Saturday, February 16, 2013

Art Quilts - Part I
Art Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Below is the link to second part of this series:
Art Quilts - Part II
Art Quilts - Part III

It has been claimed that the stitching together of padding and fabric may go back to ancient Egypt. The concept of a quilt was introduced to Europe in the 12th Century by the Crusaders, who wore quilted garments. The earliest European decorative quilt is the “Tristan” quilt made in Sicily in 1360 A.D.

Quilting in the USA had its beginning in the late 18th Century. The form of the quilt rests upon a three-layered composition: the top, batting and back is sewn together to form a single unit.

While functional, quilts were considered on reflection as works of art. Art Quilts emerged as an art form in their own right in 1960s and 70s. In particular in 1971, the Whitney Museum of America held an exhibition named - “Abstract Design In American Quilts” - which brought Art Quilts to the fore to an art audience.

Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition (The Kentucky Quilt Project) [Paperback] by Jonathan Holstein can be still purchased from Amazon.

The tome – “Art Quilts A Celebration”, Editors N. Mornu, D. Cusick and K.D. Aimone, Lark Books, New York (2005) ISBN 13: 978-1-57990-711-2, presents 400 stunning contemporary quilt designs. The overview below gives you just a glimpse of some of the great quilt designs in the book. Each quilt that was presented comes with technical information and with an artist statement (omitted below). This is a must buy!

Vignette Of Art Quilt Designs

Baby Quilt, Jane Dunnewold.
Technique: Solvent transfers on silk habotai with mattress pad, gold foil on blanket binding, burned birthday candles; machine quilted and embroidered.
Size: 91.4 x 106.7 cm.

The Angel Equation, Joan Schulze.
Technique: Silk and cotton fabrics, paper; appliqued, laminated, painted, pieced, and printed; machine quilted.
Size: 144.8 x 142.2 cm.

Changes, Hollis Chatelain.
Technique: Commercial fabrics printed in Mali, Western Africa; machine pieced, hand quilted, and then hand painted.
Size: 228.6 x 170.2 cm.

Nest III, Sue Benner.
Technique: Dye and paint on silk, mono-printed, fused; machine quilted, pieced construction.
Size: 196 x 157 cm.

Smoke Veil, Wendy Lugg.
Technique: Commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabrics; machine pieced, discharged, slashed, and hand quilted.
Size: 106.7 x 134.6 cm.

Prism Quilt, Tim Harding.
Technique: Manipulated layers of silk with reverse applique process cut through quilted layers to reveal others behind the surface (including sheer silk organza sub layer); front and back hung between spacer bars to allow an open air layer and sheer sub layers to be randomly visible throughout.
Size: 152.4 x 180.3 cm.

Short Poppies Are Valuable Too, Alison Muir.
Technique: Hand-dyed and commercial silk, lame and blended fabrics; direct applique with fusing and stitches, machine quilted.
Size: 99.1 x 137.2 cm.

Life Force, Judy Hooworth.
Technique: Torn fabrics, stitched in layers to canvas; machine stitched and machine quilted.
Size: 144.8 x 137.2 cm.

Icarus, Jan Myers-Newbury.
Technique: Cotton muslin fabric hand dyed using arashi shibori technique; machined pieced and machine quilted.
Size: 139.7 x 165.1 cm.

Construction #33, Nancy Crow.
Technique: Hand-dyed cotton fabric; machine pieced and hand quilted.
Size: 165.1 x 152.4 cm.

Lunar No. 2, Bob Adams.
Technique: 100 percent cotton dye painted; pieced and rough-edged appliqued, machine stitched.
Size: 81 x 91 cm.

Crossing, Patricia Malarcher.
Technique: Linen fabric and primed canvas embellished with polyester film, paint, gold leaf, applique and screen printing; machine and hand stitched.
Size: 76 x 135 cm.

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