White Columns is proud to present the first New York solo exhibition by Violette Alby.
Alby’s installation in our Lobby space consists of two recent double-sided quilts. (Each side of the quilts will be displayed every other week for the show’s duration.)
Violette Alby (b. Paris, France, 1953) lives and works in La Joya, a cluster of houses – originally founded as a commune in 1970 - surrounded by Forest Service land between Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Alby has been making quilts using recycled materials for more than 30 years.
About her initial engagement with quilt making Alby has stated:
“I learnt the social history of quilt making thanks to a class I took in Berkeley in the early 1970s. I wanted to break the pattern. I knew that there was more than the ‘log cabin’. You saw Gee’s Bend, you saw how important the quilt was. “
Committed to using only recycled materials and fabrics Alby has argued that: “Colors can heal and there is an energy that comes from cloth. I like to proselytize that we shouldn’t put one drop (of fabric) in the trash. We shouldn’t plant any more cotton, only recycle.”
Acknowledging the impact of Gee’s Bend, Alby’s quilts simultaneously evoke the ad-hoc materialism of Japanese Boro textiles and early modernist abstraction.
Violette Alby’s work has been shown extensively in community spaces and galleries in New Mexico, and in the exhibition ‘New Mexico Montage Plus’, organized by Emma and Juliette Spertus in 2005 for The Soapbox Gallery, Oakland, CA.
White Columns would like to thank Emma Spertus for introducing us to Alby’s work, and for her assistance with this project.