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© Courtesy of the Artist and Armory Center for the Arts
Pair (35mm slide), 2010 Hand Embroidery On Organza, Pleather 2" X 2" © Courtesy of the Artist and Armory Center for the Arts
Curated by: Sinead Finnerty-Pyne

145 N. Raymond Ave.
91103 Pasadena

April 11th, 2010 - June 6th, 2010
Opening: April 10th, 2010 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Other (outside areas listed)
Gallery Hours: 12 - 5 pm (Closed Tuesdays)
sewing, weaving, knitting, installation


At the Armory, Caldwell Gallery

“Stitches” Exhibition at Armory Center for the Arts, April 11 through June 6.

Pasadena, CA – Opening Saturday, April 10, 7 to 9 p.m., the Armory Center for the Arts will  resent “Stitches”, a group exhibition exploring contemporary art approaches to the techniques  f sewing, knitting and weaving. The exhibition will be on view through June 6,  2010 and is curated by Sinéad Finnerty-Pyne, Curator at the Armory. Participating artists  include Jane Brucker, Lauren DiCioccio, Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor, Ruby Osorio, Titus  Kaphar, Nuttaphol Ma, Ulrike Palmbach, Maria E. Pineres, Dinh Q. Le, Jim Richards, Elias  Sime, and Nicola Vruwink. The exhibition will include two dimensional and freestanding  sculptural works as well as large scale site-specific installations.

Previously exploring art deconstructed through cutting in her 2009 exhibition “Under the  Knife”, Finnerty-Pyne now explores construction through various forms of stitching. From  sewing to knitting, crocheting and weaving, “Stitches” highlights the visions and practices of  twelve culturally diverse artists working with principles and applications inspired by craft,  textile, and fiber art. The exhibiting artists share an unconventional approach to these  versatile and often obsessive art forms by creating process and material-based works utilizing  ubstances ranging from yarn and thread, to found objects and recycled clothing.

“Stitches” aims to illustrate the sophistication and complexity of work that has evolved out of  the twenty-first century global curiosity with domestic practice – in some cases, descended  from feminist practice in the last part of the twentieth century. The work in the exhibition  stands in contrast to concurrent fascinations with slick fabricated and computer generated  works. In a world where massproduction seems to have peaked, these artists, both male and  female, embrace these once antiquated and homespun techniques and experiment with how  far they can push them physically, metaphorically, and conceptually.

Drawing from cultural associations, Vietnamese artist Dihn Q. Le and Ethiopian artist Elias  Sime incorporate the traditions and materials of their homelands into their work. While Le  creates visually charged tapestries by weaving together images of the Vietnam War with stills  rom prominent movies such as Apocalypse Now and Indochine, Sime stitches abstract  swirling patterns that relate to archeological sites near his home town.

Artists Jane Brucker and Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor incorporate recycled clothing in wildly  different ways. While O’Connor stitches, stuffs and binds emotive yet humorous large scale  sculptural characters from scrap fabric, upholstery and padding, Brucker unravels and then  re-knits articles of clothing, a  process that reflects the compromise and change inherent in  life.

Installation artists Nicola Vruwink and Nuttaphol Ma will transform spaces in the Armory  through site specific works. Nuttaphol alters a former ammunition vault into a piano room    containing a loom (an homage to Claude Lévy-Strauss's critical view of the world upon his  death and Tchaikovsky's last symphony, the Pathetique,) to create a space for meaningful  dialogue about survival. Vruwink obsessively crochets thousands of feet of cassette tape, a  humble and nearly obsolete material, into a wildly organic environment.

Ruby Osorio and Titus Kaphar coalesce stitching in their work with their primary mediums of  painting. Kaphar’s work begins with copies of European and American portrait paintings from  the 18th and 19th centuries that are reconfigured, cut up and then sewn together in strategic  ways to create a dialogue about race, art, and representation. Osorio’s curiously romantic gouache-and-ink works incorporate thread and delicately explore themes of mythology with a  feminine sensibility. Contrarily, Jim Richards woven paintings possess the all the components  f a painting - wood, canvas and acrylic paint - but have been pieced together in  a DIY manner to create a new hybrid object that contains elements of painting, drawing, and  sculpture.

Through obsessive handiwork, Lauren DiCioccio, Ulrike Palmbach and Maria E. Pineres  investigate the physical beauty of commonplace objects and consumer culture. DiCioccio  recreates mass-produced media-objects - including newspapers, plastic bottles and bags  -with transparent fabric and colorful thread to remind the viewer of these simple but  nostalgically intimate pieces of everyday life. Likewise, Palmbach constructs playful yet  emotive life-size interpretations of everyday machine-made products (such as milk crates and cardboard boxes), using pliable materials like army blankets and painted muslin.

Maria E. Pineres’ cross stitch needlepoint illustrates the crash and burn masculine imagery  of corporate-sponsored NASCAR racing automobiles, in ironically feminine variations of pink  thread.

This exhibition will be on view in the Susan and John Caldwell Gallery at the Armory is at 145  North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, and will be open Tuesday – Sunday, noon-5 p.m.  Suggested donation $5. Armory members, seniors, students, and student in Armory classes  and their families are free. The Armory is easily accessible from the Gold Line Memorial Park  Station in Pasadena. For information about Armory exhibitions and events, the public may  call 626.792.5101 x122. or visit the Armory website at