Visual Art Center of New Jersey, Summit

Co-curated with Mary Birmingham

Originally publilshed January 19, 2012

Panoramic view of Textility from the museum's main entrance

Several hundred people turned out for the opening of Textility at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey in Summit last Friday night. This is the exhibition I co-curated with Mary Birmingham, who is the curator at the institution. Sharing an interest in the ways contemporary artists are referencing textiles, we put together a survey that approaches the topic from two directions: artists who use conventional artmaking materials to create the image or suggestion of textiles, and those who use thread and cloth to create painting, sculpture and work on paper. We installed 40 works by 28 artists in three galleries and various other spaces throughout the institution.

You can read the particulars about the work in my catalog essay, posted last week on my archived blog: Diverse Practices, Common Threads (or better still, in the online catalog, which includes Birmingham's essay as well). In this post I simply want to show you what the exhibition— installed throughout the museum in three galleries—looks like. We start here in the main gallery, working our way clockwise.  

From foreground: Lael Marshall, Elana Herzog, Susanna Starr, Leslie Wayne, Nava Lubelski, Mary Carlson, Peter Weber; Susan Still Scott sculpture on floor

Lael Marshall

Drama Queen. 2010, oil and acrylic on various materials, 92 x 75 inches

Elana Herzog

Untitled, 2011; wood, metal staples, textile, 33 x 34 x 3 inches

Susanna Starr

Dresser Doily, 2005, hand-cut mahogany wood veneer, 70 x 47 inches

Leslie Wayne

One Big love #46, 2010, oil on wood, 14 x 11 inches


Detail below showing gathered layers of paint film

Nava Lubelski

Chance of Flurries, 2011, thread on stained canvas, 46 x 36 inches

Mary Carlson

Ghost Flag, 2007, sewn sheer fabric, 123 x 70 inches

Peter Weber, Arlene Shechet on plinth on floor

Barbara Ellmann

Wherewithall, 2011, encaustic on panel; 12 panels, each 24 x 24 inches, 102 x 76 inches overall


Ellmann detail below

Peter Weber

Vernetzung BL6 (9), 2009, folded felt, 20.5 x 20.5 inches

Arlene Shechet

Coil, 2004-07, cast and pigmented crystal, 25 x 8.5 x 7 inches

Continuing around the gallery from left: Weber, Shechet, Ellmann, Sharon Butler; foreground: Susan Still Scott

(When we move to the Eisenberg Gallery it will be through the doorway you see here)

Sharon Butler; full view of Melander sculpture, Lalani Nan in distance; foreground: Susan Still Scott 

Susan Still Scott

Slider, 2010; acrylic, flashe and enamel on canvas, cotton duck, wood with staples, wire, polyfill fiber, 57 x 16 x 31 inches

Sharon Butler

UniQlo, 2011; spray paint, urethane, pencil and sewing on unstretched gessoed canvas and unprimed linen, 65 x 50 inches

Derick Melander

The Painful Spectacle of Finding Oneself, 2010; second-hand clothing, wood, steel, 12 x 12 x 72 inches

Lalani Nan

Gray, 2006, oil on linen, 52 x 46 inches

Lalani Nan, with wall text is just to the left of the entrance

View from the opposite end of the gallery

With Melander, Jennifer Cecere, Marshall, Herzog, Starr, Scott

Jennifer Cecere

Mother, 2011, ripstop nylon, 96 inches diameter

Now we move to the Eisenberg Gallery next door. The room is not quite octagonal, but it has a number of walls that are not at 90-degree angles. The result is a space that extends a kind of embrace to the work. Here we showed work on paper, all achromatic except for one spot of red, which you'll see in the panorama below.

Peeking into the Eisenberg Gallery

This panorama distorts the angles of thgallery, but you can see that it's not a white cube. Many who viewed the work in this room described the space as "meditative", which is appropriate give the low-key presence of the work. Artists are identified in the subsequent photos, as we work clockwise through the space

Carly Glovinski

Untitled (dishrag), ink and correction fluid on paper, 16 x 9 x 6.5 inches

Sam Moyer

Close Screen, 2011, india ink on paper, 22 x 30 inches

Caroline Burton

Untitled (tape 1), 2006; tape, thread, wire, metal, 12.5 x 10 x 2.5 inches

 Aric Obrosey

Untitled, 2006, charcoal on paper, 30 x 22.5 inches

Gelah Penn

Big Blackfil #1, 2010; monofilament, mosquito netting, plastic mesh, acrylic and graphite on Yupo, 60 x 38 x 6 inches

Detail below

Marietta Hoferer

B, 2011, pencil and black-lined transparent tape on paper, 21 x 21 inches

Sam Messenger

Veil from Alpheus, 2011; pen and ink, ink wash, starch past and river water on paper, 64 x 59 inches

For the third section of Textility we head up the stairs to Studio X, pausing to view the installation on the landing.

Debra Ramsay

Site-specific installation, Two, Twice With Green and Yellow, 2011, thread, fabric, paint and pins

Below: corner left detail

Peeking into Studio X

Stephen Maine

Mesh painting #11-011, 2011; acrylic, paper, plastic mesh, thermal installation, T-pins, 36 x 36 x 6 inches

Detail below , with shadow as part of the work

Touring the gallery clockwise: Stephen Maine is just to the left out of view. Here, Elisa D'Arrigo, Pip Culbert; foreground, Joell Baxter

Elisa D'Arrigo

Byzantine Homage 1, 2005, cloth, acrylic paint, thread; 35 x 35 x 3 inches

Detail below

Pip Culbert

Patchwork, Blue and Pale Blue, 2011, cotton and pins, 41 x 27 inches

Detail below

Culbert, Grace DeGennaro, Baxter

Grace DeGennaro

Weaving, 2007, oil on linen, 26 x 16 inches

Panoramic view as we circle past the entrance and continue around the gallery: DeGennaro, Ken Weathersby

Weathersby, Baxter

Ken Weathersby

179 (twn), 2010; acrylic paint film with removed areas over wood scaffold over linen; two panels, each 24 x 19 inches

Detail below

Joell Baxter

Endless Day (For G.M.B), 2011, screenprinted paper and glue; 46 x 46 x 5 inches

Detail below

The exhibition catalog is online here. You can read essays by both curators and see additional images of the artists' work

In Surface Design Journal 

By Reviewer: Patricia Malarcher, Fall 2012 issue
(Expand your window to see the text legibly)