Fiber art engages the senses with rich, tangible materiality. Its haptic appeal adds a transformative dynamic to home decor projects, creating rich spatial experiences. As such, homeowners and interior designers have embraced fiber art to add expression to living environments, but also as unique decorative solutions.
The tactile and sensory appeal of fiber works is rooted in craftsmanship and materials. The fundamentally “slow art” process of age-old techniques – such as weaving, knotting, tying, and bundling- and the intimate use of materials that most often come from the earth- such as regional sourcing of plant life like seaweed, eucalyptus and coconut fiber, and earthly “scraps” like branches, grasses, bark and twigs- impress an intrinsic awareness of the natural world and origin of things.
These techniques and materials also contribute to the unique dimensionality of the works which transform the physical spaces they occupy into rich spatial experiences shared with the viewer.
Home owners are keen to the practical attributes to works of fiber art. Whether lying flat against the wall, hanging from the ceiling or free-standing, the structural nature, rich textures, and diverse materials, processes, shapes and sizes make them infinitely versatile for solving challenging, site-specific decor issues such as high ceilings, stone or rammed earth walls, large flat wall areas, unconventional room shapes, tight spaces, or even spaces exposed to too much natural light.
These works are explored in a new fiber arts exhibition Crowdsourcing the Collective: a survey of textile and mixed media art at browngrotta arts, in Wilton, CT from May 7-15. Works will be available for sale and will continue online on Artsy https://www.artsy.net/partner/browngrotta-arts
Furthermore, browngrotta arts works with interior designers, collectors, and architects to place fiber works in homes and businesses. They offer consultation and facilitate commissioned works, custom installation, and virtual placements to give clients an advanced preview of the artworks in thei space.
Crowdsourcing the Collective: a survey of textile and mixed media art
May 7 – 15, 2022
276 Ridgefield Rd, Wilton, CT
Opening Reception: May 7, 10am – 6pm
Online viewing on Artsy https://www.artsy.net/partner/browngrotta-arts
browngrotta arts is pleased to present their Spring 2022 Art in the Barn exhibition, Crowdsourcing the Collective: a survey of textile and mixed media art, May 7-15, featuring 40+ artists from 13 countries.
The 40+ artists in Crowdsourcing the Collective illustrate the vitality of art textiles, ceramics and mixed media. The growing prominence of these art forms finds them the subject of exhibitions in major museums alongside paintings and traditional sculpture in ways unthinkable a decade ago. The journey of the artists in this exhibition tells us much about where craft and fiber art are now and how they got here. Some of the artists began working during craft and fiber art’s less popular period in the 1980s and 1990s, while some have been working since fiber art’s heyday in the 1970s. Their education, experience and inspiration vary. They differ in material and approach. They come from more than a dozen countries around the world and the influence of those places is often evident in their work.
Dutch artist Jeannet Leendertse weaves alien-like sculptural forms using Rockweed seaweed – a 3.5 billion old species foraged off the rugged coast of Maine. Carolina Yrarrázaval weaves coconut fiber drawing on various manifestations and cultures, from pre-Hispanic geometry to traditional textiles. California-based textile artist James Bassler applies ancient techniques and materials to create works with contemporary themes. In Things Past, 2021 he weaves by needle agave leaf by-products from the production of Mezcal. In Gyöngy Laky’s Thinking Clearly, 2012, the San Francisco-based artist uses eucalyptus and wooden dowels for her typographical wall sculpture that depicts the word BLUR. In Abramis brama, 2022, and Togetherasone, 2014, two wall sculptures by Marianne Kemp, she combines her unconventional weaving techniques using horsehair for its texture, color and movement.
Naturally, climate change and other environmental concerns are fundamental themes recurring in much of fiber art, directly or indirectly. Textile artist Laura Foster-Nicholson’s CMA CGM, 2021, portraying a container ship that burned off the coast of Sri Lanka last June, ponders the magnitude and the climate-influencing issues container ships present – inviting viewers to confront the environmental consequences of industry and development. LA-based Karyl Sisson is drawn to undervalued and overlooked materials such as vintage paper drinking straws in her sculpture Shapeshifters II & VII, 2021. Lewis Knauss’ abstract sculptures, Fire Fight and Range War, 2021, made of hemp, linen, acrylic paint, are a response to the haze caused by the California fires.
