glam.spoon recently wrote about a tea towel contest (brilliant!) at a local art walk on her blog. Not only were all the tea towels pretty great, but she highlighted an artist, Emily Katz, who works with "freestyle" embroidery (top photo). I'm really taken with the idea of using embroidery as a fine art medium. It's nothing new, of course, using the home arts in fine art (see Bauhaus), but it was fairly controversial when it first made it on the scene. Anni Albers, part of the Bauhaus movement, was the first weaver to have a show at MoMA and came to weaving textiles almost by accident (there were no other classes available at her art school). She became, with her textiles and later her print work, truly a pioneer of not only the medium but of twentieth-century modernism. Elle Decor recently wrote an article about her. You can read it here. A more recent artist, Ghada Amer, uses embroidery in her paintings. Although the works first appear to be beautiful abstractions, upon closer inspection, they are layers upon layers of images of women taken from pornographic sources. The Daily Beast has a great article about her and a slide show of her images (NSFW!). You can read the article here and see images of her work here. You can also read more and see more images about embroidery as art on the blog Embroidery as Art.
Information about Anni Albers from the Albers Foundation, info about Ghada Amer from an article by Rachel Wolff for the Daily Beast.
Top Photo of work by Katz by glam.spoon, second photo of work by Amer by the Daily Beast, third photo of work by Albers by the Albers Foundation.
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