Thursday, November 14, 2013

urban quilting

SFChinatown (2007) 29.5" x 29.5" Dupioni silk and cotton

I ran across a new-to-me quilter a few days ago - Amy Ahlstrom. I really like the intensity of her colors, the collage-like applique technique, the layered, mash-up effect of billboards and fragments of adverts you see in the most densely populated cities. I've only seen them online, but they look so bold and funky. I suppose they are correctly categorized as "art quilts" - a genre I've never found particularly interesting - I seem to retain a sort of modernist prejudice against quilts that are "representational" - I always wonder why the quilt-maker isn't just making a painting or a photograph instead. I tend to be attracted to quilters who are interested in exploiting what I think of as the inherently 2-dimensional properties of printed and sewn fabric. In a way, Ahlstrom's work does both - since her references are objective but still flat (photos, ads, signs). I look forward to seeing how her work evolves.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Diana Vreeland is my new grrlfriend

Almost as soon as the movie started, I wasn't sure I'd be able to watch it. That voice. Gah. The affectation. The stream of pronouncements masquerading as conversation. The emphatic EVERYTHING. But then the photos and magazine layouts from her time at Harper's Bazaar began rolling across the screen and I was hooked. And, ultimately, won over. That extravagant absurdity! So delightful.

Look at that crazy horn (tooth?) thing! Fabulous!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Love this guy. Look at that head gear.

I spent the better part of last Saturday wandering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Walking up the massive steps to the entrance, I think (every time) how lucky I am to have access to this amazing place. I love the Met. I love most of the public museums I've been to in the city, particularly some of the smaller ones like the Neue Galerie, but my big love is reserved for the Met. I always overstay, overestimating the amount of walking energy I have until I am completely out, and nowhere near an exit. Still, not the worst problem to have.

Loved this small piece. Such economy of color and type but so much impact.
I liked the pattern and color on this piece, the simple graphic circle for the flower.
Who painted this? I managed not to note.
Look at this! So utterly nutty.

This was in an area of the museum that was entirely new to me. It's easy to miss whole wings it's so damn big.

One of the other very cool things about the Met is their website. I've been looking at a lot of textile design lately, trying to puzzle out the elements of beautiful fabric design. The Met has an online archive available to anyone interested:

A Gustav Klimt fabric swatch from the collection.