Historically in art, there was a hierarchy of artistic production. Typically painting was seen as the highest form of art, followed by sculpture. Textile production: i.e. weaving, sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint and petit point were “crafts” that were typically done by women inside the home. In the 21st century, artists are using textiles in their art production, and it questions the designation of textile art as “craft” as opposed to fine art.
The five artworks in today’s list examine the prejudice towards domestic pursuits. Some artists consider textiles in art as an ode to the home. But some consider how using textiles in their art can break the boundaries of this association and investigate stereotypically domestic materials in a way that challenges long held beliefs about domesticity and identity.
Read on to see five textile-based artworks on Art Dealer St and learn more about the artists who created them.
1. Deco2 by Ana-Maria Panaitescu
Ana-Maria Panaitescu is a contemporary artist from Romania. Panaitescu uses wood, canvas, cardboard, paper, metal and oil colors along with silicon, acrylics, polystyrene and strong glue. Panaitescu says, “my intention is to use just a few elements and see how much I can transmit to people who are watching, in assemblage, textile art and in painting.” She subscribes to the tenet that less is more. Created last year in 2022, Deco2 is an example of a fabric-based work of hers. She creates these small, square-shaped miniature textiles with many different colors and types of thread. Deco2 has a wispy quality that reminds me of a favorite childhood treat.
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2. North Lizzie by Riley Lauren Lynch
Interdisciplinary artist, Riley Lauren Lynch is from Chicago, IL. They work in a number of different mediums including sculpture, printmaking, fibrous mediums and illustration. Lynch uses beading, embroidery and weaving to create their fiber collages. One example of their fibre-based work is North Lizzie, which revolves around themes of domesticity, labor, and healing through the solace and comfort of “home.” Lynch uses textiles to work against the stereotypes of mediums largely viewed as craft and push back against the prejudice of it.
3. Nikolay-2 and A. Feodorovna by Zakir Ahmedov
Contemporary artist Zakir Ahmedov creates fantastic pieces of artwork that honor culture, history, and modern life. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Ahmedov is known for his sculptures and paintings. However, a unique example of his work is this wool carpet representing Tsar Nikolay II and his wife A. Feodorovna. Over a period of three years in 1998, Ahmedov hand wove this carpet from a photograph of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II with his wife Feodorovna.
4. Tending my Yard by Simone Athena Scigousky
Simone Athena Scigousky is a Chicago-based artist whose art highlights the different parts of their identity including the Greek, American, queer and feminine parts. Scigousky examines femininity, domesticity, queerness, comfort and resistance within their art. Featuring a technicolor palette, Scigousky’s Tending My Yard juxtaposes the memories of their childhood home and memories with their current identity. Tending My Yard is characteristic of Scigousky’s campy and sparkly aesthetic.
5. The Idiot by Tony A. Blue
Florida native, Tony A. Blue is an artist that, for the past 50+ years, has worked in a variety of mediums to achieve conceptual and striking images. When creating his expressionistic canvases, Blue lets his imagination run wild. This mixed media on canvas, The Idiot, includes strips of fabric, paper and splotches and blobs of paint against an abstracted background. Created in 2020, the image is meant to be a light-hearted painting of the town idiot and, Blue claims, it is “sprinkled with fairy dust!”
Is it just me or does something more sinister lay beneath the bucket helmet?