Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm baaaaaaack!

I'm finally getting back to my blog after 6 stressful months.  First my only brother became very ill in Berlin, Germany the end of July and I spent over 3 weeks with him at the hospital.  He passed away early in October. When I got home after his death I found I had my own health challenges to face.  But I'm back!  I finally am feeling a new normal and started back to my former job at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) as a docent in their galleries.  It feels great to be surrounded by great artwork again and having the opportunity to share what I've learned about the exhibited work with our visitors.

Right now we have an inspiring exhibition called Manipulated: Contemporary Conceptual Photography which includes to my delight three 6' x 8' double woven jacquard tapestries by the artist Chuck Close.  One image is of the artist in color from a large format 20x24" Polaroid camera, a second is of artist Lorna Simpson in black and white including threads of light blue, beige, reds incorporated from that same Polaroid camera and the third is of artist Roy Lichtenstein in stark, very detailed black, white, and grays from one of Close's daguerrotypes. 

Close has his jacquard tapestries woven in Belgium through Magnolia Editions an Oakland, California fine arts company.  They help develop a very large set of digital instructions referred to as a weave file which can communicate with the computerized Dornier loom.  The warp threads are specially dyed Italian cotton; the 17.800 threads are woven 75 rows per centimeter.  Eight different colored warp threads are woven with ten weft colors.  These color palettes are proofed to get just the right combination of values to best capture the original.  “There is more raw data in one weave file,” explains Daniel Farnsworth of Magnolia Editions, “than if you combined the text of all of Shakespeare’s plays.”

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