly, and it's held to the wall with T-pins.

Interestingly, many of the older works are framed under glass (which I think is not a good way to display textiles; it may protect them from viewers' touch but it also places a barrier to viewers' view) but the newer pieces are frequently hung with simple pins or nails.

Here's a piece hand stitched onto black organdy, an imaginary or remembered map.

Jessica Rankin, Untitled (detail below)

It's a big piece, almost 60 inches square, with simple stitching, mostly satin stitch.  It's hung with long sturdy pins along the edges, stretched about an inch away from the wall.

I'm a sucker for maps so I loved the concept and the combination of solidly stitched areas with sketchier outlines.  I was puzzled by the loose threads that occasionally traversed between stitched areas and sometimes drooped limply for a foot or more.  Not sure what this was supposed to make me think -- the map is melting?  we've lost our way?  pedestrians were dragged underneath a bus for a mile?

More good stuff in tomorrow's post.  The show continues at Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville through August 6.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, am crazy about maps and representations of maps--which, I know, are themselves representations--so I appreciate anytime you show us the maps you see out in the art world. Your commentary today made me laugh, which is a good thing in an art review, I think.