New York is always full of great exhibits, but I really feel like I hit the jackpot this time. So many interesting things were going on, here are just a few of the pieces that jumped out at me.
Museum of Arts and Design had a fabulous exhibit called the Global Africa Project where contemporary artists did works inspired by African art.
This wonderful improvisational quilt was done by Siddhi Women's Quilting Co-op.
This gorgeous beadwork is part of a headpiece. Some of the beads are tiny rolled paper beads, no bigger than 1/4" in diameter.
I usually enjoy the American Folk Art Museum, but this time they had a traditional quilt show going on. Nice pieces, but not exactly inspiring.
I did fall in love with this pompom piece in the gift shop.
And I was thrilled beyond words to catch the Maira Kalman show at the Jewish Museum. I've loved her paintings for some time, so it was great to see them in person. The show also contained a number of textiles she did for people like Isaac Mizrahi--wonderful pieces covered in line drawings. And a display of her children's books and some of her wacky collections, including a collection of onion rings. The guard told my husband that she comes in frequently and has a fabulous sense of humor. No surprise.
On a very different note, this display grabbed me at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Done by Michael Aschenbrenner, it was a whole wall of his "Damaged Bone Series." He is a Vietnam vet and made this piece in response to his experience. It was beautiful and disturbing. Bones are made of glass and splinted or wrapped together.
I was also very lucky to catch the SOFA (Sculptural Object and Functional Art) show in NYC. They usually have one in Chicago and one in NYC each year, but are now adding one in Santa Fe too. It was full of highly original, exquisitely crafted items. I couldn't take pictures, but I did find some wonderful artists that are worth checking out. Krista Harris for abstract painting, Kay Khan for heavily embroidered textile vessels, and Marian Bijlenga for wall hangings made out of dyed fish scales. Really.
I also really liked quilts by Daphne Taylor at the Contemporary Quilt Art Gallery.
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts was another fabulous spot. They had a mind blowing Dale Chihuly exhibit going on. I've seen exhibits of his work before, but this was the best, a retrospective of all his major ideas.
The glass ceilings--this one like a coral garden where you would find a few treasures like a mermaid here and there:
As much as I love his over-the-top blasts of shapes and colors, these simple lavendar reeds on birch trees really captured me. They filled a whole room:
I'm really happy that so many museums are including fashion these days. BMFA had a Scaasi
collection, including many pieces he designed for Barbra Streisand and Natalie Wood, a little blast of the elegant side of the 60s.