December 28, 2007
Ana de la Cueva, “Pricked: Extreme Embroidery” - Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Your grandmother's matching his and hers pillowcases are missing from the current exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design. In fact, don't expect to find typical pretty and practical examples of the handicraft. Quilts, linens, dainties and whatnots leap from tradition in medium and message here.
Nava Lubelski's Side Dish, 2004, aptly pink, emphasizes existing stains and holes in tablecloths and other found textiles; Susie Brandt (Smidge, 2006) uses water soluble laundry bags and multi-colored fabric polka dots; Laura Splan (Trousseau Negligee #1, 2007) embellishes a store-bought hide made from a cosmetic facial peel; Clyde Oliver (Welsh Quilt, 2006) stitches Welsh slate with blue thread - How does he do that; Sonya Clark (Afro Abe 11, 2007) gives $5 Lincoln a crowning glory of hair; and Mark Newport (Freedom Bed Cover/Zachary, 2006) embroiders comic book pages.
The exhibition is divided into categories based on curious quotes from notability. Sparing unnecessary details, these boil down to politics, the body, cultural and artistic references, history/memory - the strain of art. Many of the works rely heavily on humor and playful pop imagery, however a few fall under shadows numberless, a reference to Keats, Ode to a Nightingale. You'll recognize these without the help of wall text.