Ashley Zelinskie, Francesca Rodriguez Sawaya, and Dr. Laura Taalman "Texere" 2018 (detail)

Friday Fibers Roundup: Haptic

This batch of articles for Friday Fibers Roundup draws from our current Journal theme of “Haptic” to give you articles on craft, material history, and color traditions.

Karen Kalkstein Fairy Cloth 2016, silk, wasp nest, leaf, plastic toy, feathers, birch bark, paper, cork, etc, hand-sewn, 43” x 43”.


1) “The Artificial Divide Between Fine Art and Textiles is a Gendered Issue” by Amber Butchart highlights the changing perceptions of fabrics throughout art history, in reaction to Anni Albers’ current exhibition at Tate Modern (via Frieze).

2) The Island Now recently spotlighted Layered Perceptions, which features prints by Chris Ann Ambery and textile and mixed media art from Valerie Zeman. The show is on display at the Alfred Van Loen Gallery (Huntington Station, New York) through January 2nd, 2019.

3) BLUE, The Tatter Textile Library, opened its doors in June of 2017, and serves as both an interactive, ongoing art-installation as well as an academic research library. It is an ever-growing home to 6,000 books, journals, exhibition catalogs, and objects that examine and celebrate the global history, traditions, makers, craft and beauty of textiles.

4) This video shows “The Art of Dyeing Silk” at the Rijks Erfgoed Laboratorium (the Netherlands) which features color reproductions of historical recipes and dialogue about practical skills (via Utrecht University).

5) “Craft: Seriously, What Does the Word Mean?” by Joyce Lovelace looks at the broad range of answers this question could yield coming from makers, scholars, collectors, or other creatives points of view (via American Craft Council).

6) The exhibition, Life’s Work by Ruth Asawa is not merely the first solo museum retrospective devoted to Asawa (1926–2013) beyond the West Coast; it’s also the first exhibition that have marks the artist’s transition from the margins to the canon proper (via Artforum).

7) “Art Technicians: The Industry’s Dirty Secret, or all Part of the Process?” by Lindsey Johnstone looks at art technicians, and the artists who rely on them, open up about what goes on behind the scenes in the studio (via Independent).

8) The exhibition, After Memphis: Crafted Postmodern takes the form of a showroom, featuring objects ranging from marbled-fabric furniture and neon lighting fixtures to basket-woven rugs and ceramic vessels. The show is on display at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft through January 13th, 2019.

9) “How a Japanese Craftsman Lives by the Consuming Art of Indigo Dyeing” by Deborah Needleman looks at how a traditional craft is being adapted, rethought, and remade during the 21st century (via The New York Times).

10) “Death by Wallpaper: The Alluring Arsenic Colors that Poisoned the Victorian Age” by Allison Meier examines the book, Bitten by Witch Fever (written by Lucinda Hawksley) which chronicles the rise of poisonous pigments in the 19th century through the burgeoning British wallpaper trade (via Hyperallergic).

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