Saturday, July 08, 2006

web site and art issues

I have finally updated my website. If you are just interested in the new pieces, you can scroll down on the first, home page, to new quilts and take a look. The new pieces are in the abstract gallery and the sun gallery. I have posted all of the pieces made for Quilting Arts Magazine along with several other new pieces, several of which have been shown here but have now been professionally photographed.

The Art Quilt list is back to "Is it art?" again. Unfortunately, too many people just don't get the big picture. There are so many levels to this whole question. Anyone can call something art but then, the question is, is it good art? I get very few quilting magazines and many more art magazines. It is really interesting to see what is being presented in the world of painting as opposed to quilting.

I think that pieces that are art quilts that show up in quilt shows are not always very good art. Sometimes they just try too hard.

Textile pieces (quilts, fiber, etc) that show up in art shows are another matter. They are juried in based on the art and workmanship. ( and I don't mean the stitches to the inch type of workmanship, but the overall quality). And the heavily embellished pieces don't usually make it to art shows. I think that if one really wants to see art, that happens to be fiber, would be in the shows that Joanie San Chirico curates. Not the type of work that the people on the art quilt list do!

It is also so sad that people are quick to negatively comment and miss the entire idea of the comments made on the list. I believe that most of those who get defensive are, unfortunately, those whose "art" is the weakest. The reason behind my doing the articles for Quilting Arts was to help educate people about the art part of quilting. Embellishment, new techniques, etc., do not make art. If you look at some of the modern art, it really isn't about the finished product, but about the experience of the creation...therein lies the art! Creating is a process and works best when one understands the rules of the medium used. Once one firmly grasps the rules, then they can be broken with knowledge and intent.

I used to do a lot of pottery on the wheel. I really loved it and admired those who did distressed work...work that had bangs in to them, etc. But I couldnot flop a pot off kilter until I had learned to make one that was perfectly centered and even. Then, the piece was strong enough to get whopped and whacked out of round! But it had to have been made properly before I could do something else with it.

The same goes with art. If one has not learned to use the medium correctly and well, then it just doesn't work. There will always be art that is considered outsider art...that which defies all of the rules but somehow works. But we generally see too many "technique" pieces at quilt shows and not enough art. The comments about older work being art is so true. But not all older work fits the art definition. The good, old pieces have outstanding use of color, balance, design and workmanship that are so often missing in today's art quilt world. As Rayna Gillman says, we are too insular and need to get out in to the world (well, she sort of said that!)

10 comments:

fiber artist said...

Liz....how about "we to insular and need to get out of the "bed"....even members of our CFA group still think we're making bed quilts, not art!!! If you can't convince fellow "artists" that it's are, how can you convince the others. See you Monday!! Louise

PaMdora said...

Hey Liz, really like Sun 21! But what does it mean about the stretched part? I've never seen that on a description. I think you're absolutely right about the art discussion, but the truth is probably that the ones that don't get it now, probably never will. One or two maybe, but not many.

Felicity said...

That list generates a lot of anger and negativity, it's quite incredible to me that some of these people are creatives. When I was teaching I used to tell the ladies to learn the rules before they broke the rules.Those that didn't get the first bit seemed to me to be the least open to new ideas!

Michele said...

Your "is it art comments" are right on. Art is a process. It is the learning and practice of skill and technique. It comes from within your soul and the end piece is a part of who you are. I can look at a Matisse, a Rembrandt or a Liz Berg and think..."Wow, how incredible is that?" And even tho I don't comprehend his art, Picasso, will still get me to look at the lines and his use of color and still think..."wow". What matter is it that instead of paint and canvas you use dye and fabric? There are too many people who cannot think outside of the box and understand that quilts can be more then functional. And it is the people who think out of the box who gave us some of the beauty and conveniences of todays living.

Beverly said...

Just curious- for someone wanting to venture out of the quilty world, which one periodical would you recommend? I've perused some at Borders and B & N, and they struck me as mainly a lot of advertisements.
BTW, your articles in QA were the best part of the last two issues. Your pieces, especially the last three with the circles as part of the design, sang to me in a way more "busy" pieces (like the painting on Rayna's blog!) don't.

Gerrie said...

As usual, you are spot on and so articulate about this. Sometimes, I think I shoyuld just roll up my tent and go home. But don't think so - I'm hanging in there.

TALL GIRL said...

Liz..how well you have stated your point. I quit the QA list months ago because of this very same ad nauseum, ego-driven discussion. And I frankly wonder when those people have time to make art?!

I rather direct that my inner fire into creating new work.

Anonymous said...

Exactly why I left Quilt Art List. Too much gossip and disparity plus if I read one more "me too" I would hurl!!
But isn't this what Michael James said a few years ago and got slammed for?
I get more excited looking at glass and pottery than "Art Quilts." It seems Art Quilts are more about tricks and embellishment than content.
Personally I have had better luck getting juried into art shows than quilt shows. I called myself a Mixed Media Textile Artist, I find quilter to narrow a description to anyone that doesn't know what an Art Quilt is, i.e. most people!!!
Mary Ann
See my work at Best of 2006, Ohio Designer Craftsman Show

Joanie said...

Thanks for mentioning the shows I've been curating over the past few years. I've worked extremely hard to get the art buying public to recognize what we do as art.

Rayna said...

Yeah, I sort of said that. And you said a lot more, LizzieB! Not my week to be writing a lot of stuff, but you are right about everything so I just second it all.