I became interested in Kaneko because the American Tapestry Biennial 10 is hanging there right now. But two things really convinced me to drive the 500 miles from Colorado to Omaha. (1) Dr. Jessica Hemmings was giving a lecture about her new book and exhibition, Cultural Threads and (2) there were five other fiber shows there. Neither the lecture or the other shows disappointed.
This is an astounding display of Hawaiian shirts which serves to highlight the bright designs of fabric designers. I loved just walking among these shirts. It was mesmerizing.
Florabunda exhibit, The Kaneko
Florabunda exhibit, The Kaneko
Fabric of Survival
This was a stunning exhibit about the Holocaust. It was a large gallery packed with large-scale embroideries which told the story of the creator, Esther Nisenthal Krinitz's life. It was so incredible I didn't take a single photo.
This was the show that really engaged me. The amazing skill in Jon Eric Riis' work is something you have to see in person. These pieces all used metallic threads in a wide range of colors. When you go to see ATB10, make sure to leave a large chunk of time to study this work.
This installation conveys the different way in which fiber art conveys movement, captures and transmits culture, and functions as fine art through the works of Nick Cave, Sheila Hicks, and Jon Eric Riis. --Fiber Legends statement
Sheila Hicks, Menhir II, 1965-1985, cotton, linen, wool; hand-wrapped, spliced. Each of 23: 152" x 2"-12" diameter.
Sheila Hicks, Menhir II, detail
Nick Cave, Untitled Soundsuit, 2008, mixed media with mannequin, 100 x 25 x 14 inches
And here is Jon Eric Riis. I have only seen a few of his pieces in person and it was mesmerizing to look at the play of the metallic threads in the light. There were 9 large-scale works in this show by Riis. All very different, all incredible.
Jon Eric Riis, Ancestor's Tapestry, handwoven silk and metallic thread, gold glass beads, 42 x 75 inches
Jon Eric Riis, Ancestor's Tapestry detail
Jon Eric Riis, Young Icarus Tapestry (diptych), handwoven silk and metallic thread, 32 x 72 inches each
Jon Eric Riis, Young Icarus Tapestry (detail)
Jon Eric Riis, Young Icarus Tapestry (detail)
Jon Eric Riis, Multicolored Tapestry Skull Coat, handwoven metallic thread, leather, freshwater pearls, black agate beads, and coral, 34 x 66 inches
Jon Eric Riis, Multicolored Tapestry Skull Coat (detail)
Jon Eric Riis, Neo Classical Male Tapestry, tapestry woven silk and metallic thread, Swarovski crystal beads, 52 x 68 inches (left), and Icarus II, Tapestry woven silk and metallic thread, crystal beads, 56 x 158 inches (right)
Jon Eric Riis, Icarus II (detail)
There was also a large exhibit called Global Threads which included the work of Yoshiko Wada, Jessica Hemmings, Mary Zicafoose and Susan Knight. The largest part of this exhibit were the kimonos of Yoshiko Wada. They were exquisite, varied, and I took no photos of them.
Dr. Jessica Hemmings was the juror for ATB10 and she also had a part in this exhibit.
Jessica Hemmings, the renowned
textile scholar, explores contemporary textiles and their relationship
with postcolonial culture. Hemmings’ exhibition “explores the
interrelationship between craft, art, design and contemporary culture”
by focusing on examples of contemporary textiles produced by designers,
artists and makers that communicate postcolonial thinking. --Kaneko's website
Her fascinating talk, Cultural Threads: transnational textiles today, prompted me to order her new book of the same name as soon as I got back to the hotel. She talked about the relationship between language and object with many fascinating examples about objects and their meaning. She talked about the meanings attached to textiles and how they are portable objects and thus pick up meaning around the world.
curated Jessica Hemmings, Cultural Threads
As I walked into the museum, the first piece I saw was this large work by Mary Zicafoose. As you'll see in the video linked below, she had a huge part to play in getting this fiber show together. It was nice to be welcomed by this tapestry. Watch for my next blog post about her solo show also currently in Omaha.
Mary Zicafoose, Fields of Desire, weft-faced ikat tapestry, dyed, wrapped & woven wool on linen warp.
Here is a post from Omaha's local news station with a nice video about the show (Click link in blue). http://bit.ly/1vXSzwP
Nebraska is almost 500 miles wide. I know because I drove from northern Colorado to see the fiber shows currently up at Kaneko in Omaha. I wanted to see American Tapestry Biennial 10 again and I decided to go when Dr. Jessica Hemmings who juried the show was giving a lecture.
