Published by MFA Publications. Text by Pamela A. Parmal.
Charming us with their whimsy and conjuring a warm domesticity, embroideries from the colonial era also astonish us with the high prices they bring at art auctions. A single work could take years to make, its materials could come from the other side of the world and its imagery could reflect its maker’s deepest beliefs and her family’s highest aspirations. Colonial women kept these accomplished works with them throughout their lives, proudly displayed them in their homes, and passed them down as family heirlooms. Embroidery in Colonial Boston tells the stories of six women and how needlework shaped their lives in the colonies’ most important port city. From decidedly domestic origins, their embroideries soon became an economic force that promoted the silk trade and allowed entrepreneurial women and men to profit from selling supplies, drawing patterns and teaching young girls interested in this mode of expression. At once a historical overview, group biography and richly illustrated art book, this publication gives long deserved attention to a unique facet of American visual culture and women’s history.
Published by Kerber. Text by Ellen Seifermann, Martin Hentschel, Kiki Smith.
Born in 1954 in Nuremberg, Germany, but raised in an artistic family in South Orange, New Jersey (her father was the American sculptor Tony Smith), Kiki Smith has always occupied herself with questions of the human body and condition. Unlike classical figurative sculpture, which hides the insides of the body, Smith's work often visualizes the organs and the bodily fluids, highlighting the fragility and temporality of the body. Her work draws from myths and links spirit, human and animal worlds. Beautifully produced to include a selection of family photographs from the artist's childhood and ancestry alongside generous documentation of her recent concurrent one-person exhibitions in Krefeld, Germany and Nuremberg, this volume sheds new light on one of the most influential American artists of her generation. Taking as her starting point an eighteenth-century American silk embroidery entitled "First, Second and Last Scene of Mortality," which depicts a white woman working at a table while a white child and a black servant rest on one side of her and a closed black coffin sits on the other side, Smith here develops several narrative threads that revolve around the theme of the unmarried woman. With excursions into Christian iconography and the history of the American postcolonial era, she speaks also to the archetype of the inspired female creator or artist.
Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co.. Essay by Maura Reilly. Text by Laurie Ann Farrell. Interview with Martine Antle.
Over the past 20 years, Ghada Amer's quest to forge an aesthetic language for the oppression of women has established her as one of the most important and widely exhibited contemporary artists. Born in Cairo in 1963, and moving to France at age 11, from early on in life Amer was witness to the cross-cultural subjugation of women, whether from increasing religious conservatism in Egypt, or via the subtler machinations of Western commodity culture. In Amer's hand-embroidered paintings, delicate abstract tracings of sewn thread are counterposed with often quiet but sometimes confrontational erotic imagery. Trawling all manner of materials from fashion magazines, children's fairy tales, pornography, dictionaries, the Koran and medieval Arabic manuscripts, Amer challenges their authority, highlighting their exclusions and countering with a powerfully asserted female subject. This handsome monograph is the first publication to document the full breadth of her art, with numerous images of and detailed commentary on her paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, videos, performances and garden works. Art historian Maura Reilly contributes a substantial scholarly text that chronicles the trajectory of Amer's career, and art historian Laurie Farrell focuses on the artist's collaborative works with Reza Farkondeh. Also included is a conversation between the artist and scholar Martine Antle, plus a complete chronology, exhibition list and bibliography, all of which affirm this volume as the definitive resource on the artist.
Published by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Edited by Matilda McQuaid, Susan Brown. Text by Matilda McQuaid, Petra Timmer, Matteo de Leeuw-de Monti.
