In UNCOMMON THREADS we see that fiber art, once conjuring up images of baskets and looms, has now ventured a long way in other directions. Seven artists create sculptural pieces in both traditional and unique new materials. Here, fiber as fine art exploits the use of texture, color, and shape to become very powerful vehicles of personal expression rather than utilitarian objects.
Cathy Breslaw layers transparent plastic mesh along with various objects blending in irregular and unexpected ways. Breslaw states that she relies on the underlying structure of the grid and spiral, the formal considerations of painting, and some of the craft traditions of sewing and weaving which have a long history that traverses many cultures.
Lois Ziff Brooks reflects on her notion of visual theology. Inspired by biblical text, she tries to blend modern art with an expression of spiritual life to create new visual commentaries.
Leah Danberg’s Animal Series sometimes uses text as a starting point; the animal image represents a phrase or a complete sent of thoughts.
Merrill Morrison tells of the pleasure derived when knotting, the chance to immerse herself in a private meditative process that allows her to create simple elegant forms with bold striking colors.
Waxed linen thread is one of the favorite materials of Rosalie Friis-Ross. Her knotted sculptures incorporate her interest in archetypal symbols and architecture. Promise of the Rainbow was completed during the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster. Ironically, this piece incorporates stairs and stairwells, the escape routes that dominated the news, even though this composition was conceived and begun many months before 9/11. The title, Promise of the Rainbow as metaphor refers to the biblical story of God’s use of the rainbow as a promise to Noah that there would be no more world-destroying floods.
Deborah Weir refers to herself as a textile artist. What she does references “women’s work”, slowly built up, mostly by hand with a needle, using traditional materials - thread, floss, beads - in addition to more modern ones such as Tyvek, metals, and textured paints.
Norman Sherfield’s baskets and fiber sculptures are featured in many art publications and have been selected and shown in galleries in Colorado, Tennessee, Iowa, and California.
The public is invited to the artists’ reception, Sunday, May 9 from 3 to 5 pm. at the Platt and Borstein Galleries at American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, just off the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Art Corridor. Parking is free. For more information, call (310)476-9777 ext.201.