“Punched Card”, Analia Saban’s solo exhibition, includes work from the artists “Tapestry” series. This series introduces two very interesting dichotomies. The patterns presented in these weavings are circuits boards that allude to the history of computers into the digital age. The title of each work references the actual technical hardware. This is juxtaposed with the process of weaving on Jacquard looms that was one of the first industrial uses of binary analog systems.
“Tapestry [1,024 Bit[1K] Dynamic RAM,1103,Intel,1970]”
For these weavings, Saban uses linen thread for the warp and strips of dried acrylic paint for the weft. This choice of materials opens the dialog about the distinctions between what has been considered fine art (painting) and craft (weaving). The first weaving you see as you walk into the gallery (above) is hung on a wall, but farther into the space there is an installation of tapestries hung from the ceiling.
“Tapestry[Computer Chip, TMS 1000, Texas Instruments, 1974]
This installation technique allows the viewer to walk around the textiles and get better understanding of the weaving process.
This series of work highlights two topics that have are currently important and intertwined in art and society today, the development of technology and the artificial hierarchies in culture.
Beryl Korot is well known for her work in the 1970’s that juxtaposes the art of weaving with modern technology. Her current exhibition “Beryl Korot: A Coded Language” at bitforms gallery follows her work from 1980 up to and including new work from 2017.
In the entryway of the gallery there is this chart that outlines her algorithm for translate the alphabet into a series of weaving rules.
This set of transformation becomes procedure to create “Babel1”, acrylic on hand woven linen, from 1980. This piece is the Tower of Babel story from the bible transcribed into a textile.
I think “Babel 1” is a fantastic example of algorithimically generated art. I am so happy that bitforms presented Korot’s schematic cart allowing the viewer a complete visualization of her artistic process.
The James Cohen Gallery is currently presenting “A Line Can Go Anywhere”. Curated by Jenelle Porter, this exhibit features the work of 7 fiber artist from the Bay area.
I was particularly intrigued by the work of Trude Guermonprez. This untitled work from the 1960’s has two perpendicular planes of weaving.
There is usually a grid-like nature to a weaving produced by the warp and the weft that gives it mathematical properties. Creating isosceles triangles, Guermonprez has broken the squares we expect in a woven grid with exciting results.
The exploration and study of pattern have been defining elements in the artistic practice of Michelle Grabner. One of the topics addressed through abstract patterning is the structures and geometries underlying weaving knitting and crocheting. Her current exhibition at the James Cohan Gallery features a large collection of her two-color paper weaving panels spread out flat on two pedestals in the gallery.
The vibrant contrasting colored papers used in the weavings give the viewer a clear impression of the grids and symmetries used in each of the weaving techniques. The gallery arrangement of having many next to each other and overlapping creates an exhuberant riot of color and pattern.
Grabner also creates paintings that uncover the intricate patterns created by knitting and crocheting. They are more subtle in color but incorporate more intense patterns.
MICHELLE GRABNER Untitled, 2014 Enamel on panel 50 x 48 x 1 1/2 in. (127 x 121.9 x 3.8 cm)
This painting on canvas is a depiction of a giant crocheted square. Removing any indication of color and focusing on the negative space, the 4-fold rotational symmetry becomes quite clear.
This exhibition at the James Cohan gallery reveals Grabner’s commitment to elevating the patterns and Mathematical geometries of what could be considered “woman’s work” to the realm of abstract art. By enlarging the weave patterns and limiting each panel to two bold colors they refer to both color field painting and Op-Art. The more subtle crochet and knit canvases transpose the needle work into a minimalist vocabulary. The field of historical craft traditions has proven fertile ground for the expression of mathematical form.
All pictures courtesy of the artist and the gallery.