The Seraphin Gallery is pleased to present, Wear the Art, an exhibition of wearable art by five of the nation's top artists working in fiber.
Fiber arts literally surround us from the cradle to the grave—and, as such, are arguably those most taken for granted even as they contain tremendous meaning. While they have been denigrated as domestic and personal, wearable art can also plays an important role in everything from sumptuary laws to labor struggles, reminding us that fiber art can be both public and political.
For centuries, weaving has been the primary means to produce clothes. Symbols, materials, and color identified class and position within the context of society. But with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the line between industry and handcraft became blurred giving artists the opportunity to dissolve the centuries old barrier that once separated the avant-garde and mass culture, masterpiece and kitsch, and art and everyday life. In the process, artists had recognized the meaningful role of “the ordinary.”
Wear the Art is in part what David McFadden, chief curator of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, spoke of in “The Blur Zone: Art, Craft and Design Today.” The lecture highlighted the interpenetration of art, craft and design marking a new indistinguishable category: one which the artist is not defined by his or her medium, but where the materials are simply descriptive of their art.
Each of the participating artists in Wear the Art employs spools of thread made from silk, cotton and rayon to start the process of creating fabric. Artist Arlene Wohl (San Rafael) uses silk and cotton to weave subtle organic tones found in nature. Joan McGee (Sarasota) mixes ancient Japanese shibori patterns with designs from around the world to create her color infused garments. Artist Robin Bergman (Concord) wields over-saturated colors to create her eccentric garments in chenille and Mina Norton (New York City) creates futuristic garments with exaggerated shapes and graphic patterns with cotton and rayon. Cecilia Frittelli and her partner Richard Lockwood (Saratoga Springs) reinterpret traditional menswear patterns, weaving men and women's jackets in silk, cotton, and rayon.
Through the means of weaving and knitting, each of the artists makes his or her vision into a more convenient canvas. A canvas one may wear.
-Susan Shain, Curator
Seraphin Gallery l Philadelphia Contemporary Art Gallery and Art Consultant
1108 Pine St. l 215-923-7000 l firstname.lastname@example.org