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

2021 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.

Apertura Internacional Fiberart

Apertura Internacional Fiberart

Quedan 10 días para ver la Trienal

Asistir a la inauguración de Fiberart International en Pittsburgh, Pensilvania, fue emocionante e inspirador. En esta 23ª exposición trienal participaron 55 artistas de 8 países y cerca de la mitad de ellos pudieron asistir a los eventos patrocinados por las dos galerías huéspedes de la muestra, Contemporary Craft y Brew House. El Gremio Fiberarts de Pittsburgh también patrocinó un evento de un día con un discurso de apertura de Jane Sauer, galerista, artista y líder de pensamiento en las artes contemporáneas de la fibra y arte textiles. Los miembras del jurado fueron Jane Sauer y Sonya Clark, miembras distinguidas de la Virginia Commonwealth University.

La exposición tardó dos años en organizarse y la coordinación de este esfuerzo fue compartida por Rae Gold y Risë Nagin. Hubo muchos momentos destacados para mí y compartiré algunos aquí.

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Madeline Darnell, mi anfitriona frente al horizonte de Pittsburghy hostess in front of the Pittsburgh skyline

Para comenzar, me recibió la encantadora Madeline Darnell, miembro del Gremio. Ella no solo me tuvo como invitado en su casa durante el fin de semana largo, sino que también me llevó a un recorrido por Pittsburgh y a algunas de las galerías de la zona.

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Amy Morgan, propietaria de Morgan Contemporary Glass

Visitamos el Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery y tuvimos la oportunidad de conocer a la propietaria, Amy Morgan, quien tiene la energía de un cohete y es una movida y una agitadora en la escena artística de Pittsburgh.

La primera pieza de Jim Arendt, Cat: El libre albedrío no es barato

Algunos de mis artistas favoritos de fibra y arte textil también estaban en el programa. Conocí a Jim Arendt, quien ganó el primer lugar por su poderosa pieza Cat: Free Will Ain’t Cheap, que usa mezclilla recuperada para abordar problemas laborales. Hubo varios hombres cuyo trabajo obtuvo premios y atención, un cambio refrescante en el campo de la fibra y arte textil dominado por las mujeres. Otra artista, Louise Silk, que también trabaja con mezclilla reciclada, organizó una cena encantadora en su loft de artista. Me dijo que se había inspirado en mi instalación Tribe of Dina que vio en la década de 1980. Es fantástico saber que nuestro trabajo está haciendo una diferencia.

Tuve una reunión con Susan Avishai y su esposo Bob Bernstein de Toronto. Habían asistido a nuestro programa 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist Residency en México a principios de la primavera y tuvimos una conexión maravillosa como artistas de fibra y arte textil. La pieza de Susan No Place to Hide a Dark Heart es parte de una serie de esculturas hechas con ropa deconstruida y desechada rescatada de tiendas de segunda mano. La otra artista de nuestro trío fue Adrienne Sloan, quien planea asistir a la residencia en 2020. Su pieza 100 Days and Counting es un doloroso recordatorio de nuestra debacle política actual.

Fue un gran honor para mi pieza Kansai estar incluida en esta exposición y tener la oportunidad de ver tanto trabajo excelente e innovador en fibra y arte textil.

Susan Avishai detrás de su pieza No Place to Hide a Dark Heart
La pieza de Adrienne Sloan 100 days and counting y la pieza de Deborah Kruger Kansai

Fiberart Internacional 2019

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Centro de las Artes de Sebastopol Sebastopol, California

Centro de las Artes de Sebastopol Sebastopol, California

Una vez más, me siento honrada de ser incluida en el International Fiber Arts IX, un espectáculo internacional de fibras y textiles en el Centro de las Artes de Sebastopol en la costa del norte de California. Mi pieza, Homeland ganó un Premio al Mérito y también fue la pieza elegida para la portada del folleto de la exposición y para la postal que anunciaba la muestra. Descubrí que mi pieza fue una elección unánime para los tres miembros del jurado, lo cual fue extremadamente afirmativo. Les cuento más sobre los miembros del jurado, que son todos líderes de opinión en el mundo internacional de la fibra y el arte textil.