Painter, textile and stage designer and co-conspirator (with her husband Robert Delaunay) of the Orphist movement, Sonia Delaunay is a heroine of early modernist art and design. Known primarily as an abstract painter and colorist, Delaunay applied her talents and theories to all areas of visual expression, including graphics, interiors, theater and film, fashion and textiles. A characteristic of Delaunay's work is a vivid sense of movement and rhythm through careful color combination. Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay focuses not only on her art but also her avant-garde fashion designs for her Atelier Simultané in Paris during the 1920s, as well as textiles she designed for the Metz & Co department store in Amsterdam in the 1930s. The book features essays by Delaunay experts Matteo de Leeuw-de Monti, Matilda McQuaid and Petra Timmer, accompanied by more than 300 paintings, drawings, designs, textiles, garments and photographs. Born Sarah Ilinitchna Stern, in the Ukraine, Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) was raised in St. Petersburg, in Russia. After a brief period of study in Germany, she moved to Paris in 1905, and began painting in the Fauve style of Matisse and Derain. In 1909 she met Robert Delaunay, and together they devised a brighter version of Cubism that their friend, the poet and art critic Guillaume Apollinaire, termed Orphism. Also among their friends was the poet Blaise Cendrars, and one of Delaunay's best-known works is her 1913 accordion-fold artist's book collaboration with Cendrars, La prose du Transsibérien. In addition to her prolific 75-year painting career, she created brilliant textiles and fashion works for nearly three decades.
Known for his photographically-based embroidery, Berend Strik is a master weaver of harsh imagery and soft gossamer threads. From pornography, carnival clubs, and cloned sheep to same-sex marriage, newborn babies and love, Strik sews it all together. In addition to embroidery, he makes use of a variety of media, including photogrpahy, stained glass, video and architectonic installations. Strik's work consists of deviations, deformations and mutations; into a culture of generic sameness, he introduces genuine variations, deviations that resist immediate assimilation. Body Electric charts what at first glance may seem a bewilderingly multi-faceted work. Conceived in close collaboration with the artist, this book features a uniquely stitched cover.
Indian haute couture is conquering catwalks worldwide. For many, Indian fashion conjures multi-colored saris and gold embroidery, but the designers featured in this volume are turning that cliché on its head by creating global styles without losing sight of tradition. This book documents the scene, with an in-depth look at designers as diverse as Fightercock (a collaboration between Abhishek Gupta and Nandita Basu, who claim on one of their t-shirts that "The Revolution must wear Fightercock"), AtpuG varuaG (who won Breakthrough Designer of the Year at the MTV and Zoom Style Awards in 2006) and Kavita Bharthia (who is known for both Indian and Western styles, impeccably finished on handlooms, which incorporate cottons and silks, scarves, stoles and knits). Other featured designers include Gayatri Khanna, Anamika Khanna, Small Shop, Anuj Sharma, Ashish N Soni, Ayesha Depala, CUE, Deepika Govind, Drashta Sarvaiya, Falguni & Shane Peacock, Manish Arora, Nachiket Barve, Namrata Joshipura, Nimita Rathod, Nitin Bal Chauhan, Prashant Verma, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Ranna Gill, My Village, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Savio Jon, Shantanu & Nikhil, Shantanu Goenka, Swapnil Shinde, Varun Bahl, Wendell Rodricks and Bounipun. Contemporary Indian Fashion offers a host of experimental techniques for textiles, pattern cutting and sculptural draping, as well as the mixing of natural and synthetic fibers and unlikely juxtapositions such as jersey or chiffon with leather.
Published by Damiani. Introduction by Guisy Ferra. Texts by Valentino, Gianfranco Ferre, Etro, Anna Molinari, Blumarine, Marras Alessandro, Dell'Acqua, Kenzo (By Marras), Marni, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Riccardo Tisci, Maurizio Pecoraro, Emilio Pucci, et. Al.
