Textile Event/ 85, Art Museum of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Itinerate to the Museum of Brazilian Art of the FAAP - Faculdade Armando Álvares Penteado (São Paulo), to the Art Museum of Santa Catarina (Florianópolis), to the Cultural Foundation of Brasilia (DF), to the Cultural Foundation of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte) and the Metro Carioca of Rio de Janeiro (1985-1986). See Catalogue bellow.

sexta-feira, 21 de outubro de 2011

Fiber as medium - Brazilian Tapestry, influence of the past.

The processes of transformation from Tapestry to Brazilian Fiberart started with some pioneers like Regina Gomide Graz (1902-1973), followed by Genaro de Carvalho (1926-1971), Jean Gillon (Romania, 1919-São Paulo, 2007), and Gilda Azeredo Azevedo (1924-1984).

The Brazilian Regina Gomide Graz studied in Switzerland; she was the sister of noted artist Antonio Gomide, and married to the Swiss artist John Graz. When she started working with Tapestry, that was a suitable type of feminine art accepted in Brazil, and in many other countries. Women artists were dominated by the categories of art done by men, specially the academic type of art.

Regina Graz made extensive research in Brazilian indigenous drawings and adapted their designs in mainly textiles she produced such as rugs. Her Tapestries were also influenced by the Decorative Art style, popular in the 1930s (SIMIONI, 2007).

Grazs works, mainly in textile medium, brought to Brazil European techniques of weaving and others, and she was not influenced by our Portuguese inheritance of embroidered tapestry. Many Brazilian textile artists were influenced by the embroidered techniques common in this country, where every woman of older generations knows many types of hand embroidery since childhood. Now this tradition is lost, disappeared in the younger generations.

For many artists around the world, specially South American artists, the processes of evolution from Tapestry to Fiberart and from Fiberart to Fibersculture and Fiberart Installations, or from Plane to Space, was much more difficult and slow than the processes of European and North American artists. Anyhow, and anywhere, these processes were deeply linked to the creativity of each artist, and the techniques and materials applied to the Fiber as medium.

In these personal evolutionary processes from Tapestry to Fiberart was of mainly importance the choice of materials and technique of each artist. The first Brazilian artist to become popular with embroidered Tapestries was Genaro de Carvalho (1926-1971). Born in Bahia, he was a painter with a work most linked to tapestries. Genaro studied in the Brazilian Society of Fine Arts (Rio de Janeiro, 1944) and had his first individual exhibition in the ABI/ Brazilian Association of Press (Rio de Janeiro, 1945).

Genaro went back to Salvador, were he was linked to the most noted artists of the avant-garde, such as Mario Cravo Junior and Carlos Bastos, with whom he exposed in a collective exhibit in the Public Library (Salvador, 1947). Genaro went to Europe, where he was a pupil of André Lhote, and studied in the National Superior School of Fine Arts [École National Supérieure des Beaux Arts] (Paris, 1949). His works participated in many French Salons of Art (Paris, 1948-1950). Back in Brazil, he exposed his works in many individual exhibitions, in Salvador (1953); in MAM (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, 1957), among others.

Genaro’s paintings were exposed in the I and II International Biennial of MAM (São Paulo, SP, 1951; 1953); and tapestries in the BIT/ International Biennial of Tapestry (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1965). Genaros work received Special Space and Aquisition Prize in the I National Biennial of Plastic Arts (Salvador,1966): he was honored with Sala Especial in the I Brazilian Exposition of Tapestry in the Brazilian Art Museum of FAAP (São Paulo, 1st 30, October, 1974). In the decades of 1950-1970, Genaros tapestries were known all over the country; the artist, modernized his design. Genaro started working in different textile techniques such as Collage of fabrics over another fabric or canvas. During a period, Genaros works were influenced by Brazilian tradition of manual embroidery, inherit from our Portuguese colonization. He, also, in his last decade produced tapestries in High Warp Loom, and reached space not with Fibersculpture, but with Abstract wood cut-outs in a box.

