Fiberart International Opening

Fiberart International Opening

10 Days Left to see the Triennial

Attending the opening for Fiberart International in Pittsburgh, PA was thrilling and inspiring. There were 55 artists from 8 countries in this 23rd triennial exhibition and about half of them were able to come to the events that were sponsored by the two galleries that hosted the show, Contemporary Craft and the Brew House. The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh also sponsored a day long event featuring a keynote by Jane Sauer, gallerist, artist and thought leader in contemporary fiber arts. The jurors were Jane Sauer and Sonya Clark, Distinguished Fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

The exhibition took two years to organize and the coordination of this effort was shared by Rae Gold and Risë Nagin. There were so many highlights for me and I’ll share a few here.

IMG_5762
Madeline Darnell, my hostess in front of the Pittsburgh skyline

First of all, I was hosted by the lovely Madeline Darnell, a member of the Guild. She not only had me as a guest in her home over the long weekend but also took me on a tour of Pittsburgh and to some of the area galleries. 

Fiberart Amy Morgan
Amy Morgan, Owner of Morgan Contemporary Glass

 We visited the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery and had the opportunity to meet the owner, Amy Morgan, who is a firecracker and mover and shaker in the Pittsburgh art scene. 

Jim Arendt's first place piece, Cat: Free Will Ain’t Cheap

Some of my favorite fiber artists were also in the show. I met Jim Arendt, who collected the first place prize for his powerful piece Cat: Free Will Ain’t Cheap, which uses reclaimed denim to address labor issues.  There were several men whose work garnered awards and attention, a refreshing change in the female dominated fiber field. Another artist, Louise Silk, who also works with recycled denim, hosted a lovely dinner at her artist loft. She told me that she had been inspired by my installation Tribe of Dina that she saw in the 1980s. It’s great to learn that our work is making a difference.

I had a reunion with Susan Avishai and her husband Bob Bernstein from Toronto. They had attended our 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist Residency program in Mexico earlier in the spring and we had a wonderful connection as fiber artists. Susan’s piece No Place to Hide a Dark Heart is part of a series of  sculptures made from deconstructed, discarded clothing rescued from thrift shops. The other artist in our trio was Adrienne Sloan, who plans to attend the residency in 2020. Her piece 100 Days and Counting is a painful reminder of our current political debacle.

All in all, it was a great honor for my piece Kansai to be included in this exhibition and to have the opportunity to see so much excellent and innovative work in fiber.

Susan Avishai behind her piece No Place to Hide a Dark Heart
Adrienne Sloan's piece 100 Days and Counting and Deborah Kruger's piece Kansai

Fiberart International 2019

TERRA inFIRMA at the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum, New York City

I feel privileged to have my piece Harbinger included in the climate-themed show opening at the inaugural exhibition at the new Dr. Bernard Heller Museum located at Hebrew Union College Museum near NYU in New York City.

Harbinger, 2018, 42 x 53 x 1”, screen-printing on fused plastic bags, sewing
Laura Kruger, curator of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

The exhibition, curated by Laura Kruger (no relation), focuses on climate change and global warning through the lens of Jewish values and contemporary social activism.  Laura Kruger explains, “According to our tradition, God created the earth and we are instructed to tend it and preserve it for future generations. It is our responsibility as the earth’s stewards to take action and effect positive change.”

Harbinger, Detail
Drawing of the Bengal Florican done during my artist residency in France, 2016

Harbinger, takes the shape of Cambodia as its form (a country considered extremely vulnerable to climate change) and last remaining habitat of the remarkably beautiful and nearly extinct Bengal Florican. My mixed media work using fused plastic bags screen-printed with images of endangered bird and languages, addresses the sharp decline in bird species as a result of habitat destruction, much of it caused by climate change and deforestation.

Like the other 65 artists in this show, I am haunted by spector of extinction and I join this talented group of artists who are all using their art to address climate change and contribute to Tikkun Olam, the healing of our planet.

I will be at the opening reception on Thursday September 6, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:30pm. If you are in the metro-New York area, please consider attending the opening and saying hello (you will need ID to be admitted). Laura Kruger has designed a beautiful catalogue for the show.

