Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Mixed Greens’ enterprising group exhibition “Common Thread,” on view through August 28, positions a 1973 Bauhaus grid study by Anni Albers and Ellen Lesperance’s 2009 grid-based gouache deconstruction of her pre-Josef Albers sweater pattern as aesthetic and cultural springboards for work by nine contemporary female artists. Restively contemplating traditional gender associations, these artists jettison the “iconic brushstroke” in favor of extrusion and fiber art. While duly recognizing their antecedents, they appear determined to move forward.
[Image at top: Ellen Lesperance; 1921, Anni Fleischmann Demonstrates Simultaneous Contrast Herself with the Help of a Knitted I-Cord Necklace; It Would Be a Year Before Even Meeting Josef Albers; 2009; gouache and graphite on tea stained paper; 22 × 29 inches.]
Appropriately, curator Heather Darcy Bhandari accords pride of place to three of Leslie Wayne’s celebrated “rag” paintings, in which she intricately folds thoroughly worked and conventionally rectangular paint skins to create three-dimensional works that resemble dishcloths, at once referencing and escaping the confinement of gender identity. For each painting Wayne draws on extant art – Paul Klee’s Characters in Yellow for one, Adinkra symbols used in Ghanaian textiles for the second, and a Joseph Hoffman drawing for the third – and thus suggests inclusive continuity as well as departure.
Wendy Edwards, BOD, 2005, oil on canvas on board, 26 × 24 inches.
Angela Teng, Golden Boy, 2015, crocheted acrylic paint on alu panel, 20 x 16 inches.
Danielle Mysliwiec, Nocturne IV, 2015, oil on linen covered wood panel, 54 × 9 inches.
Sarah Esme Harrison, Rug 15, 2015, oil on panel, 24 × 18 inches.
Michelle Grabner, Untitled (todo), 2007, Flashe and gesso on canvas, 80 × 80 inches.
UPDATE: We are sorry to learn via their Tumblr that 2015 will be the last year for Mixed Greens: “After sixteen years of programming, our final show will close on December 22, 2015…”
These threads are queer
Textility: Idiosyncratic materiality at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey