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David Richard Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. consistently acts as host to various exhibitions and interesting events. This week, we’ve asked David Eichholtz and Richard Barger to write a little about some of their most recent happenings. Enjoy!
DAVID RICHARD GALLERY SHOWS
David Richard Gallery is featuring two solo textile exhibitions, Judy Chicago, Woven and Stitched and June Wayne, The Tapestries: Forces of Nature and Beyond, through March 23 in Santa Fe, NM, www.DavidRichardGallery.com.
The textiles by Judy Chicago were produced from 1983 through 2000. They are from two of her many projects that incorporate textiles, Birth Project and Resolutions for the Millennium: A Stitch In Time. These artworks are comprised of tapestry, embroidery, appliqué, quilting, macramé, beading and other needlework techniques and materials, either alone or in various combinations. By pairing proverbs and adages with contemporary imagery that evoke compassion and tolerance, Chicago examines in these artworks our birth and how we can live together in harmony in international, multi-cultural communities.
June Wayne (1918-2011) was a multi-faceted artist: lithographer, painter, writer and filmmaker. She was best known for founding and running the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles from 1960 through 1970. After transferring Tamarind to the University of New Mexico, she then focused her attention on these magnificent tapestries produced in France from 1970 through 1975. The tapestries are based upon lithographs produced by Wayne, featuring her contemporary images in a very traditional and historic medium, but updated through the use of abstraction, vibrant colors, complex weaving and deep textures. Wayne was fascinated by technology, so the images are centered on science-based themes of interest to her at the time, including tidal waves, DNA, the cosmos, binocular vision and optical effects—all forces of nature and beyond human control.
The gallery hosted lectures and a panel discussion on Saturday, February 23 that included Elissa Auther, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; Janet Koplos, contributing editor to Art In America; and David Eichholtz, curator and art writer at David Richard Gallery. The speakers noted that both artists were and are provocateurs, responsible directly and indirectly for inspiring and influencing other artists and generations with respect to re-examining the use of textiles and addressing women’s issues. Auther discussed the importance of Chicago’s textiles and in particular her use of embroidery, not just as “a relic of an irrelevant politics associated with the women’s art movement of the 1970s,” but instead, “as a living, viable contemporary art form.” Auther spoke of other artists using embroidery in contemporary artwork. One such artist, Orly Cogan, collects household embroidery in antique shops and uses it as the point of departure for her own original work to create narratives and commentary on contemporary culture, from sex and drugs to pastries and other indulgences. Cogan’s images seem to focus on women and like Chicago’s art practice, appear to challenge preconceived notions of what is appropriate for women to dream of and do.
Janet Koplos noted the tactile nature of the surfaces and the literal or illusionistic tension between the two and three-dimensional planes of the textiles in the exhibition. Since the 1950s there has been a significant trend away from purely two dimensions in textiles to more sculptural and three-dimensions.