Deborah Kruger Blog de Verano

A pesar de que la pandemia ha postergado o retrasado muchas partes de la economía cultural, las cosas han estado muy animadas para mí y pensé que disfrutarías escuchar acerca de dónde estará mi trabajo este verano.

Desde enero, mi trabajo ha sido presentado en dos Bienales internacionales. Kimono está viajando por Australia como parte de la Bienal de Arte Textil patrocinada por Fiber Arts Australia.

Una de nuestras residentes de 360 Xochi Quetzal de Melbourne, Louise Saxton, fue a ver el programa y aquí hay una foto de ella observando mi pieza. Louise también tuvo la amabilidad de enviarme una copia del catálogo.

Kimono at Art Textile Biennale with Louise Saxton

Abandon fue elegida para ser exhibida en la prestigiosa Bienal Rufino Tamayo en México. Esta exposición muestra el trabajo de los 51 mejores pintores de México. La muestra se inauguró el pasado mes de octubre en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO). La segunda parada de este espectáculo itinerante será en el Centro Cultural Mexiquense Bicentenario en Texcoco, México del 1 de julio de 2021 al 22 de agosto de 2021.

Abandon
Accidentals

Como muchos artistas, estoy comenzando a mostrar más en línea. La Sociedad de Bellas Artes de Raleigh (RFAS) patrocina una exposición virtual de artistas de Carolina del Norte. Este año han organizado una retrospectiva virtual con nuevos trabajos de artistas de Carolina del Norte que fueron seleccionados para exposiciones anteriores en 2018 – 2020. Mi nueva pieza Accidentals, del tamaño de un mural, fue elegida para esta exposición.

Accidentals, junto con Casanare y Turbulence, aparecerán en una muestra titulada Abstracción organizada por Manifold Global, una galería internacional en línea. Estaba escéptica acerca de asistir a la inauguración virtual pero, de hecho, fue una gran experiencia y tuve algunas conversaciones maravillosas con los otros artistas y curadores. Cuando abra este enlace, vaya al cuadro rojo y haga clic para ingresar a la exposición grupal. Desde allí, podrá realizar un recorrido virtual en 3-D del espectáculo Abstraction: https://manifoldglobal.com/abstraction

Casanare
Turbulence

A fines de julio, viajare a Shelton, WA para una residencia artística de dos semanas en Holly House en Hypatia-in-the-Woods. Esta es una residencia muy competitiva ya que solo aceptan un artista a la vez. Se nos da una hermosa residencia en el bosque y dos semanas de delicioso tiempo para concentrarnos en nuestro trabajo.

Planeo pasar el tiempo dibujando algunas de las aves en peligro de extinción que he estado investigando. Nunca he estado en el noroeste del Pacífico y estoy emocionada de visitar esta parte de los EE. UU.

Tengo obras en consideración en otras exposiciones y subvenciones, ¡así que esten atentos para recibir más buenas noticias!

Holly House at Hypatia-in-the-Woods

2021 Centro Cultural Mexiquense Bicentenario

About:  The Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City is presenting their prestigious Bienal. The second stop of this touring show will be at the Centro Cultural Mexiquense Bicentenario in Texcoco, Mexico. 51 artists were accepted to the exhibition and my piece, Abandon has been chosen.  The last venue for this traveling exhibition will be the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City.

Dates: July 1, 2021 – August 22, 2021

Location: Centro Cultural Mexiquense Bicentenario 
Carretera Federal, Lechería-los Reyes Km. 14.3, 56250 Texcoco, Méx., MEXICO

Hours: Monday – Sunday 8:00am – 8:00pm

Opening Reception: Opening Thursday, July 1st, 2021

More information: https://www.facebook.com/ccmbcultura/

Why White?

"...sometimes, like meditating, I need to visually take a breath. After every two or three richly colored pieces, I need to make a piece in white."

I love color.  Deep, saturated color that elevates your heart rate.  Most of my work over the years has been done in earth tones and rich jewel tones. But sometimes, like meditating, I need to visually take a breath. After every two or three richly colored pieces, I need to make a piece in white.

Over the years, I have loved artists who work predominantly in white. Most of them are Asian. There is an Asian aesthetic that embraces a quiet, modest, monochromatic white color scheme.  I find these pieces brave and confident in their insistence on using white to capture our attention. When you strip color away, you are left to contemplate form, materials and content without distraction.

I first saw Zhu Jinshi’s immersive sculpture installation, Boat, at the San Antonio Art Museum in Texas. Boat and a subsequent piece The Ship of Time envelop the viewer who must walk through the piece to experience it. The Beijing-based contemporary painter made these pieces using white and naturally colored Xuan (rice) paper.

Boat by Zhu Jinshi
Ship of Time by Zhu Jinshi

Chun Kwang Young, a Seoul-based artist, makes complex abstract constructions, fabricated with hundreds of individual component shapes wrapped in mulberry paper. Each triangular component is covered with Korean and Chinese characters inspired by medicine packets from his childhood. While not all his work is white, most of it is monochromatic.

