Liza Lou update
August 12, 2009

Liza Lou, Continuous Mile

Liza Lou, "Continuous Mile"

This is an update to my April post about Liza Lou’s fascinating beadwork.

Congratulations to Liza Lou. Her recent (2007-2008) beaded sculpture, Continuous Mile (seen above), is on a two-year loan from the artist to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

When I saw this impressive piece at the L&M Arts Gallery in December,  I didn’t think that it could possibly have been beaded until I got close enough to see the sparkle. It is a mile-long length of cotton rope that has been twisted with white glass beads and coiled into a big sculpture approximately 77 inches in diameter by 32 inches in height.

As I mentioned in my previous article, Liza Lou now does her labor-intensive artwork in South Africa with highly skilled Zulu bead workers, and the names of the 44 artisans who were her collaborators on Continuous Mile are listed on the gallery wall.

Continuous Mile can be seen on the second floor of the Met’s Lila Acheson Wallace wing until January 2011.

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2008 Weave of the week #9: Kente cloth
September 26, 2008

Kente cloth strip

Kente cloth strip

This week’s featured weave is a piece of Kente cloth from Ghana. I chose it from my collection (detail below) because it relates to two separate exhibitions of African textiles opening in NYC this month.

Kente detail

Kente detail

“The Poetics of Cloth,” at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, http://www.nyu.edu/greyart, opened recently and will be on view until Jan. 26, 2009. I haven’t seen the show yet but hope to do so soon.  It includes both traditional and contemporary African textiles.

And on Sept. 30 the Metropolitan Museum of Art will present “The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End.”  I don’t think that there has been a major exhibition of African textiles in New York since the Museum of Modern Art’s gorgeous show in 1972, so having two open in the same month is reason to celebrate. www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={6EB15EDD-CFF8-4E7B-AA28-573CAB5230D5}

Speaking of museum openings, the former American Craft Museum has shed “American Craft” from its name and left its awful W. 53rd St. space, and will emerge on Sept. 27 as the Museum of Arts and Design, at the renovated “lollipop building”  on Columbus Circle. See www.madmuseum.org for their new mission statement and exhibition details.

Exhibition alerts for NY’s flightiest: featherwork, superheroes, balloon sculpture
August 22, 2008

Koons' balloon dog sculpture

Koons's balloon dog sculpture

“Radiance from the Rain Forest: Featherwork in Ancient Peru” is a special exhibition (open only through Sept. 1) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I haven’t seen the exhibition yet, but the other exhibitions of Andean featherwork that I have seen, and the spectacular images on the Met’s website, suggest that it will be wonderful. According to the Met’s website, “This is the first exhibition at an American art museum to focus exclusively on the subject.” http://www.metmuseum.org/special/radiance_rainforest/featherwork_more.asp. Here is an example of Peruvian featherwork.

Shirt detail

Shirt detail

Another apparel exhibition that will be of interest to some of us (perhaps not the same demographic), “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy,” will also be at The Met until Sept. 1. Both Giorgio Armani and Condé Nast (?!) were involved in organizing the exhibition, which includes movie costumes, haute couture, and high-performance sportwear. http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={5B98D8A0-AB67-4137-8F5E-873FDB82EE73}

If you have any energy left, or are insanely obsessive about rounding off your metaphors, you might want to visit Jeff Koons’s (metal) balloon sculpture in the roof garden. www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={5F785871-78A9-41C4-AEDA-773CA0F10F03}