Monday, January 07, 2008

Odds and Ends - Part One

Preparation for an Invasion of Chinese Soldiers.
Last month I was excited to learn that portions of Emperor Qin's Terra Cotta Army is going to be on display at the National Geographic Society Museum. I found the press release... it turns out they'll be in DC beginning November 2009. I don't even know if I'll be in DC come November 2009!

Textile Museum
Gretchen and I spent a portion of our weekend visiting the Textile Museum, which is tucked away in the Kalorama neighborhood of DC, north of Dupont Circle on S street between Connecticut and Massachusetts Avenues. It was the final day of Textiles of Klimt's Vienna, which displayed an array of fabric samples from the Weiner Werkstatte, which date back to the turn of the last century. I suppose Klimt was used in the title because if you mention Kolomon Moser or Joseph Hoffmann to anyone as an influential designer, you'll get a strange look. Gustav Klimt, however did "that kiss painting. Right?"

A surprise was seeing the work of Lia Cook, who creates photo-representational tapestries. In the summer of 2005 I got to hang one of those tapestries at the CCVA Gallery in Chautauqua, New York, when I was working there as an assistant gallery manager. Of late, Chuck Close has been receiving a lot of attention for his recent exhibition of tapestries at Adamson Gallery, and his tapestries closely resemble some of Cook's (and probably sell for double or triple).

There is a discrepancy between what we define as art and what we define as craft.

Etymology Lesson
While on holiday in Boulder, I thumbed through a book on Etymology. The first word I looked up was art. If I read the text correctly, the word first appeared in the 13th Century. It's meaning then: the execution and application of a craft.

Annie Leibovitz at the Corcoran.
I interviewed Paul Roth several months ago about this and Ansel Adam's exhibitions. Unfortunately, I haven't had a time to venture down there, until this weekend. Gretchen and I trapsed from 23rd and S (Textile Museum) to 17th and E to see the exhibit. Instead, we saw a line. A long line. Stretched along 17th Street, from the front door to E street. As encouraging as it was to see a line in front of a DC museum, after walking two miles to get there I was a bit irritated. It's funny, people won't go to an exhibit if they don't know an artist - which is the very reason why they should go. However, show an photographer readily available at any magazine stand, or on a calendar, the masses flock.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


We were pleased to see a connection drawn between the tapestries of Lia Cook and Chuck Close, and to see these woven works prompting a renewed interest in the relationship between 'craft' and fine art. The color matching and weave file construction techniques used to create tapestries by Close (and other artists) were developed at Magnolia Editions; we published the woven editions on display at Adamson, and in 2004 we published a tapestry edition by Cook as well. Please have a look at our website for more about our efforts to make this ancient 'craft' a viable medium for contemporary artists.

Nick at Magnolia Editions