Pile of White Feathers

Over the last five years I have gradually created a series of white pieces using feathers made from recycled plastic bags screen-printed with images of endangered birds and endangered languages. For the white pieces, I print on white plastic bags and although the overall impression is white, there are many colors in play. 

Aggregation by Chun Kwang Young

The first piece to incorporate my signature plastic feathers was Abandon. The title is a play on words because it evokes that lovely sense of letting go. However, the darker meaning is that we have abandoned our birds by letting our appetite for development prevail over protecting bird habitat and therefore bird species. Abandon is currently traveling throughout Mexico as part of the Rufino Tamayo Bienal, which will culminate in an exhibition of the top 51 painters in Mexico at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Internacional Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City. 

Abandon
Abandon, detail view
Kansai

After the intensely colored Cambodia series where all five pieces appeared in the shape of the country of Cambodia, I was ready for another white piece. Kansai was also based on a map, this time on the state of Kansai in Japan. Whereas Cambodia referred to the last remaining habitat of the Bengal Florican, Kansai is a state where there are 41 endangered bird species. Like Abandon, Kansai was predominantly white but it has a border of red feathers. The red and white color scheme is a nod to the colors of the Japanese flag. In late 2020, I built a crate for Kansai so that she could be exhibited in the Art Textile Biennale, which was traveling to several venues throughout Australia.

Several map-based pieces later, it was time for another white piece. Vortex was my first foray into applying feathers to a sculptural form. Using a spiral shape made from iron, bubble wrap and a coating of paper mache, I coated the form with white feathers that gradually became darker towards the center. This piece was featured on the cover of SAQA Journal, a wonderful magazine that highlights work by contemporary art quilters. 

Saqa Jornal Cover

During the pandemic, I started a huge mural-sized piece titled Accidentals. It was a riot of color and it was no surprise that I needed a visual break afterwards. Devotional was born out of the desire to calm my mind and body and to create a piece that would be an ode to our disappearing birds. I wanted a title that would evoke the prayers one might say to petition a higher source for saving birds.

Devotional vs. Accidentals
Ropa Blanca

I loved the new tail feather form that I used for Accidentals and Devotional and created a smaller piece, Ropa Blanca that was inspired by the huipils woven and worn by indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico and in Guatemala. Ropa Blanca was shipped to a gallery in Madrid as soon as it was finished. Which means there is another white piece in the wings!

 

My sense is that making white pieces will remain part of my art practice for many years to come.

2021 Museo de Arte de Celaya Octavio Ocampo

About: The Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City is presenting their prestigious Bienal. The touring show will third stop will be at the Museo de Arte de Celaya Octavio Ocampo. 51 artists were accepted to the exhibition and my piece, Abandon has been chosen. The final stop of the Bienal will be at the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City.  

Dates: September 10, 2021 – November 27, 2021

Location: Museo de Arte de Celaya Octavio Ocampo
Calle Álvaro Obregón 203, Col. Centro, 38000 Celaya, Gto., MEXICO

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm

Opening Reception:  Friday September 10, 2021

More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Museo-Octavio-Ocampo/1628352910747740

Artists for Conservation

About:  Artists for Conservation is the world’s leading group of artists supporting the environment. Founded in 1997, the non-profit organization comprises a membership of 500 of the world’s most gifted nature artists from 27 countries, across five continents. Our mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation and environmental education through art that celebrates nature. 

My piece Accidentals has been chosen for the Virtual Exhibition and Catalogue.

Wildlife Artist of the Year is an internationally renowned art competition and exhibition often referred to as the ‘Oscars of international wildlife art.

Dates of the Virtual Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition 2021: 

Tuesday May 25, 2021 – 5pm on Tuesday June 29, 2021

More information: www.artistsforconservation.org



2021 Manifold Global

About:  Manifold Global is a new international on-line exhibition gallery. The co-Founders are Emily Strong and Matthew Pring. I have just had three pieces accepted for their upcoming show titled ABSTRACTION

Accidentals, along with Casanare and Turbulence will all appear in a show entitled Abstraction organized by Manifold Global, an international on-line gallery.Click on the link to take a 3-D tour of the exhibition. I was sceptical about attending the virtual opening but in fact, it was a great experience and I had some wonderful conversations with the other artists and curators.

Dates: Friday June 4-Thursday August 5, 2021 

More information: https://manifoldglobal.com/

When you open this link, go down to the red box and Click to Enter Group Exhibition. From there you will be able to take a virtual tour of the Abstraction show: https://manifoldglobal.com/abstraction

Deborah Kruger’s Summer Blog

Even though the pandemic has slowed down so many parts of the culture economy, things have been lively for me and I thought you enjoy hearing about where my art will be this summer.

Since January, my work has been represented in two international Biennales. Kimono is traveling around Australia as part of the Art Textile Biennale sponsored by Fibre Arts Australia.

One of our 360 Xochi Quetzal residents from Melbourne, Louise Saxton, went to see the show and here’s a picture of her looking at my piece. She was kind enough to also send me a copy of the catalogue.

