FAIR WEATHER: Trends and Coincidences-Looms with a View

Miami Art Fairs, Art Basel Miami, Aqua, Art Miami, Bridge, Pulse, Red Dot, Scope, Rubell Collection
Already posted:

Art Basel Miami Beach: Chuck Close at Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York and elsewhere. (At left: three construction by
Richard Tuttle; foreground, mylar sculpture by Tara Donovan)

I'll get back to the venue reporting shortly--on deck: the Aqua fairs--but I wanted to note one more trend for now: tapestries, which I spotted at Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Miami and Pulse. (It turns out that one of the design venues had a whole show on tapestries. If I'd known about it when I was there, I would have tried to fit it in.)
The idea of making tapestries from paintings, or at least from cartoons (drawings) by painters, is as old as the Middle Ages. Indeed, the allegorical tapestry by Laurel Roth and Andy Diaz Hope at Schroeder Romero is very much in keeping with the Medieval mode of storytelling. As for Chuck Close, over the decades we've seen his face rendered in paint and in ink, via blocks, circles and even thumb prints, but this is the first time to my knowledge that we're seeing it in thread. Presumably these tapesties were not woven by the painters themselves but by weavers who understand how to translate the image from one medium to another. These days, the weaving is done by a computer-directed jacquard loom.
There are also some tapestries in this grouping that are handmade, either by the artist or by others who are manipulating the threads or wires used to construct the fabric.

Art Miami: Hung Liu at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami

Detail below shows the many layers of colored warp (vertical) threads that are brought to the surface to realize the image

Pulse: Lisa Schroeder in front of Lauren Roth and Andy Diaz Hope's Allegory of the Monoceros at Schroeder Romero, New York.

In the tapestry, according to gallery information, a cerberus made up of the first cloned dog fused with his genetic and birth parents sits guard at the base of an apple tree whose branch structure is based on Darwin’s first sketch of his “Tree of Life”. The tapestry is a tribute to the new forms of life being created and the species that lose their place in the new order.

Art Basel Miami Beach: Rosemarie Trockel at Skarstedt Gallery, New York. This is piece is knitted, not woven, so it's not technically a tapestry, but it's a textile, and Trockel has been working in this medium for decades

A detail is below:

Art Basel Miami Beach: Jack Shainman Gallery, New York: El Anatsui metal tapestry, which could just as easily be defined as a sculpture or painting.
I love how it relates to the Olga DeAmaral woven tapestry below, right down to the rectangular elements and their golden hue

Art Miami: Olga De Amaral, Escrito X, fiber, gold and silver leaf, acrylic paint; 92 x 61 inches, at Bellas Artes, Santa Fe
Detail below:


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