Another artist that embroidered tapestries was Jean Gillon (Romania, 1919-São Paulo, 2007). Gillon was a painter, designer of furniture and objects, scenery and figurine designer for theatre and movies, and designer of tapestries. Gillon applied more than one type of point in his embroidered tapestry: the French Petit-point over a very fine mesh canvas, like in the first reproduction of his works; and the other technique called Tuffing, that uses a special needle suitable to make Pile rugs, that he applied in a creative way in the other tapestry showed. This second type of technique make possible to have different types of pile relief, were the artist desires: the called Magic Needle, makes the work much faster than the French Petit Point, but the tapestry needs to have an special design suitable to this type of technique.

The Brazilian artist, carioca Gilda Azeredo Azevedo (Rio de Janeiro, 1924-1984), was a painter of Lyrical Abstractions that transformed many of her paintings in embroidered Fiberworks. In a technical research of her own, Azevedo embroidered a complex back plane of her abstractions, and over it, applied a second plane of volumetric textile material, executed in another technique such as macramée or crochet. Azevedo presented her textile Fiberart in many solo expositions, national and international such as in the La Tangara Gallery (Buenos Aires, 1968), Debret Gallery (Paris), Brazilian Embassy (London, 1972) and the Florimont Gallery (Lausanne, 1978; 1981), among others. The most important presentations of Azevedo works in collective expositions was the traveling exhibit in many countries, Ten Brazilian Modern Painters (1967); and in another traveling exhibit, in Latin American countries, Three Aspects of Brazilian Contemporary Painting,(1968); the I Brazilian Exposition of Tapestry, in the Brazilian Art Museum of FAAP (São Paulo, 1974); in the 1º Encounter of Uruguayan and Brazilian Tapestry (Montevideo, 1975); in the I, II and III Triennial of Tapestry - MAM, (São Paulo, 1976; 1979; 1982); in the 1st Encounter of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazilian Tapestry (Buenos Aires, 1977). Azevedo was honored by the artists that published her photograph with a great smile and an art critics text about her noted work, presented in the catalogue of Textile Event/ 85, realized in the MARGS (Porto Alegre, 1985; see bellow the Catalogue of the exibition of Brazilian artists).

Brazilian Fiberart & Fibersculpture in the 70´s & 80s.

Brazilian Fiberart & Fibersculpture in the 70´s & 80s.

In Brazil the evolutionary process that transformed the works of Fiber as medium in Sculptures started with the influence of artists that had opportunity to study in other countries, mainly European. This was the case of French Jacques Douchez that adopted São Paulo as his home town (1947-). Douchez paintings participated of the Special Room in the XI International Biennial of São Paulo (1971); in the same year he received the State Governor Prize, in Tapestry; he received the Art Critic Prize for the Best Exhibition of The Year (São Paulo, 1973). Douchez Fiberart participated in the most important national exhibitions of tapestry as the 1st Brazilian Exhibition of Tapestry [Primeira Mostra Brasileira de Tapeçaria] (FAAP, São Paulo, 1974).