 

Homeland: 2019, 40 X 49 X 4 ”, serigrafía en bolsas plásticas fundidas, costura, hilo de lino encerado, hilo de alambre

Janet deBoer es la editora del boletín electrónico FIBER FORUM y ex editora de Textile Fiber Forum, revista distinguida de fibra y arte textil en Australia. Tuve el honor de aparecer en esta revista en 2014. (Desplácese hacia abajo hasta la cuarta entrevista https://deborahkruger.com/interviews/).

Jori Johnson es una artista de fieltro que vive en Japón. También tiene un puesto de profesora en el Departamento de Diseño Textil de la Universidad de Arte y Diseño de Kyoto.

Gerhardt Knodel, artista practicante y ex director del programa de artes de fibra y arte textil de la Academia de Artes Cranbrook en Míchigan, uno de los programas de fibra y arte textil más antiguos de los EE. UU.

International Fiber Arts IX es una bienal que presenta a 61 artistas internacionales que ejemplifican conceptos contemporáneos para el uso de materiales tradicionales e inusuales.

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La ganadora del primer lugar fue Eszter Bornemisza por su pieza Inner Mapping. Eszter es un artista de fibra que vive en Budapest, Hungría, y crea tapices, instalaciones y objetos a partir del material omnipresente de periódicos y telas.

 

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El segundo lugar fue para Steve Donegan por Garden Phase Cellular Division. Steve usa imágenes de la fotografía, el dibujo y la pintura que vuelve a dibujar y convierte en archivos digitales que interactúan con un telar Jacquard computarizado.

 

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El tercer lugar fue otorgado a Janice Lessman-Moss por el #475, otra tejedora cuyo trabajo abstracto y estampado también está tejido en un telar Jacquard.

Aunque no logre asistir a esta inauguración, mi hermano Richard Kruger y su esposa, la artista de cerámica Lisanne Gollub, lograron asistir.

The Making of Ropa Blanca

I have just finished my first huipil-inspired piece titled Ropa Blanca. Many of my pieces gestate for a long time and Ropa Blanca was no exception. Like in my piece Kimono, I used the huipil, a traditional women’s blouse, as my inspiration. The references included images of Frida Kahlo’s clothing that are now on view at her museum in Mexico City.

Frida Kahlo outfit
Huipil reference materials
Ropa Blanca, full view

An Inspirational trip to Chiapas...

In April 2019, I visited Chiapas for the first time. San Cristóbal de las Casas (also known by its Tzotzil name, Jovel), a Spanish colonial city, is the center of this colorful textile region.

San Cristobal street view

The highlight of the trip was visiting the Textile Museum, which houses thousands of garments and hundreds of huipils woven and embroidered in Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico and also nearby Guatemala.

Textile Museum of Chiapas, huipil view 1
Textile Museum of Chiapas, huipil view 2

The indigenous population of Chiapas is largely Mayan and many Mayan languages are still spoken.  The women wear furry black skirts and colorful huipil blouses. During the trip, I met a linguist moon-lighting as as tour guide. He taught at the University of Chiapas and ended up helping me collect four Mayan languages for my text: Tzotzil, Zoque, Cho’lol and Yakme (look for an upcoming blog about our calligraphy!).

Mayan girl in traditional fur skirt

And Ropa Blanca was born...

I wasn’t as confident about my ability to handle white as I am with strong colors, so I decided to make a smaller piece as an experiment. My interest in making a smaller piece coincided with my musings about huipils and thus Ropa Blanca was born! 

In order to create a large white piece, I realized I needed a big inventory of feathers. Beginning this summer, my screen-printing team began producing hundreds of sheets of primarily white feathers. Although I love working with saturated colors, every few pieces I take a break and create a white piece. Kansai, Abandon and Vortex all fall into this ongoing series of largely white pieces.

Artist working on piece
Screen prints on wall
Assistants working on piece

I decided to sew a wrapped cord onto the top of the piece to define the edge as I had done with Accidentals. I also echoed the vertical stripes that frequently appear in the weaving of traditional huipils.

As Ropa Blanca was taking shape, I was contacted by a gallery in Madrid that wants to represent my work at art fairs in Europe. The first fair will be in Paris in late January. They wanted smaller work and chose two pieces from my Cambodia series. Since they wanted a third piece, I will add Ropa Blanca to the crate going to Madrid in early January. I’m curious to see how my work will be received in Spain and France.

Wrapped cord before sewing onto the piece

I definitely see Ropa Blanca as the beginning of a new series, so stay tuned for more Huipil inspired works!