A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Gimme Fiber

On Tuesday, an art show changed my life. Seriously! While passing through Kansas City, I stumbled upon the exhibit Extra/Ordinary - Fiber Artists Rethinking Art and Everyday Life, curated by Maria Elena Buszek. The show is a veritable who's who of artists that I have been featuring on Extreme Craft, including Whitney Lee, Mark Newport, and Jenny Hart, plus many others that I will feature in the future. From Dr. Buszek's statement:

From swaddling to shroud, fiber arts literally surround us from the cradle to the grave--and, as such, are arguably those most taken for granted even as they contain tremendous meaning. While they have been denigrated as "domestic" and personal, their role in everything from sumptuary laws to labor struggles reminds us that fiber arts are also both public and political.

The show is playful, political, cynical, and full of wonder. Most of the artists have transcended the obvious trope of rendering controversial subject matter using "traditional craft". Whitney Lee, Allyson Mitchell, and Orly Cogan use found objects as their canvases, "collaborating" with their forbears. It was wonderful to see Mark Newport's hand-knit Batman costume in person. There was a level of detail (plenty of cable-knitting!) that is impossible to glean from photographs. If you are anywhere near the Kansas City area, I urge you to rush out to see the show. Extra/Ordinary @ The Cube at Beco. 1922 Baltimore, KCMO. Through July 9th.


At 7/08/2005 01:42:00 PM, Blogger Clifton said...

I saw this show when I was in KC! I loved it and the card is hanging in my office. There was another good one along the same lines showing at the Byron C. Cohen Gallery...several galleries were all participating in the surface texture conference that was going on. Awesome.

At 7/08/2005 01:43:00 PM, Blogger kate said...

That wasn't clifton. That was me, kate b, who posted. oops!


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