New Exhibit Unravels The Lived Experiences Of Women Through The Lens Of Weaving

“UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” Group Show, The Untitled Space gallery, New York | Artist Victoria Selbach “We Women”

From April 17 to May 28, 2021, NYC gallery The Untitled Space presents a new exhibit called “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” – a group show curated by Indira Cesarine which features textile and fiber-based artworks by 40 contemporary women artists.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” explores in depth the themes and techniques of the medium through the works of female-identifying artists working with natural and synthetic fiber, fabric, and yarn. The exhibition presents figurative and abstract works that address our lived experience and history through the lens of women weaving, knotting, twining, plaiting, coiling, pleating, lashing, and interlacing. Narratives of self-identification, race, religion, gender, sexuality, our shared experience, as well as protest and the patriarchy are literally “unraveled” through embroidery, felt, woven and hooked rugs, braided and sewn hair, sewn fabrics, discarded clothing, cross-stitching, repurposed materials and more.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art”, Exhibition Artwork, The Untitled Space, New York | Artist Mz Icar

In a press release, Indira says the exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists who each address through their own personal vision, materials, and methods, works that are deeply rooted in the history of feminism, in the intersection of art and craft, while addressing their living experiences and personal languages.

“Fibers have been an integral part of human civilization for thousands of years. Textile art is one of the oldest art forms, dating back to prehistoric times. Despite early works of textiles such as embroideries and tapestries having been made by both men and women, the tradition of textiles and needlework evolved into that of “women’s work” and was not only dismissed as not “important” but was literally banned from the high art world by the Royal Academy in the 18th century (circa 1769),” she explained.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art”, Exhibition Artwork, The Untitled Space, New York | Artist Linda Friedman Schmidt

“With the rise of the women’s movement as well as technological advances, women reclaimed the medium, subverted its history as a lesser art form, and transformed it into a tool of expression, of protest, of personality. From early suffrage movement embroidered banners to the groundbreaking exhibitions and works of female pioneers such as Bauhaus weaver Anni Alber’s momentous solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1949, Lenore Tawney’s exhibition at the Staten Island Museum in 1961 to Judy Chicago’s groundbreaking 1979 work “The Dinner Party”, we have seen the medium evolve and inspire new generations of fiber artists,” continued Indira.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art”, Exhibition Artwork, The Untitled Space, New York | Artist Daniela Puliti

A number of the artists displaying their work in the exhibit shared more about the materials they have used, and how it relates to the underlying feminist theme:

“I am a multimedia artist who uses sculpture and performance to bear witness to the experiences of black women even as American society aims to render us and our lives as invisible and meaningless. Despite the prevalent “urban black” narrative, my experience is tied to the natural world, and I use materials that reference my desert environment and my lived experience as a black woman with Indigenous roots.” – Artist Amber Doe

“I mix subversion with flirtation, humor with power, and intimacy with frivolity. My subject matter is frank and provocative, dealing with issues of fertility, sexuality, self-image, isolation, vulnerability, indulgence, and beauty in the mundane, which are designed to challenge social stereotypes embedded within childhood fairytales. My work explores the many flavors of feminism.” – Artist Orly Cogan.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art”, Exhibition Artwork, The Untitled Space, New York | Artist Caroline Wayne

“This body of work scrutinizes the amalgamation of victim shaming tropes that men and women are taught throughout their lives, both passively and actively, through social norms, pop culture, our educational and legal systems, religious establishments, and familial influences and upbringing.” – Artist Christy O’Connor.

“My work focuses on my personal experience living within the confines of a female body, exploring sexuality, religion, and body image. The shared narratives of childbirth, menstruation, dysmorphia, sexual violation, and societal scrutiny all come into play and find connections with the viewers in their shared commonality.” – Artist Dominique Vitali.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” Group Show, The Untitled Space gallery, New York | Artist Daniela Puliti

If the political is personal, and art is often political, then this exhibit reminds us that the many threads and fabrics of our lives are indelibly intertwined and become part of what makes us whole.

“Whether drawn from a deeply personal narrative, or rooted in political motivation, each artist weaves, spins, sews, and hooks the viewer with their detailed and intricate textures that communicate and empower,” said indira.

You can see more of the artists on display by heading to The Untitled Space website, and be sure to head to the gallery before May 28 if you are in NYC.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art”, Exhibition Artwork, The Untitled Space, New York | Artist Mary Tooley Parker

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