Douchez received the 1st Prize in the I Triennial of Tapestry (MAM, São Paulo, 1976); he participated of the II and III Triennial of Tapestry (MAM, São Paulo, 1979; 1982). Internationally he participated of the Biennial of Punta del Este (Uruguay,1967). Douchez Fiberart participated of the VII BIT International Biennial of Tapestry (Lausanne, 1975); exhibition in C.R.E.A. (Paris); the First Encounter of Tapestry Uruguay - Brazil (Montevideo, 1975); in Fiberworks (Cleveland, 1977). His works had individual exhibitions in Peru, Mexico United States, Portugal, Argentina, Germany, and in the most important Brazilian Museums and Cultural Institutions. Douchez also made sculptural works, using metal as basis for Fibersculpture in his personal style.
Since the 1970s reached space Brazilian noted artist Zoravia Bettiol (Porto Alegre, RS, 1935-). Bettiolss works in Fiberart and Gravures belongs to the most important international museums, as the Textilmuseum Max Berk (Heidelberg); the Museo del Grabado (Buenos Aires); the Albertina Museum (Wien); the National Library (Paris); the Museum Ugo de Carpi (Italy); the Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto, Japan); the National Museum Warsaw (Poland); the National Gallery of Prague; the American Museum of Maldonado (Uruguay); the Library of Congress (Washinghton, D.C.); the Art Museum of Indianapolis; the MoMA, the Metropolitan Art Museum and the Brooklyn Museum (New York); and the Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim (Rio de Janeiro, RJ); the MASP, the MAM, the FAAP Museum, the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, the Centro Cultural Itaú (São Paulo, SP); the MARGS (Porto Alegre, RS); the Museu de Arte de Belo Horizonte (MG), among many of the most important Brazilian cultural institutions.

Another Brazilian artist that reached space with her Fiberart was Ana Norogrando (Cachoeira do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS). During more than two decades she was a teacher of University of Santa Maria (RS). In the 80´s she started her research with galvanized mesh and wire, applying textile techniques to it, making hand embroidery with wire. The choice of material and the research developed b the artist, in a few years of a coherent trajectory in Fiberart, took her work from plane to space. After creating Fibersculptures, Norogrando formed Fibersculptures Installations of two or more elements; she reached space with wind sculptures, that now participate of the ornamentation of public Brazilian spaces: she became one of the most respected artists in Brazilian Fiber Culture.

segunda-feira, 10 de outubro de 2011

I. Concepts & techniques: Tapestry & Fiberart.

I.  Concepts & techniques: Tapestry & Fiberart.

In the twentieth century occured the process of evolution and transformation from Tapestry to Fiberart: after the first phase of small plane works, the Tapestries became murals. In the 1960´s, Le Corbusier defined those murals as Wool Walls [Murs de laine]; this had much to do with the transformation that started to occur after the 1st International Biennial of Tapestry [BIT], organized by Jean Lurçat (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1962-). The minimum dimensions for accepted tapestries in this BIT were 10 m2: took15 years to the acceptance of works with 5 m2.

After that, the tapestries started to gain volume, but still placed on the wall. In this process, the artist became the artisan: this began in the Bauhaus, in the textile classes of the German school (Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, 1919-1933). The Bauhaus student Guntha Stadler-Stölzl (1897-1983), born in Munich, studied in the Kunstgewerbeschule (1914-1916); after the First World War she participated in the Bauhaus courses of weaving in the Krefeld School of Textile Technique and in the School of Dying (1919-1924). From the beginning of 1925, to the beginning of 1931, Stadler-Stölzl was the Master of the Textile Workshop in the Bauhaus (1926), then director of the Apprentice’s Workshop and responsible for the Textile Production Workshop (1927-1930) in the German school (HERZOGENRATH, 1974: 244).

Annie Albers (1899-1994), Textile Designer and Teacher, was a student of Guntha Stadler-Stölzl in the Weimar and Dessau Bauhaus (1922-1930). She married the teacher of the Bauhaus Basic Course [Vorkurs], Josef Albers (1888-1976), and they collaborated during the 51 years of their marriage (1925-1976). Both became very important teachers, and, after they emigrated to the United States became professors in the most important art school for the formation of the American Avant Garde, the Black Mountain College (NC, 1942-1956). Josef and Annie Albers, became Americans (1937). Annie was recognized for her research in the field of experimental textiles, as a teacher, an artist and designer of industrial products (HERZOGENRATH, 1974: 240).
The Bauhaus abstract and geometric style influenced the beginning of many careers of Fiberartists, like mine; also, later, this influence could be felt in other artist’s works such as in Ernesto Aroztegui’s pupil, Marina Overmeer (São Paulo, 1941-), among many others Brazilian and international artists.