“There have been so many changes in the last few years — new ways of working, new worldwide worries, new ways of responding to anxiety, new acceptance of viewing and acquiring art online. We decided to lean into this turbulence, asking our artists to help us curate Crowdsourcing the Collective, an exhibition that reflects where craft and fiber art are now, with reference to how they got here.” – Rhonda Brown, browngrotta arts
The work in this exhibition reflects an impressive range of materials and techniques: tapestries of silk and agave, sculptures of seaweed, seagrass and willow, wall works made of sandpaper, hemp and horsehair, and ceramics of Shigaraki clay. The scope of these artists’ preoccupations are also on view — from environmental concerns, to questions of the cosmos and identity, to explorations of material and process. It includes new work, work from earlier periods and work from artists invited specifically for this exhibition.
Adela Akers (US), Caroline Bartlett (UK), Polly Barton (US), James Bassler (US), Nancy Moore Bess (US), Marian Bijlenga (NL), Pat Campbell (US), Lia Cook (US), Włodzimierz Cygan (PL), Neha Puri Dhir (IN), Chris Drury (UK), Shoko Fukuda (JP), Kiyomi Iwata (US), Stéphanie Jacques (BE), Marianne Kemp (NL), Lewis Knauss (US), Naomi Kobayashi(JP), Nancy Koenigsberg (US), Yasuhisa Kohyama (JP), Gyöngy Laky (US), Sue Lawty(UK), Jeannet Leendertse (US), Dawn MacNutt (CA), Rachel Max (UK), John McQueen(US), Mary Merkel-Hess (US), Norma Minkowitz (US), Laura Foster Nicholson (US), Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila (VE), Lija Rage (LV), Heidrun Schimmel (DE),Hisako Sekijima (JP), Karyl Sisson (US), Jin-Sook So (SE/KR), Polly Adams Sutton (US),Chiyoko Tanaka (JP), Blair Tate (US), Wendy Wahl (US), Gizella K Warburton (UK), Chang Yeonsoon (KR), Shin Young-ok (KR), Carolina Yrarrázaval (CL).
For the month of May, browngrotta arts philanthropy initiative “Art for a Cause” will benefit Sunflower of Peace, a non-profit group that provides medical and humanitarian aid for paramedics and doctors in areas that are affected by the violence in Ukraine. browngrotta arts will donate a portion of profits and match donations collected during the exhibition).
Exhibition: Sat – Sun, May 7-8: 11AM to 6PM; Mon – Sat May 9-14: 10AM to 5PM; Sun. May 15: 11AM to 6PM
About browngrotta arts
For over 30 years, browngrotta arts has been advancing the field of contemporary fiber arts by curating and exhibiting renowned contemporary artists who celebrate the exploration of fiber art techniques and drive the unique possibilities of soft materials. Representing many of the artists who have helped define modern fiber art since the 1950s, browngrotta arts reflects the cultivated eye and intellect of its directors, husband and wife team, Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown.
Founded in 1987 in Wilton, Connecticut, browngrotta arts showcases unique sculptural and mixed media works with an emphasis on concept, supported by technique. The focus of the work is on the materials and the technical mastery of the artist as intrinsic to the significance of the work, prioritizing aesthetic value over utility. Museum-quality artworks by more than 100 international artists are represented through art catalogs, art fairs, co-partnered exhibits at museums, retail spaces, and an online gallery.
The founders open their private home – a two-story barn built in 1895 expanded and contemporized by architect David Ling in 2000 – for “Art in the Barn”, a unique annual salon-style exhibition. Over 3500-square feet of space with a viewing vista of 55’ allows for experiencing works that reflect complex illusionary space. The 21’ high ceilings permit the installation of tall sculptures and two free-standing walls enable dramatically shaped fiber structures best hung off the wall. The living environment also grants the artwork to be shown in situ. browngrotta arts has published 50 art catalogs and placed works in private and corporate collections in the US and abroad, including the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum. They also regularly work with architects and interior designers offering consultation for commissioned artworks and site-specific installation for commercial and residential spaces.