rocket tracking


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Masters: Art Quilts vol. 2

This summer, I indulged myself once again by purchasing Masters: Art Quilts vol. 2.  I enjoyed the first volume in the series, but I think I like this one even more.  Lark Books wisely had Studio Art Quilt Associate's executive director Martha Sielman return to curate the second volume after her monumental work in 2008 with volume 1. 

I will have to go back and do a spot on comparison, but my initial response is that I enjoyed this one even more than the first volume. I think one of the things which I enjoy the most is that these books bring quilt artists who I have never heard of into focus, partly because the book showcases international quilt artists. 

The well done photos and interesting narrative about the artists would make this worthwhile, but the inspiration the book provides alone is worth the modest purchase price. 

I remember thinking when I read the first volume that I was surprised at some of the artists who were omitted.  I suspended that sort of value judgement this time around and just let myself enjoy.  However, I did wonder why the artists weren't arranged alphabetically as that would make it much easier to locate works by a particular artist.  I took another look at the book and thought to myself that it was arranged by what looked good next to each other, as if it were a show.  However, I contacted Martha to ask about this very thing. 

Here's what Martha had to say in an email response to me dated August 1:

"Choosing the artists for the Masters books involves a lot of research into who is doing what kinds of work and where they've been exhibited.  I need to balance several different factors: Lark wants only half of the artists to be American, and we try to have a diversity of people and a balance of different types of styles.  My aim is to have at least one artist that is a new discovery for every reader, but they all need to be artists with an established body of work.

The artists are arranged visually, like curating an exhibit.  We talked about alphabetical placement, but since it's not intended to be a research volume but to be an art volume, we arranged them so that they provide visual excitement moving from one artist to the next." 
So, this isn't to say that the artist you who think HAS to be included in this volume will be there.   However, here's the list of artists featured in volume 2:  Carolyn Crump, Jan Myers Newbury, Karin Franzen, Emily Richardson, Anna Torma, Chunghie Lee, Genevieve Attinger, Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, Pamela Fitzsimons, Paula Nadelstern, Dirkje van der Horst-Beetsma, Rosalie Dace, Leslie Gabrielse, Nelda Warkentin, Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade, Dianne Firth, Reiko Nganuma, Shulamit Liss, Alice Beaseley, Beatrice Lanter, Tafi Brown, Rise Nagin, Bente Vold Klausen, Jane Dunnewold, Laura Wasilowski, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Izabella Baykova, Daniela Dancelli, Margery Goodall, Linda MacDonald, Fenella Davies, Rachel Brumer, Maryline Collioud-Robert, Jim Smoote, Eleanor McCain, Patricia Malarcher, Misik Kim, Elizabeth Busch, Dorothy Caldwell and Tim Harding.
I'm looking forward to being able to see the accompanying exhibition. It will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and I'll be able to see it when it travels to Cincinnati in April 2012.  One work from each artist will be on view.  Talk about inspirational!  I can't wait.  

In the meantime, I'll go back to struggling over the fabric choices for my "homework" for Pamela Allen's online class.  Lest you think I am benefiting in anyway from reviewing me...I'm not.  I am not anyone's official reviewer and if I thought it belonged cut up and used as ATCs, I'd be the first to tell you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great review - I love this book too - for all the reasons you mention, plus this: I was able to go through the book slowly, once (well, over a few days), just taking in all the work. The second time through, I read Martha's preamble and then would look at the work anew. It was so interesting to read her views and compare them with my own, and the inclusion of artist comments added just the right amount of insight to help me really appreciate the work.

It was a pleasure to read such a well-written review - thanks!