Lisa Kellner, Im Plant, 2012, Silk, pigment, paint, bleach, thread, hand formed and painted silk rods, Variable, roughly 12 x 12 ft. area , Collection of artist
September 15, 2012–January 6, 2013

The Mysterious Content of Softness

Bringing together 11 national and international artists in various stages of their careers, The Mysterious Content of Softness explored the transformative power of fiber and its connection to the human body. Whether employing time-honored techniques such as knitting, crochet, embroidery, and loom weaving, or foraying into new uses of traditional textiles, these artists explored the physical, psychological, and cultural associations of fiber to the body.

The exhibition title was inspired by the words of artist Magdelena Abakanowicz, whose enormous fiber sculptures made her one of the most celebrated artists of our time. Regarding the fragility of life in an artist's statement from 1979, Abakanowicz observed the "destruction of soft life and the boundless mystery of the content of softness" leading the artist to embrace "that which was soft with a complex tissue" as materials in her work.

Featured artists in The Mysterious Content of Softness included: Diem Chau, Lauren DiCioccio, Angela Ellsworth, James Gobel, Angela Hennessy, Rock Hushka, Lisa Kellner, Miller & Shellabarger, L.J. Roberts, Jeremy Sanders, and Nathan Vincent.

The Mysterious Content of Softness was organized by the Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Stefano Catalani.

Watch an Interview with Nathan Vincent
See Nathan Vincent on the Martha Stewart show

Lauren DiCioccio, Still, Life (detail), 2012, Hand-embroidery on cotton, 2 1/2 x 6 1/4 in., Photo by Nora Atkinson
Nathan Vincent, Locker Room, 2010 , Crocheted yarn, foam, wire, and polyester stuffing , 11 x 8 1/2 inches framed, Yarn donated by Lion Brand Yarn, Photo by Nora Atkinson or Steven Miller

 

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