II. Concepts & techniques: Tapestry & Fiberart.

But, what is Tapestry? How Tapestry became  Fiberart, or Fibersculpture or Fiberart Installation (or Fiberinstallation), as part of a Fiberart Culture or Fiberculture in the twentieth Century? After more than three decades of daily work with textiles and observation of the evolution of a textile form of art, I have defined each category as follows: 

I.0 Tapestry: The name refers to all the flat surface geometric textile work produced to be placed on a wall, and executed manually with many traditional types of threads such as wool & silk, silver & gold, sinthetic or natural, in one and only traditional textile technique such as embroidery or weaving in any type of loom.
So, never mind if the drawings are figurative or abstract, even Le Corbusier Murs de Laine are tapestries, only that they are Mural Tapestries, among others such as the tapestries of any size produced in workshops such as Gobelin, Savonnerie, Aubusson among other famous international ateliers.

2.0 Fiberart:
The name refers to all the textile work placed on a wall, or on the floor, or in space, that is the result of a personal research of a Fiberartist, and executed manually with any kind of textile techniques such as embroidery, fabric collages and weaving, or a mixture of techniques, or any other, new or invented, with the help of any kind of instrument or any kind of structure and material or a mix of materials.

3.0 Fiberart Mural or Fibermural:
The name refers to all the textile work placed on a wall as a result of a personal research of a Fiberartist,  executed manually with any kind of textile techniques such as embroidery, fabric collages or weaving, or in a mixture of techniques or any other, with the help of any kind of instrument or any kind of structure and material, or in a mix of materials, with the dimension superior to 3.50 m2, with one dimension minimum 50 cm. 

4.0 Fibersculpture:
The name refers to all the textile spatial work, free-hanging in space or free-standing on the floor, or placed on a wall, as a result of a personal research of a Fiberartist,  executed manually in any form and texture and in any kind of textile technique such as embroidery, fabric collages and weaving or in a mixture of techniques produced in any kind of loom or with the help of any kind of artifact or material, or the mix of many materials and techniques.

The Fibersculptures can be classified in 3 types:

4.1-Fibersculpture: Type 01.
Is the result of a personal research of a Fiberartist, a free-standing  or free-hanging piece that can support itself without a foreign armature in it, a form  that is really unique to fiber (Silva, Vivian, based on Claire Zeisler, 1981, declaration.[1]

4.2-Fibersculpture: Type 02.
Is the result of a personal research of a Fiberartist, a free-standing or free-hanging piece that can support itself with the help of an armature in it, in a form that is not really unique only to Fiber (Silva, Vivian, based on Claire Zeisler, 1981, declaration).

4.3-Fibersculpture: Type 03.
Is the result of a personal research of a Fiberartist, a free-standing piece that can support itself only with an armature in the structure of the textile, in a integrated presentation of a foreign material and the Fiber.[2] 
Another concept in the evolution of Fiberart came after Fibersculptures: the Fiberart Installations, that represented the evolution of the Fibersculpture work.

Is the result of a personal research of a Fiberartist, a composition with various free-standing or free hangings pieces, showing a set of related works made in any kind of technique and in any kind of material or in a mixture of material(s), related to the Fiberart concept, or material, or technique, in an integrated and coherent presentation.

The denomination  Fiberart Culture or Fiberculture includes all types of textiles, such as Tapestry, Fiberart, Fibermural and Fibersculpture and Fiberinstallations of all types, realized with all types of techniques including the mixture of various techniques;  realized in any kind of surface including the body, and with any kind of material or mixture of materials, even using material(s) foreign to the Fiberculture, but, in those cases, the work must be formal and intellectually linked to the Fiberart(s) concept(s), and as the result of the creativity and personal research of a Fiberartist.

So, works done with all kinds of the new Digital, Genetic, among other new and innovative technologies, might become a Fiberculture work, and the artist might become a Fiberartist, and the work might be accepted in Fiberculture exibition(s).