den contemporary is pleased to present “Entwined Affairs” featuring Los Angeles-based artists Tanya Aguiñiga and Danielle McCullough, who create works that initiate an interplay of the practical in fine art and the poetic in craft. What ties the two artists together is the spirit of interweaving cultures and traditions.
Installation artist and furniture designer Tanya Aguiñiga takes inspiration for techniques and materials from artisans she has worked with around the globe from Alaska to the Northeastern U.S., and from Mexico and India. To create the 16-foot felt wall piece in the exhibition, Aguiñiga gathered homeless relief blankets from thrift stores to use as her material, and then applied a weaving technique she learned in Chiapas, Mexico. In her work, she combines a playfulness and crisp modernist approach to form with a passionate sensitivity to tactile materials, bringing about a commitment to craftsmanship while interconnecting cultures and promoting community consciousness.
Danielle McCullough refers to her wall pieces as “loom-like paintings,” and her practice incorporates concepts of the workplace, both modern and traditional labor, machine and hand created. McCullough repurposes abandoned scraps from the garment manufacturing industry such as leather and felt that have existing patterned cut-outs, which reflects the history of the material as an intended, mass-produced commercial product. The piece Gleaning From Omelas (Yellow), composed mainly of rope and felt, recalls a Modernist composition by Piet Mondrian but with a loose network of paths and intersections randomly punctuated by painted colorful clumps of clay. Another piece titled neither hide nor hair is an outstretched network made of leather with painted flag-like patterns and an overall outline resembling hung cowhide, bringing the reference back to the origins of the material.
About the Artists
Tanya Aguiñiga - While earning her BA in 2003 from San Diego State University, she began working as an educator at the San Diego Museum of Art and created collaborative installations with the Border Arts Workshop, an artists’ group that engages the languages of activism and community-based public art. She received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. Her work has been exhibited from Mexico City to Miami to Milan, and in 2011, Aguiñiga was a featured artist in an exhibition at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles. She has been honored with a United States Artists Target Fellowship in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts, and has received awards such as the Searchlight Artist from American Craft Council, the NEA Challenge Grant, and others. Among the publications featuring her work are Los Angeles Times, Elle Décor, Ready Made, Metropolitan Home Magazine, and Wallpaper. She presently teaches at Otis College of Art and Design.
Danielle McCullough received her MFA from Ohio University School of Art in 2005, and her BA from University of Northern Iowa in 2002. Her work has exhibited work in Los Angeles, Seattle, Berlin & New York. She recently collaborated with artist Gabie Strong on Blast Site: A Workshop for Conjecture which was a sculptural, textual, edible and educational performance-based work as part of the High Desert Test Sites New Everyday Life Workshop series in Joshua Tree, CA. She is a recipient of grants from the Creative Capacity Fund, Change, Inc., Ohio University Travel Grant (to study in Italy), and an artist residency at The Vermont Studio Center. McCullough is an active participant in Panel Shop, a collective co-founded by Andrea Zittel to help provide emerging artists with side income through the generation of specialty household design products. She is also the co-founder of Los Angeles Art Resource, an on-line forum for the Los Angeles arts community.