browngrotta arts presents Adaptation: Artists Respond to Change
May 14 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 10:00 am, repeating until May 16, 2021
James Bassler My Letterman Yantra, 2012, photo by Tom Grotta
browngrotta arts is pleased to announce their Spring 2021 “Art in the Barn” exhibition, Adaptation: Artists Respond to Change. The exhibition looks at the myriad ways artists change direction or their practice in response to changed circumstances like a move, a health issue, a shift in personal circumstances, or, more recently, a global pandemic.
“Over the last year, by necessity, we’ve grown more introspective, more insular and more aware of our interconnectedness,” note the exhibition’s curators, Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown. “We’ve had to acknowledge our permeable national boundaries, shared air, the limits of personal space.”
The artists who work with browngrotta arts have coped with the changes the pandemic has wrought in various ways — moving locations, taking up art photography, taking new inspiration from nature. Their responses were the impetus for the theme the gallery will explore in the exhibition but these recent adaptations reflect just some of the many reasons artists make changes in their art practice.
Adaptation: Artists Respond to Change also explores situations such as when a material becomes unavailable (willow) or a new one suggests itself (fiber optic, bronze, copper, steel, kibisio, akebia), a move in the US from the East to the South or from one country to another or from the city to the desert, a change in physical abilities (allergy, injury), an altered personal relationship, or a commission opportunity or an exhibition challenge.
For Yasuhisa Kohyama, for example, it was a natural disaster that led to a new artistic approach. In 1982, he lost his kiln to heavy rains. As a result, he changed his sculpture from Japanese traditional shapes to sculpted works made from large blocks of Shigaraki clay.
Irina Kolesnikova found her work changing in response to this year’s events when travel and trips to museums and galleries came to an end. “Suddenly, life was put on pause, our social circle reduced to the size of our immediate environment,” she says. “In these circumstances, I felt a need to dive deeper into myself to realize the direction in which I should act and work.” The result was a series of small works, Letters from Quarantine in which small handwritten fragments are layered or mixed with scraps of printed texts and with large letters or numbers created with a brush.
Sara Brennan and Keiji Nio found images from nature influencing their work as they were forced to remain indoors. Trees that Brennan had driven by each day on her former commute appeared in her work. Nio found images of brightly colored plants an inspiration, transforming them into brightly colored fabric tapes from which he braids three-dimensional forms. Polly Sutton took a short detour, the result of not being in the woods gathering and not thinking about showing work led her to explore some new ideas involving lashing new materials onto the cedar she customarily uses. Adaptation will include two of the baskets that resulted. They are truly period pieces, reflecting a specific time. Sutton says that now, “I am more centered so am back to more intentional work with rusted cedar.”
For Ane Henriksen, change resulted from a move from the countryside to the city. Relocated to Copenhagen, she found and gathered loads of lost gloves and mittens along the cycle paths. The work that resulted paralleled her personal transition to city dweller. “From this poetic waste material – a kind of urban fall – new growths can arise,” Henriksen observes. In her piece for Adaptation, she makes gloves float between threads resulting in a kind of Urban Growth.
Artists include Adela Akers (US), Polly Barton (US), James Bassler (US), Zofia Butrymowicz (Poland), Sara Brennan (UK), Pat Campbell (US), Włodzimierz Cygan (Poland), Neha Puri Dhir (India), Paul Furneaux (UK), John Garrett (US), Ane Henriksen (Denmark), Kazue Honma (Japan), Tim Johnson (UK), Lewis Knauss (US), Nancy Koenigsberg (US), Yasuhisa Kohyama (Japan), Irina Kolesnikova (Russia/Germany), Lawrence LaBianca (US), Gyöngy Laky (US), Sue Lawty (UK), Jennifer Falck Linssen (US), Federica Luzzi (Italy), Rachel Max (UK), John McQueen (US), Mary Merkel-Hess (US), Norma Minkowitz (US), Laura Foster Nicholson (US), Keiji Nio (Japan), Gudrun Pagter (Denmark), Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila (Venezuela), Mariette Rousseau-Vermette (Canada), Heidrun Schimmel (Germany), Hisako Sekijima (Japan), Naoko Serino (Japan), Karyl Sisson (US), Jin-Sook So (Korea/Sweden), Polly Sutton (US), Noriko Takamiya (Japan), Chiyoko Tanaka (Japan), Blair Tate (US), Wendy Wahl (US), Gizella K Warburton (UK), Grethe Wittrock (Denmark), Carolina Yrarrázaval (Chile).
The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog #51 of the same title.
Advanced time reservations are mandatory. To ensure the well-being of all visitors and staff, there will be a maximum capacity of 15 visitors per time slot. Surfaces will be disinfected between reservations. Masks will be required.
For all media inquiries, contact State Public Relations at (646) 714 – 2520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About browngrotta arts
For over 30 years, browngrotta arts has been advancing the field of contemporary fiber arts by curating and exhibiting renowned contemporary artists who celebrate the exploration of fiber art techniques and drive the unique possibilities of soft materials. Representing many of the artists who have helped define modern fiber art since the 1950s, browngrotta arts reflects the cultivated eye and intellect of its directors, husband and wife team, Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown.
Founded in 1987 in Wilton, Connecticut, browngrotta arts showcases unique sculptural and mixed media works with an emphasis on concept, supported by technique. The focus of the work is on the materials and the technical mastery of the artist as intrinsic to the significance of the work, prioritizing aesthetic value over utility. Museum-quality artworks by more than 100 international artists are represented through art catalogs, art fairs, co-partnered exhibits at museums, retail spaces, and an online gallery.
The founders open their private home – a two-story barn built in 1895 expanded and contemporized by architect David Ling in 2000 – for “Art in the Barn”, a unique annual salon-style exhibition. Over 3500-square feet of space with a viewing vista of 55’ allows for experiencing works that reflect complex illusionary space. The 21’ high ceilings permit the installation of tall sculptures and two free-standing walls enable dramatically shaped fiber structures best hung off the wall. The living environment also grants the artwork to be shown in situ. browngrotta arts has published 50 art catalogs and placed works in private and corporate collections in the US and abroad, including the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum. They also regularly work with architects and interior designers offering consultation for commissioned artworks and site-specific installation for commercial and residential spaces. A selection of works is on view and available for sales inquiries at browngrotta.com