The absolute dedication required by embroidery's sophisticated, precious handiwork has rendered it increasingly rare: as a craft, it calls for mental discipline even more than physical, and for infinite patience, virtues so far from contemporary, so eccentric in a society that wants everything delivered at once, that of course embroidery has come into the spotlight again. Embroidery: Italian Fashion follows the technique's recent rise in a national culture known for its opulence and emotion, and brings readers the experience of both with a soft, embroidered cover. Inside, the details of micro-paillettes, mirrors, bugle beads, ribbons and implausibly thin threads produce virtuosities, coups de theÇtre, surprising elegances. Embroidery is a door on a wondrous, opulent dimension where light plays with the richness of threads, and Embroidery shows its meaning transformed by the violence of modern lines and gestures, like the burnt Swarovski crystals that are Riccardo Tisci's hallmark. When Antonio Marras presented a skirt at his first Milan show in which the embroidery seemed to allude to beginner's work, to the gauze on which little girls once learned to sew, he asked his embroiderers to imitate this style, calling it "wrongstitch." And those extraordinary craftswomen, accustomed to perfection, learned just what feeling, what fascination can be concealed in an apparent mistake. The embroiderers and their colleagues remain the silent but ever-present heroines of this revival, their handiwork recalling the human touch at every glance. Includes work from Anna Molinari, Blumarine, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Gianfranco Ferre, Marni, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino and Versace.
Published by MFA Publications. Essay by Pamela Jill Kachurin.
Between 1927 and 1933, as the new Soviet Union emerged and the Communist party struggled to transform an agrarian country into an industrialized state, a group of young artists pitched in by designing fabrics depicting tractors, smokestacks and symbols of collective modernity, cloth with which to mold its buyers into ideal Soviet citizens. Few of these designs ever saw mass production, and the experiment failed as propaganda--comrades clung to their traditional floral motifs--but it yielded bold and intriguing new designs. Soviet Textiles: Designing the Modern Utopia presents some 40 of them, and analyzes the political and artistic context in which they were made. Pamela Jill Kachurin identifies major themes and motifs, including industrialization, transportation, electrification, youth, agriculture and collectivization, and sports and hobbies, and analyzes the work both as propaganda and as graphic art, in this, the only English-language book to treat them from that perspective.
Published by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Text by Susan Brown, Matilda McQuaid, Andrew Dent, Christine Martens.
Felt is the oldest fabric known to mankind; its earliest examples date back to 6,500 B.C. In recent years, the fabric has found contemporary applications in an extraordinary range of fields, including product design, fashion, architecture and home furnishings. Felt's first revival in modern times occurred as a part of the fiber-arts movement of the 1970s; the 1990s saw a surge of innovations in its production, triggering the current resurgence of interest in the fabric. A combination of scholarly research into its history, the exploration of its technical applications and sustainability issues have inspired many leading artists and designers to work with felt. Fashioning Felt examines this recent explosion of interest. Published in conjunction with a major exhibition at the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, it presents handmade and commercially produced designs for felt, and explores through essays and full-color illustrations the material's rich history.
With the recent recuperation of knitting and embroidery in the work of Ghada Amer, Tracy Emin, Emily Jacir and in the pages of KnitKnit magazine and last season's monograph on the tapestries of Dieter Roth and Ingrid Wiener, it comes as a pleasure to see tapestry retrieved as a medium in Demons, Yarns and Tales. Here, 15 internationally renowned artists explore wall-hanging tapestry, a craft foreign to their habitual practice. Three years in the making, the 14 tapestry projects of Demons, Yarns and Tales address a gamut of subjects--from fictive landscapes and architectural abstraction to fashion and flora--while incorporating into these themes the politics of race, gender, international conflict and ecology. In adjusting to this new medium and adapting to unfamiliar textures and surfaces, each artist has found ways to expand the scope of their skills and develop the ongoing themes of their work. This book sees them translate the familiar languages of paint, paper, pencil, ink on canvas, ceramics or wood panel into that of handwoven stitch and silk thread. The participating artists are Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh, assume vivid astro focus, Peter Blake, Jaime Gili, Gary Hume, Francesca Lowe, Beatriz Milhazes, Paul Noble, Grayson Perry, Shahzia Sikander, Fred Tomaselli, Gavin Turk, Julie Verhoeven and Kara Walker.