Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt
July 10 - August 29, 2009
Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt was curated by Jill Rumoshosky Werner of Wichita, Kansas. Werner selected 24 of the most notable art quilters working today to take part in the exhibit. The works selected for this exhibition represented the most current trends in art quilting, an artistic genre that has been gaining recognition as a fine art form. Many pieces were created specifically for this show. Sandra Sider writes in her essay for the exhibition catalog, "...Unlike mainstream traditional quilts, those in Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt have pushed the boundaries of the craft into the realm of art. Several artists in the exhibition were trained in design or fine art, applying those principles to fiber and textiles. Others were self-taught, augmenting that experience with workshops in techniques and processes. These individuals prefer to express their artistic goals through quilt art because the stitched texture of the medium imparts complexity and a sense of presence."
One hallmark of 21st century art is that artists, more than ever, are breaking down the walls between mediums and defying preconceived categories. On the forefront of this change are the artists who are creating quilts as art. We are all familiar with traditional bed quilts, but for several decades, contemporary artists have also used quilting as their medium of choice because it gives them an unlimited palette of visual and textural elements with which to express their ideas.
Modern Materials: the Art of the Quilt presents 24 leading American artists whose work transcends standard notions of quilting. Each person was selected because their body of work displays a unique artistic vision and a mastery of the medium. Whether conceptual or decorative, their work is more than impressive. It is truly memorable.
Many of these innovative artists have taken the idea of "quilt" to an extreme, using unconventional materials and proportions to achieve the effect they want. In addition to wall mounted work surveying a wide range of artistic styles, this exhibition also showcases three-dimensional work that is created using quilted forms, including installation art, kinetic art and sculpture.
In just a few short years, these artists have taken quilting out of the craft world and planted it firmly into the world of fine art, drawing influences and inspirations from many other styles of contemporary art, then forging new pathways of their own. Considering how far they've already come, it will be fascinating to see where they can take art quilting in the future.
-Jill Rumoshosky Werner, Curator