Monday, March 21, 2011

New York--Museum of Art and Design (Global Africa Project)

While I was in New York last week, I had the opportunity to go to a few museums--the Museum of Modern Art, The American Folk Art Museum (There are two of them; I visited both.), and the Museum of Art and Design. I will be posting pictures of fiber/textile art (and a bit of other "stuff" I found interesting) over the next week or so. Yet to come...stunning quilts from "The Year of the Quilt" exhibits at the American Folk Art Museum and fabulous tapestries from the Museum of Art and Design.

The following pieces come from an exhibit called “The Global Africa Project.” (You can click on any picture to get a close up.)

For those of you who love beads and beading, these first pieces are a real treat.

Joyce Scott (United States, b. 1948) had several pieces in the exhibit. The first piece is “Voices” created in 1993 from glass beads, thread, chain, and synthetic faceted disks.

“Lovers” (neckpiece) was made in 2002 from glass beads and thread. 
“Red Hot” (2010)—Diagonal bead weaving over teapot form. (Sorry the picture is a bit blurry.)
These two framed pictures are quite substantial in size. They are each made up of thousands and thousands of beads of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I am a beginning beader, so you can only imagine my fascination with them! I think I stood (in awe) and stared at them for at least twenty minutes.

The label by the framed pieces said, “Ubuhle Beads; Artist: Noluvuya Niza (South Africa, b. 1985) under guidance of master beader Mangutshana Nontanga (South Africa, b. 1967).”
I didn't think you could tell the amount of work involved unless you got a couple of close up shots. I'm still amazed when I look at them.

The piece above is called Umontho (Wealth), 2008 and is made of fabric and glass beads. Ubuhle Beads was established in 2000 by Ntombephi Ntombela and Bev Gibson in South Africa who (in 2002) opened a retail outlet and a restaurant in the KwanZulu-Natal Midlands. Ntombela, the chief beader, has taught beading skills to over 200 women, who create beaded pictures as well as jewelry. These skills provide a path to economic independence. In addition, a percentage of the profit from sales is used for community improvements in housing, education, and medical awareness. 
I had to get a couple of close ups of this one too.
The piece above is called “Fame,” 2007; made with fabric and glass beads by artist Bongiswa Ntobela (South Africa 1968-2009).

Nophumzile Mangali of South Africa made this next piece which is “Untitled” in 2003-2004. It is made of glass beads, thread, fabric, stuffing, and wire armature. Mangali is associated with the South African-based collaborative Monkey Biz which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2010. A community of more than 450 bead artists, Monkey Biz focuses on women’s economic empowerment and health development in South Africa. Departing from the culture of mass produced curio craft, each Monkey Biz artwork is unique and is signed by the artists, ensuring that individual artists receive recognition for their work. All of the profits from the sales of artworks are reinvested back into community services, including weekly soup kitchens, yoga and drama, as well as a burial fund for artists and their families.
These two quilt--kawandis--were created by Siddi women for family members from pieces of old clothing collected by the quilters. A cotton sari forms the backing of the kwandis and quilters stitch around the shape of the sari fixing the patches with a running back stitch that eventually covers the entire quilt. The stitches exhibit a distinctive rhythm that is part of the “visual signature” of each quilter. The artist chooses the colors, sizes, shapes, and designs of the cloth patches. (Artists—Ramijab Madarsahib and Kairumbi Karimsahib (India).)
Aren't the colors and designs interesting. They make me smile.
Algernon Miller (United States, b. 1945) in collaboration with Sanaa Gateja (Uganda, b. 1950) and the Kwetu Afrika Womens Association Angels—KAWAA created “Change” in 2010. It is made entirely from beads fabricated from recycled Barack Obama presidential campaign literature. This piece is extremely large and dense. I cannot imagine how long it must have taken to make.
This is a close up of the beads which make up this entire piece. I have made a few paper and fabric beads in my time, and it is no quick task. This piece was spectacular!
This picture is of the fringe at the bottom of the piece. I guess you can tell I was just fascinated with it all!
This is another really large piece—that and the graphic black and white of the piece grabbed my attention first. I thought it had been printed with all these different symbols, but each symbol is appliqued to the background fabric. The piece is called “The Invisible Masters” and was dated 2008. It was made by Rachid Koraichi (France, b. Algeria, 1947). Rachid said, “I want to demonstrate that the world of Islam, in contrast to contemporary perceptions of crisis and violence, has another side entirely, evident in the tolerant, sophisticated writings of the great Muslim thinkers and poets. While these “Masters” may no longer be present, I want to reveal their imprint on succeeding generations. Their message as relevant today as it was when first written down.”
This close up gives you a better idea of the hand work involved in making this large piece.
“Golden Crown” was made in 2010 by Xenobia Bailey (United States, b. 1958). It is made of cotton, acrylic yarn, and metallic thread. I absolutely loved the colors and the whimsical nature of this hat. (I got “yelled at” for taking this picture; I forgot to turn off my flash! Oooops!)
“Tall, Multi-colored Royal Crown for the Urban Wizard”, 2009, was also made by Xenobia Bailey. It is made of cotton and acrylic yarn.
I can't say enough about the exhibits at this museum. If you get a chance to go, definitely do. If you don't, I hope you have enjoyed a little piece of the wonderful works on display there. Let me know what you think. Which piece is your favorite?


Laura said...

I can't tell you which is my favorite--I've never tried beading, don't seem to have any extra time! The beadwork in these pieces is amazing, it must have taken forever. Aren't you happy that you're retired and get to see all this great artwork? I'm so jealous!

Quilt or Dye said...

Thanks for sharing!

Tonya Ricucci said...

fantastic! Wish I could see these in person too.