Friday, February 3, 2012

abstract stitches.

Thankfully the day before I made my trek to Chelsea a colleague mentioned the current show of Natasza Niedziolka at Horton Gallery. Horton is a small gallery in a townhouse surrounded by the behemoth white boxes of Chelsea. I have peeked in a few times and it always has an interesting artist on exhibit and its intimate space with painted wooden floor boards adds a refreshingly different experience to the work.

I enjoyed seeing the embroideries that seem abstract on the surface but also seem to have much more meaning beyond the surface. They remind me in a way of my friend Marcie Paper's paintings in which each line and "symbol" have specific personal meeting but to the viewer simply seems like a shape repeated. Natasza's hand is much more like a draw-er then a stitcher and this adds a wonderful line quality and texture to her work.

Her press release says:
While her compositions are at times vaguely representational, it is Niedziolka's technique itself that recalls the simplicity and clarity of folk-art. Though powerful, Niedziolka's colors and shapes have a random, scavenged appearance to them like early American "crazy-quilts" which were mended and added to generation after generation, resulting in visually abstract records of time...
On the harsher side of Niedziolka's spontaneous technique, sometimes described as "punk painterly," her work relates to Dada art-forms not only because of its close association with Arp, but also because of its deconstructed appearance. The work's cut-and-paste quality makes reference to the aggression of collage promoted by radical interwar artists working in Berlin who cut and reassembled magazine and newspaper images. Particularly in works where thread bleeds from the fabric ground and where punctures are emphasized is this attitude most evident.

I really enjoy her use of color and patterns and the sense of containment...

There also is a sensibility similar to Louise Bourgeois's fiber drawings that I love, but for me Natasza's work lacks the emotional complexity and intimacy of LB's work. (but who's doesn't)

The show is up for the most of the month and if you are in Chelsea totally worth a gander. Details here.

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