Aileen Bassis. Submerged City: Manhattan, 2018

Exhibición Centro Cultural Chapala

Mi exhibición individual titulada Turbulencia: Aves, Belleza, Lenguaje y Pérdida, se inauguro el 4 de Agosto, 2018 en el Centro Cultural Chapala “Antigua Presidencia” y tuvimos una gran asistencia.

Hay 10m nuevas piezas en exhibición en la sala principal y 6 piezas anteriores en una sala más pequeña donde el nuevo documental de Miguel Mata se reprodujo de manera continua.

También hay 4 impresiones en glicee en la sala pequeña, diseñadas a partir de detalles de las nuevas piezas, impresos y tensados en lienzo para dar apariencia de pinturas abstractas.

El nuevo trabajo realizado utilizando bolsas de plásticas fundidas y cosidas, montados en las paredes así como una escultura en forma espiral. En el medio de la galería, realice una instalación de piso, utilizando platos de cerámica quebrados y escombro. Las imágenes pintadas a mano en los platos están basadas en dibujos de aves en peligro de extinción, que realice mientras estaba en Francia en una residencia artística.

La inauguración de la recepción fue muy concurrida con más de 200 personas de México y la comunidad extranjera. Colegas volaron desde la ciudad de Nueva York y Madison, WI y el Presidente Municipal de Chapala dio un pequeño discurso y me entrego un reconocimiento.

¡Fue una gran noche!

Si vives cerca del Lago de Chapala, México, el show estará abierto al público hasta el Sábado 15 de Septiembre, 2018

Horas de la Galería son:
Lunes – Viernes 9:00 am – 2:00 pm y 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm 
Sabado 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Domingo 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Chapala Cultural Center Exhibition

My solo exhibition titled Turbulence: Birds, Beauty, Language & Loss opened on August 4, 2018 at the Chapala Cultural Center and we had a great turnout.

There were 10 new pieces on view in the main gallery and 6 older pieces in the smaller gallery where Miguel Mata’s new documentary ran on a continuous loop.

There were also 4 giclee prints in the smaller gallery designed from details of the new pieces printed and stretched on linen so that they appeared as abstract paintings.

The new work using fused and sewn plastic bags featured work on the wall as well as a sculpture shaped like a spiral. In the middle of the gallery, I built a floor installation using broken plates and building debris. The images on the hand-painted plates were based on drawings of endangered birds that I had done while on an artist residency in France.

The opening reception was well attended with over 200 people from the ex-pat and Mexican communities. Colleagues flew in from New York City and Madison, WI and the Mayor showed up to give a short speech and present me with a certificate of appreciation. It was a great night!

 

If you live near Lake Chapala, Mexico, the show will be up through Saturday September 15, 2018. 

Gallery Hours are:
Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm y 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm 
Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

SOLIDARY/SOLITARY EXHIBITION

Nasher Museum at Duke University in Durham, NC

Mark Bradford, A Private Stranger Thinking about his Needs, 2016

Every artist dreams of being in a major collection and this exhibition at the Nasher Museum is an excellent example of how powerful collecting can be for the artists and for the public.

Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection focuses on abstract  African-American artists from 1940s to the present.  Beginning in 1999, the collectors identified Post-war and contemporary black artists and committed to collecting works over a span of their careers so that the public can see the trajectory of these visionary artists. The collection’s focus has expanded to include artists from Africa and the global African diaspora.

The exhibition includes two of my favorite artists, Mark Bradford, and Sam Gilliam. I saw other exciting artists including Kevin Beasley,  Leonardo Drew (Wow!), Norman Lewis, Glenn Ligon, Shinique Smith, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

The Nasher has made a commitment to exhibiting black artists from the South and from around the world and it deserves kudos for making these exhibitions a regular, rather than token, part of their curatorial agenda.

Sam Gilliam, Stand, 1973
Leonardo Drew, Wood 2013
Kevin Beasley, Untitled (Vine), 2016
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Fly, 2012

Resources:

Exhibition Information at the Nasher Museum:

https://nasher.duke.edu/exhibitions/solidary-solitary/

Installing Mark Bradford’s “A Private Stranger Thinking about his Needs”

https://youtu.be/PZR-ayfA9Xc

Enrance to Exhibition
Mark Bradford, Detail of A Private Stranger Thinking about his Needs, 2016
Leonardo Drew, Detail of Wood, 2013