Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...
The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...
Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...
Blum & Poe announces a survey exhibition of sculpture by Swiss-born artist Françoise Grossen. On view will be works from 1967-1991 including Swan (1967), loaned from the Museum of Arts and Design, New York and originally shown in the groundbreaking 1969 exhibition Wall Hangings at the Museum of Modern Art. This is Grossen's first solo-presentation with Blum & Poe and her first survey in the United States.
Emerging in the late 1960s alongside contemporaries such as Eva Hesse, Sheila Hicks, and Lenore Tawney, Grossen sought to relinquish the traditional tools and methods of textile and fiber art, instead utilizing a free-hand braiding and knotting technique allowing for greater freedom and spontaneity in her process. Works appear simultaneously weightless and weighted, both masculine and feminine, all the while reinforcing their objecthood.
Grossen's knotted and plaited rope sculptures eschew the four edges that delimited traditional tapestry, and boldly enter the third dimension by hanging from the ceiling or unfolding directly onto the floor. Grossen pushes beyond this initial rupture with the rectangle and the wall to explore the weight of her material and its response to gravity, an investigation that aligns her art with broader artistic debates taking place in New York and elsewhere. (Jenelle Porter, Fiber: Sculpture 1960-Present [Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art, 2014], 198)
Having studied architecture and later textile design at Kunstgewerbeschule Basel and at UCLA with Bernard Kester in the 1960s, Grossen became keenly aware of her ability to bring fiber sculpture into unexpected and experimental realms (hanging from the ceiling, draped on the ground or over pedestals, floating in bodies of water). Grossen's interest in the weight and physical composition of her chosen material is evident in her earliest hanging manila rope sculptures, Study for Embarcadero (1970) and Sisyphe (1974), as well as in later hand-painted and dyed Metamorphosis (1987-1990) works. Humble materials, drawn from nature and manipulated in the studio, are coaxed into elegantly intertwined and draping forms, elevating the utilitarian to something extraordinary.
Françoise Grossen (b. 1943 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland) lives and works in New York City. Recent group exhibitions include Fiber: Sculpture 1960-Present, which was held at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and traveled to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH and the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA (2014-2015). Her work is in international public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC; and the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Installation view, 2015
Blum & Poe, New York
Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe
Human figures seem to lurk in almost all of Françoise Grossen‘s folded, knotted, and coiled rope sculptures. They are resolutely abstract, the elaborate assembly of their drooping and dangling materials inviting close inspection, but seen from a distance their proportions, silhouettes, and the weight with which many of them hang a little...
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