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Fiber and Form: The Woman's Legacy

June 13 – September 3, 1996


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The New York Times, June 28,1996

by Holland Cotter

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Press Release

Artists included in this exhibition: Hannelore Baron, Lee Bontecou, Nancy Grossman, Eve Peri, Anne Ryan, Betye Saar, and Lenore Tawney

Fiber and Form: The Woman’s Legacy, focuses on seven female artists who have consistently incorporated the act of sewing and/or fiber in their two and three dimensional works, celbrating the female artist’s inclination to sew and the reinterpretation of traditional utilitarian materials including linen, leather, cotton, burlap, and lace. Historically, women from a very young age have been taught by their female elders to sew in order to provide articles of clothing, warmth and decoration. Respect, honor and desirability were all attributes obtainable as a result of proficiency. In addition, words or found objects have often been incorporated into the hand-made objects stating sentiments of endearment or documenting a specific family or historical event.

Continuing in this tradition, are the seven women included in this exhibition. However for each of these artists, the selection of the material and the manner of expression, although rooted in woman’s history, is a direct connection with their own personal history. The works, whether a Betye Saar handkerchief collage, a Nancy Grossman leather head, or a Lenore Tawney weaving, are free of domesticity and resonate the artists conscious or unconscious commitment to fiber and needlework. It is only natural that some of the artists included in Fiber and Form sewed or worked with fiber as a means to earn a living; Eve Peri was a textile designer and Nancy Grossman a sewer in a clothing factory.