Tuesday, May 17, 2016

looking at art that wants to be touched

Devour 1993  Anne Wilson  hair and thread on cloth 
We visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago over the weekend.  I enjoyed the Surrealist exhibition, especially the thread works, many of them by leaders in the textile field.  Anne Wilson's work with human hair and vintage domestic cloth has been very important and I stood in front of the small piece pictured above for quite some time.   It was the first time I had seen a piece by this artist other than reproduction or online.
Fragments and Dashes 1978 - 1980  Claire Zeisler
 beads, cotton, wool, shells, stones, woods, numerous small scale elements
This is also the case with Claire Zeisler, another leader within our field.  This collection of common objects delicately and carefully wrapped or stitched helped me to comprehend how much thought goes into her larger work.   Above, stones with stitched coverings, below wrapped wooden prayer sticks.
Claire Zeisler's personal collection of textiles from non-Western societies informs her work.  
Atrabiliarlos 1993  Doris Salcedo  shoes, drywall, paint, wood, animal fibre, surgical thread
I have seen Doris Salcedo's work in MOMA, New York.  This body of work using worn shoes that have been recovered from mass political violence is very powerful.  Loss, sorrow and the importance of remembering are emotions that flood the viewer through the artist's use of simple materials presented with care.
untitled 1990-2000  Lee Bontecou  welded steel, porcelain, wire mesh, silk, wire
I was mesmerized by the slow spin of Lee Bontecou's suspended sculpture.  I love the fact that she invested ten years in it, not completing it until she was 69 years old.  Again, care and thought are tangible in this artist's work.
untitled 2008  William J O'Brien  mixed media  (threads)
Standing next to William O'Brien's larger than human-size wrapped form was exciting.  I felt that I was absorbing some of the physical energy of his wrapping gestures.  Born in 1975, he is the most contemporary of the artists I've selected for this post, and is also the only male.  Click here for images of stitched work by this artist.
Grace and I are in Chicago for April's graduation from the art institute.
(above Grace in white, April in red)


  1. Thank you very much for posting so many of these photos LARGE - it's such a pleasure to be able to see the details.

  2. beautiful evocative work, love the sutures framing Doris Salcedo's work and the attraction/repulsion of Anne Wilson's work with hair


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx