Followups: From 22-May-2016
Façade Exhibition – see post 22-May-2016.
Lecture: Mark Ledbury, The Wallace Collection (part of the AGNSW Collectors & Collections series).
I have clear if disjointed memories of visiting the Wallace Collection a number of times in the early 1980s – 25 January 1983 was one visit, evidenced by a note in the catalogue of ceramics still on my bookshelves. Then it was a jewel hidden behind the bustle and lights of Oxford Street, slightly dusty, in memory full of delights but empty of people, my own little secret, a mix of elaborate decorative arts, corridors of armour, and amazing paintings, some straying into chocolate box territory.
Apparently now it is beautifully refurbished, entirely polished, a darling venue of fashionistas, still full of amazing works, still a jewel but altogether Discovered. So memory and time betray us.
In compensation, Mark Ledbury is an entertaining speaker and it was fascinating to learn about the complex non-dynasty and the accidents of fortune which led to this collection – works which shall always be together, unmixed with other works of art.
Markus Brüderlin (2013) “Introduction to the Exhibition: The birth of abstraction from the spirit of the textile and the conquest of the fabric space” In Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg Art & Textiles: Fabric as material and concept in modern art from Klimt to the present Art & Textiles Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag.
This book was published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name 2013-2014. I’d love to have seen the exhibition. The book is challenging reading so far, reinforcing some concepts for me, introducing a lot more new. My thinking is all fragments.
One thing that struck me – a topological view of weaving. The impact on space of folding fabric was illustrated with Matisse, Liseuse au gueridon. Folding. Inside and outside. Form following material. What could be done with that idea?
I pulled out some 190 gsm kraft paper and some decorated paper. Quick weaving, but still followed “rules” – plain weave, the same side of the paper showing.
22/5 Flat, then an initial attempt at dimension.
23/5 Wove through plastic horsehair, then accentuated the folding.
Then later there was mention of the orthogonal structure of fabric, and a link to work by Agnes Martin amongst others. This seems at odds to the folding point, the rigidity of right angles. Rosalind Krauss and her paper on the grid was mentioned – I tracked it down (link) but need to do more than a skim read. She claims the grid “incapable of development”, but even if it were true that seems to me limited to a grid fixed – stretched on a frame or otherwise. Plain weave, the complete grid, is the strongest and least flexible of weave structures, all else being equal, but it can still drape, the orthogonal structure moving in three dimensions.
“Contact relics” is a term I hadn’t used before. In the book an example was the veil of Veronica. This made me think of the power of old clothes – smell, shape, memory trigger – the advantage of the almost automatic human connection/dimension of textile.
Claire’s post is here.
This week she brought in a small, beautifully observed and shaded pencil sketch of a pearl ring. I brought in an A4 felt-tip pen oddity based on a potato masher.
Late on Sunday: Another exhibition and lecture today – more on that next post.