Discourse: art across generations and continents

Italiano (Italian)

*Featured photo: Works by Blair Tate (2023); Gudrun Pagter (2015); Warren Seelig (1976). Photo by Tom Grotta.

May 4 – May 12, 2024
browngrotta arts
276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT 06897

Works by Birgit Daa Birkkjaer

70 years of work by 50 artists from 20 countries celebrating the  evolution  and  innovation  of  fiber  art. opens at browngrotta arts in Wilton, CT this May

The artists promoted by browngrotta arts in Wilton, CT come from different countries, work with varied materials, and represent distinct artistic approaches. In Discourse: art across generations and continents (May 4 – 12, 2024) the gallery will assemble an eclectic group of works that celebrate this diversity. More than 50 artists from 20 countries will be represented. Included in Discourse will be works from fiber art’s early days 60 years ago, current mixed media works and sculpture, and pieces created in the decades between. The exhibition will spur a dialogue across generations and across continents — enabling an intriguing look at intergenerational differences, material breakthroughs, and historical significance in fiber art.

Works by Naoko Serino (JP), John McQueen (US), Norma Minkowitz (US). Photo by Tom Grotta.

Despite their distinctiveness, the artists in Discourse share a common trait. Each possesses “material intelligence,” what author Glenn Adamson describes as “a deep understanding of the material world around us, an ability to read that material environment, and the know-how required to give it new form.” The works in Discourse reflect this mastery. Artists like John McQueen and Norma Minkowitz of the US and Norie Hatekayama and Naoko Serino of Japan engineer imaginative structures of unexpected materials — plaited paper tape, molded jute, crocheted linen, and pieced twigs and branches.

Works by Naoko Serino (JP), John McQueen (US), Norma Minkowitz (US). Photo by Tom Grotta.

Discourse also offers viewers a chance to make intergenerational and cross-continental comparisons. Included will be starkly graphic weavings by Warren Seelig (US) made in the 80s, and ones by Gudrun Pagter (DK), and Blair Tate (US) made 40+ years later, and, a heavily textured wool and linen weaving by Polish weaver Zofia Butrymowicz from 1968, and a refined wool and cotton tapestry by American Lia Cook from a decade later. Viewers will also see a wide range of technical approaches. Several artists make vastly different uses of paper — scrolling of encyclopedia pages by Wendy Wahl (US), knotted paper objects by Shoko Fukuda (JP), and sculptural works of rice paper by Pat Campbell (US), others use horsehair. Some of the artists in Discourse, including Laura Foster Nicholson (US) Gyöngy Laky (US); and Irina Kolesnikova (RU/DE), use the medium of fiber art to make explicit statements about the modern world — about personal anxiety, communication, and humans’ impact on the environment. In Anticipation, Gyöngy Laky (US) spells out the word “Who?“ in applewood branches. “Given the challenges, concerns, conflicts, and other dangers we face today,” Laky says, “this question underlies the search for a way forward.”

Works by Naoko Serino (JP), John McQueen (US), Norma Minkowitz (US). Photo by Tom Grotta.