Mad About MAD

1. La Ciudad Frondosa (2011-2012)I visit the Museum of Art and Design each time I come to New York.  The current exhibitions are always well-curated and filled with surprising and fresh art.  Weaving is present in both of the current exhibits, New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America and What Would Mrs Webb Do?: A Founder’s Vision, the latter an exhibit of pieces from the permanent collection.  As a weaver, it is not only textiles that draw me to MAD; the grids, textures, shapes, and inventiveness of works in many media are inspiring.

The New Territories exhibit, featuring the work of young designers from Latin American countries, included a fabulous woven hanging. In “Homage to Cruz-Diaz,” Colombian artist Jorge Lizarazo was inspired by the intersecting elements and grids in the paintings of Carlos Cruz-Diaz.  The result is a shimmering, shadowed, multi-layered work  that bears examination from several angles and distances.





Three pieces from Venezuelan artists Maria Eugenia Davina and Eduardo Portillo were woven in triple weave of silk, mache palm fiber, and copper.  Those pieces are fun for a weaver to examine and dissect.  The third piece was a portion of the highly textured piece cast in bronze.  Amazing.





A few weavings hung in the exhibit of pieces from the permanent collection, What Would Mrs Webb Do?: A Founder’s Vision. I was interested in the technique in Mary Balzer Buskirk’s transparency piece (a terrible photo; it was in a glass case.) It looks like the background has open areas, where you see the black part of the stripes, as opposed to the gray.  On closer examination I saw that the black stripes have black warp, so it’s a striped warp that is used as the base for the laid-in design.  Nice.  I also like the small flags at the bottom of the weaving.



When searching for weaving inspiration in NYC, The Museum of Art and Design is not to be missed.

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