Kimono at Art Textile Biennale with Louise Saxton

Abandon was chosen to be exhibited in the prestigious Rufino Tamayo Bienal in Mexico. This exhibition showcases the work of the top 51 painters in Mexico. The show opened last October at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO). The second stop of this touring show will be at the Centro Cultural Mexiquense Bicentenario in Texcoco, Mexico from July 1, 2021 – August 22, 2021. 

Abandon
Accidentals

Like many artists, I am beginning to show more on-line. The Raleigh Fine Arts Society (RFAS) is sponsoring a virtual North Carolina Artist Exhibition. This year they have organized a virtual retrospective with new work by North Carolina artists who were juried into previous shows in 2018 – 2020.  My new mural-sized piece Accidentals was chosen for this exhibition.

Accidentals, along with Casanare and Turbulence will all appear in a show entitled Abstraction organized by Manifold Global, an international on-line gallery. I was sceptical about attending the virtual opening but in fact, it was a great experience and I had some wonderful conversations with the other artists and curators. When you open this link, go down to the red box and Click to Enter Group Exhibition. From there you will be able to take a virtual 3-D tour of the Abstraction show: https://manifoldglobal.com/abstraction
Casanare
Turbulence

In late July, I will be heading to Shelton, WA for a two-week artist residency in Holly House at Hypatia-in-the-Woods. This is a very competitive residency as they only accept one artist at a time. We are given a beautiful residence in the woods and two weeks of delicious time to focus on our work.

I plan to spend the time drawing some of the endangered birds I’ve been researching. I have never been to the Pacific Northwest and I’m excited to visit this part of the US.

I have work under consideration at some other exhibitions and grants, so stay tuned for more good news!

Holly House at Hypatia-in-the-Woods

How Artists Have Changed My Art

DEKNEW

I don’t know about you, but I have seen art that has changed my life. Pre-pandemic, I had this experience numerous times. On one unforgettable day in 2012, I walked into the Brooklyn Museum to see the El Anatsui Gravity and Grace retrospective and the monumental scale, the beauty, the materials and the meaning just transformed me entirely. 

For starters, seeing work on such a massive scale cracked something open in me. It gave me permission to imagine working on a larger scale, larger even than myself. There’s something about working on a grand scale that puts us into perspective. We all know that we are mere specs on this earth and that our time here is limited. Working large enforces that fact and creates a tangible environment that locates us in time and space.

El Anatsui Gravity and Grace retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum
Nick Cave’s Horses Soundsuits

I also had the thrill of seeing Nick Cave’s Horse Soundsuits performance in 2013 at Grand Central Station in New York City. Cave, whose fashion background has long informed his work, created 60 horses who were inhabited by young Alvin Ailey dancers. His use of natural and fashion materials, his scale and his collaborations with musicians and choreographers have deeply inspired me. His willingness to bring his gay, Black identity into his work gives me permission to pour my identities and alternative materials into mine.

Here’s one more example. In 2005, after 26 years of planning and 21 million dollars raised, Christo and Jeanne-Claude presented The Gates for two weeks in New York’s Central Park. They created over 7,500 16-foot high gates made from saffron fabric that ran 23 miles throughout the park. The scope and audacity of this vast public art project will stay with me forever. It was beautiful, evocative, and massive. Once again, the scale rocked my imagination. As did the logistics. 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates in Central Park

These three exhibitions all helped give birth to my new work begun in 2016 that began to use recycled materials and raise consciousness about the plummeting bird population world-wide. Thanks to a larger studio in Mexico, where I could afford the space and staff, I began to work on a much larger scale. Themes of environmentalism, eco-feminism, Judaism and design and decoration populate my work without apology. I stand on the shoulders of the artists cited above, each of them giving me permission to bring all my passions and aspects of myself into my work.

On Fear of Failure

Anyone who is struggling with a fear of failure is actually really dealing with a fear of living fully. To live in the present is to experience the joys, sorrows and lessons of life. For artists, this means learning from each piece. Setting it up to succeed or fail is unfair to the piece and to you. It’s not a useful duality. I look at each piece as a teacher…

My Floor as Evidence of Productivity

DEKNEW

You’re probably thinking, isn’t your work the evidence of productivity? Well, yes and no. Work ebbs and flows. Like most abstract painting, I build up the surface of my work and sometimes tear it down until I get it right. Despite the progress on the wall, the floor becomes the evidence of how much work is being done. 

Scraps of Accidentals on the floor
Scraps of Fragmentation on the floor

 

It actually gives me satisfaction to come up to the art studio and see all the clippings on the floor. Like seeing paint drips on a drop cloth, I can see what colors I’ve been working on. It’s like a visual journal. I can look at the wall and see what section is under construction. And then look at the floor and see the correspondent colors. 

There’s one more thing about the scraps on the floor that delights me. I love the random pattern of where the clippings fall and pile up. They create their own abstract design on the floor. Sometimes I even save them for other projects.

If you have been following my blogs and art career, you already know that I often recycle scraps from one piece into another. These little clippings are no exception. I’ve included a few recent examples of clippings. I hope you find them as charming as I do. 

If you use drop cloths, scraps, notes or other side products in your work, I’d love to see and hear about how your incorporate them. It would be fun to share examples of this evidence.