Friday, 4 November 2011

EYE 95: The Interstate as Access to Visual Delight: American Craft Museum / Manhattan

Cathead basket in progress by Tressa Sularz

I skipped across the street still under the spell of the Glass Art Society’s heavenly pitstop in these parts last month. “The Saxe Collection: Contemporary American and European Glass” from the Oakland Museum is all right, world class glass squiggling—the only figurative piece in the show is a Czech’s portrait of the glass collecting couple.

But “Interlacing: The Elemental Fabric,” curated by Jack Lenor Larsen, is simply the most stimulating show I have seen in ten years. It boldly announces the astonishing thesis that plaiting fabrics is the first human art form. And it playfully presents this view with photos of overwhelming credibility. Women fixing their hair, baskets, houses, all of this elemental stuff from the beginning of human history beguilingly paired with contemporary fibre art.

I came to check out the glass and ended up enchanted by a brilliant historical essay by a man of fibre. This should end forever that stupid art / craft dichotomy. Don’t you dare miss this one.

From Art Matters, July 1987

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