All Press Releases for September 03, 2009

Uncommon Threads: Textile Art Intrigues Curators, Collectors and Designers

Contemporary artists combine sculptural forms, diverse materials and innovative approaches to create fiber and textile art.

    WILTON, CT, September 03, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When Tom Grotta, director of browngrotta arts, in Wilton, Connecticut, is asked about the recent wave of interest in contemporary art textiles by designers, museum curators and collectors, he smiles. Grotta has been promoting contemporary textiles and fiber sculpture through exhibitions, catalogs and client and designer consultations for over 20 years. He knew widespread recognition was a given, once enough people had a chance to learn about this art form. "People are exposed to this medium for the first time and they are captivated by it," says Grotta. "The work is exciting and unusual. It's beautifully crafted and made of materials that people find appealing."

Grotta points out that attendance at recent tapestry, knitting, quilt and embroidery exhibits at the Metropolitan, the Museum of Arts and Design and the Whitney Museum in New York have been record breaking, further attesting to the movement's growing popularity. The strikingly modern quilts of Gee's Bend, Alabama toured nationwide and were seen by tens of thousands of museumgoers. "Today, male and female artists around the world are using stitching techniques to address personal and global issues in an astonishing range of pictorial, sculptural, and even architectural applications," David Revere McFadden, chief curator of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, has noted.

What accounts for the surge in popularity? The work is very approachable, Grotta suggests. "Art textiles are dimensional, rarely shown behind glass, and often have a touchable quality," he says. Art advisor Jean Efron of Jean Efron Art Consultants, LLC in Washington, D.C. has placed several important art textiles in offices and commercial buildings. She looks for fiber works that are innovative and exciting and created by the major artists in the field. "Art textiles and fiber sculpture add another dimension to collections of contemporary art - even those that include no other pieces from contemporary craft mediums like ceramic and glass," says Efron.

Architects and designers often find art textiles useful in solving specific design problems. They can provide a textural counterpoint to hard-edged materials, improve acoustics or hang from the ceiling when a wall is not available. Efron may consider location when designing an art collection. "A particular space, like an atrium or a stairwell," she says, "may suggest a substantial work of fiber, if the space can accommodate strong three-dimensional, textural piece."

As the art form's visibility has risen so have prices. Yet, collecting this work, explains Grotta, offers investors a unique opportunity since prices for work by the most prominent artists in the field remain lower than for artists of equivalent stature in mediums like painting, ceramics and glass.

This fall, browngrotta arts will present The 10th Wave III, a multi-part examination of contemporary international art textiles and fiber sculpture. The artists in The 10th Wave III work in a wide range of materials, from the traditional, silk, linen and wool to the less orthodox, like stainless steel, recycled raincoats, tree bark and telephone books. The events will open October 9, 2009 with The 10th Wave III: In Person, an exhibition at Artifact Design Group in Wilton, Connecticut, and extend through November 28, 2009. An internet exhibit, The 10th Wave III: Online, will follow at on October 12th. Work from both exhibitions will appear in a full-color catalog to be published in October, The 10th Wave III: In Print.

In the field, browngrotta's reputation has developed as a result of the approach it has taken in selecting work to promote. The firm represents more than 90 artists, including seminal artists in the field like Francoise Grossen, Helena Hernmarck and the late artists Lenore Tawney and Ed Rossbach. Browngrotta arts has also focused on bringing to the U.S. the work of the most renowned artists from abroad, including Ulla Maija-Vikman of Finland, Hiroyuki Shindo of Japan and Sue Lawty of the UK. The firm has placed works in dozens of private, corporate and museum collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Art Institute of Chicago, St. Louis Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum.


browngrotta arts is your resource for Art Textiles and Fiber Sculpture. For further information, please contact us at 203-834-0623

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