When I picked up the November/December 2012 artscope magazine, which is a New England Art Journal, I was shocked by the number of reviews of art that featured contemporary textiles, all of which were interesting. Of course, I did not make it to any of the shows as with the holidays and current life it just was not able to happen. But I have spent some tome looking into the venues, exhibits and artists. The centerfold artist was the Somerville based artist Judith Klausner. I swear I wrote about her work before but cannot find the post, so maybe I just wanted too. Who knows?
Her earlier work was all based on insects and the meticulous recreations of them. But she has recently moved on to food. She explores the time and devotion it takes to make food from scratch to the traditional hand arts and what this means in the lives and roles of contemporary women.
She says this in her statement:
The phrase, “like grandma used to make” gets nearly 300,000 results in a Google search. This nostalgia for the culinary past—before packaged foods and high-fructose corn syrup—fails to take into consideration just how much time it takes to make three full meals a day from scratch. Indeed, what it takes is a person in every household who’s full-time job it is to cook for the family. We called these people “women”.
Like the production of food, a variety of handicrafts were a mundane requirement of the female gender...Sewing, embroidery, and knitting have enjoyed resurgences, sometimes even within the realm of fine art. Home cooking is once again gaining popularity. Within this atmosphere, the temptation to romanticize the past is strong. Yet, the availability of packaged foods is what allows us the time to pursue careers, to develop new technologies, to create...
My work is about choice. As a woman in the twenty-first century, I can choose to spend my day baking a loaf of bread, or to grab a package off a grocery store shelf after a long day at work. I can choose to spend my evenings embroidering. I can choose to combine these things and call it art.