Anna Betbeze
American, born 1980
Selected exhibitions
The Pink House,
Nina Johnson
Hot Fruit,
Nina Johnson
Reveal the Rats,
The Pit

Claiming that everything she does “relates back to painting,” Anna Betbeze eschews the canvas and turns instead to an assortment of textiles, which she dyes, cuts, scorches, shaves, and otherwise distresses, transforming them into lush, oversized, painting-like wall hangings. Though she has worked with fabric, leather, and terrycloth (in towel and robe form), she focuses on white, shaggy Flokati rugs. She began experimenting with the rugs after noticing that the marks of wear on the one on her floor were surprisingly beautiful. Inspired by artists like Sheila Hicks, Piero Manzoni, and Robert Rauschenberg, and by Robert Morris’s felt sculptures, she claimed the rugs for art. Betbeze uses so many different processes to distress each rug that she loses track of precisely how she shapes them into the natural and interstellar phenomena they resemble, including hoarfrost, wormholes, and the …

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