Textiles are as complex as they are quotidian. We interface with fiber constantly (it’s enveloping you right now) but seldom investigate our longstanding bond with material. Within their threaded DNA, all textiles carry rich information passed down through art and craft lineages. The practice of weaving was invented as early as 27,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest forms of human technology. The marriage of fibrous materials and decorative art can also be traced back to ancient times, when textiles evolved from basic survival tools to modes of adornment. As trade routes were established and production techniques improved, artisans and artists began experimenting with creative expression through fiber.
Over the last century fiber art has had another renaissance, as artists have pushed the boundaries of how textiles can be considered art—and what can be considered a textile. In a remarkable twist, printmakers have joined this conversation, successfully exploring and evoking textiles through two-dimensional works on paper. Groundbreaking artists such as Sam Gilliam, Nick Cave and Louise Bourgeois, all of whom have used fiber in other bodies of work, have turned to printmaking to further develop their approaches to and conceptions of textiles. Their fiber-evoking works continue to birth endless possibilities for the medium as well as ask deeper questions about our world. TEXTURES highlights the compounded narratives of our interwoven histories with textiles through a series of experimental works on paper. These works draw upon the aesthetics of fiber as a vehicle to serve up pointed critiques of ideas surrounding labor, value, gender, production, culture and identity.
- Print Curator Kylee Aragon Wallis
El Anatsui, Louise Bourgeois, Nick Cave, Judy Chicago, Sam Gilliam, Rhona Jack, Mika Rottenberg, Judy Tuwaletstiwa, Robert Zakanitch