Editorial : Recommendations
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'Stitches'
at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
Recommendation by Betty Ann Brown


Elisabeth Higgins O'Connor, 'No Name (Blue Arm),' 2008, blankets, knit afghans, pillows, mattress covers, couch cushions, thread, twine, 64 x 32 x 29''

Continuing through June 12, 2010

In "Stitches" curator Sinead Finnerty-Pyne has gathered a remarkably diverse group of artists who crochet, embroider, knit, and weave in ways that challenge textile traditions and speak forcibly to our technologically-obsessed world. In front of a wall covered with sewn objects cast in bronze, Jane Brucker unravels hand-knit clothing in a meditative performance that comments on the temporality of textile work.

Beyond that lie Elisabeth Higgins O'Connor's gangly, appealing creatures composed of blankets and bath towels, plastic tarps and twine. Around the corner are Titus Kaphar's riffs on historic paintings - which are, after all, arrangements of pigment on fabric. Kaphar reproduces 18th- and 19th-century portraits, then cuts and reconfigures them in wily statements about both race and gender. Maria E. Pineres creates immense ink jet prints of the controlled front and chaotic back of her needlepoint compositions.

Finnerty-Pyne installs them on the front and back on a gallery wall, in a humorous and insightful play with the work. Perhaps the most engaging encounter is with Nicola Vrumink's installation: a room full of dark, dangling forms composed of crocheted cassette tapes that are evocatively floral and distressingly alien.

Armory Center for the Arts

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