Everyonce in a while it’s good to leave your tribe and take a look at what other artists are doing. It also helps to be in recovery from shoulder surgery so when that rabbit hole in Instagram opens up, you
have too much time are free to follow where it leads.
I first followed the Polly Apfelbaum hashtag. She is an artist about my age, and still producing interesting and thoughtful works of art, many which seem to intersect my world of quilting. I grabbed this screen shot from DrawingCenter, who also had a series of quotes from her, which I loved:
“Her interdisciplinary approach is most notable in her floor pieces that she refers to as “fallen paintings,” the series of work that she best known for. Laid on the floor in intricate and somewhat psychedelic patterns and forms, the paintings are made of fabrics that have been dyed brilliant hues. The striking use of color aligns her work with abstract expressionism, but rejects the hypermasculinity of the style through the use of fabric and horizontal orientation. Apfelbaum explains that “[the] floor was a place that was inclusive but I could also be reverent.” By installing on the floor, viewers are able to walk around the art making the piece more fluid and approachable.”
She goes on to say “that she wanted “a relaxed sense of form, a form that was more abstract, a form that could kind of be chameleon-like, it could go from talking about minimalism, but could also talk about maximalism…and to craft.” Indeed, the dialogues around her hybridized work are wide-ranging and include feminism, religion, outsider art, and domesticity.”
Loved the “hypermasculinity” idea, reminding me of when I proposed a show of quilts to my Art Professor in college. “Over my dead body,” he said. It was then I realized that quilts were essentially, in his mind, NOT art, but I daresay they might be called “hyperfeminine” with the use of fabric, of soft construction.
Apfelbaum also works by creating shaped woodcuts, which are then inked in vibrant colors, then placed in a design. Of course I think it looks like a quilt. More images, below:
This last one is especially quilt-like, I think, in terms of the shapes. Is the quilting world is having an impact on others? They probably don’t know we exist, but I do believe in the idea of cross-pollination:
These last two are by Luis Zerbini, a Brazilian artist. The second one is definately an Orange Peel block, or a Wedding Ring variant, if you ask me. Even housework can inspire art:
Anyone for some Nine-Patch? With pieced sashings? Start cutting up your solid scraps into squares.
The art world can also be an interesting way to learn about value, a classic part of creating an interesting quilt. I’ve tried to include the sources so you can go and have a look:
Bringing this to a workshop would certainly get everyone’s attention about the impact of using those light-to-dark values.
A screen shot of my Saved images from this morning. I’ve started making categories and put some of these in the Random Color/Art category of my saves. Just after you hit that little ribbon to save, the prompt comes up: Save to Collection. Tap that, and then either direct the save into a category, or make a new one. It helps in finding things.
You might want to try to what I call “focused browsing” if your eyes are glazing over after looking at three billion quilts in your feed, and you’ll scream if you see another heavily curated shot with threads and scissors everywhere where you feel like you are trapped in the Dungeon of Cute.
Some of the hashtags I followed were #gridart, or #hardedgepainting, or the names of the artists themselves. @DurhamPress also had some interesting images. Sometimes I would go to an artist, click on the name of the gallery they were showing at, then look at what the gallery had.
Yes, a little focused browsing might just clear the mind a little.