I visited this show in San Diego last May and you can see how Visions Art Museum displayed the show HERE. The show in Omaha looks very different. The huge space dwarfs the tapestries but does help you feel like they aren't hung quite as close together as they actually are. I posted many detailed photographs of some of the tapestries in the post from Visions.
Here are a few shots of the Kaneko installation and some images of tapestries I didn't show in San Diego as well as a short video. The video was done with a hand-held video camera. Please don't yell at me because it is shaky. It is only intended to give you a feel for the space.
I have enjoyed all of these pieces over the last year and a half. Because I am one of the co-chairs for ATB10, I had the great pleasure of being the first person to see them as they were submitted by the artists, and now I have seen the show twice.
I was unable to get a good shot of Clare Coyle's piece in San Diego. Here is a little bit better photo of this marvelous piece plus a detail.
Clare Coyle, The Land Gives Us.... 4.25 x 22.25 x 0.5 inches, cotton, silk, linen, wool
Clare Coyle, The Land Gives Us.... (detail)
Deborah Corsini, Disconnect; Connie Lippert, Wakulla (red line series); Rebecca Mezoff, Emergence VII; Clare Coyle, The Land Gives Us....; Mary Lane, Untitled #140
Cecilia Blomberg, Birch Rolls, Each of 10: 118 x 5.5 inches, cotton warp, cotton fabric strips
Ann Booth's piece was much easier to appreciate in this show as it was hung in a spot I could look at it from both sides easily. This piece plays with you a little bit. This photo shows it from the right side and straight on. I believe she made this happen with soumak.
Ann Booth, Tahirih (two views), 32 x 21 inches, wool weft, cotton warp
Ann Booth, Tahirih (detail)
Sarah Warren, October Rain, 23.5 X 12.5 inches, hand-dyed wool weft on cotton warp
Barbara Brophy, Inspired by Rothko, 19 x 20.25 inches, wool weft, cotton warp
Kristin Saeterdal, Scared of the dark; Linda Giesen, White Sand; Anna Byrd Mays, BigPair
Dorthe Herup, Gundrun Elise and Burmann the ram II; Susan Iverson, Slow Passage
Susan Iverson, Slow Passage (detail)
Verona Szabo, Moment 1. 2. 3., Three panels each 23.6 x 19.7 inches, wool, silk
Joanne Sanburg, Home Sweet Home, 35 x 23 x 2 inches, wool, silk, cotton, and synthetic fiber on cotton warp, embellished with Japanese vintage bees, jewelry, crochet flowers, an old fly swatter, painted weft and woven (hat) straw
Cheri White, R.I.P, 9.75 x 4 x 3/8 inches, cotton weft, cotton polyester warp
Don Burns, Autumn, 67 x 38 x 1 inch, wool, linen, silk, cotton
Sanda Bucur, Magic Carpet 2, 25.59 x 64.96 inches, wool, cotton
I took some photos of the show in the morning, sunlight streaming in through the clerestory and the glass brick walls. Then I went back after dark for Dr. Jessica Hemmings' lecture and I was take aback by how the yellow yarn in Lialia Kuchma's piece BlueRose looked like it was glowing neon. You can see it to some extent in the two photos below. In person the glow was striking.
Lialia Kuchma, BluRose, 64 x 71 inches, wool weft, cotton warp, Photographed in the morning with daylight in gallery.
Lialia Kuchma, BluRose, 64 x 71 inches, wool weft, cotton warp, Photographed after dark with entirely artificial light.
There was one piece that was accepted to the show but was damaged in international transport. Unfortunately it was not able to be returned to the USA in time for the show at the Kaneko. Here is that image.
Misako Wakamatsu, Complications, 112 x 52 x 2 inches, silk cloth & linen yarn
Please review my prior post about ATB10 for more photographs of the tapestries. American Tapestry Biennial 10, San Diego. Some of my favorites are shown there. The catalog for ATB10 is available through the American Tapestry Alliance HERE. Cornelia Theimer Gardella put the catalog together and she did a marvelous job.
Here is a very short video of the show.
I drove out to the college where Mary Zicafoose's solo show was... many miles and a Chipotle stop from downtown Omaha. The gallery was locked up, lights off. A kind office manager helped me realize that the postcard I was clutching hopefully in my hand which advertised the show did indeed state that it opens March 6th. Today is, after all, March 5th. It looked great through the windows though. I'll stop back tomorrow on my way out of town when hopefully it really will be March 6th.
Stay tuned for some images from the other fiber shows at Kaneko right now. Jon Eric Riis's work was the most inspiring--all nine large-scale tapestries.