Curated by Kathleen Goncharov
(Senior Curator at the Boca Raton Museum of Art and Commissioner of the U.S. pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale)
Donald & Era Farnsworth
This exhibition features American artists who are known for work in many media but have also worked with tapestry. The tapestry medium is ancient and international. It was used in Pharaonic Egypt, mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, and some historians believe that tapestries covered the interior walls of the Parthenon. Tapestry first appeared in China in the Tang Dynasty and was especially popular during the Ming period. This was also the same time period when tapestries were most coveted by the aristocracy in Europe. They sold for astronomical sums and covered the vast walls of castles and palaces.
Although the popularity of the medium waned in subsequent years, it was revived in the 20th century when artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, and Alexander Calder made tapestries. Artists whose work is primarily in painting, photography, sculpture, video, etc. are increasingly fascinated with the possibilities of tapestry and have begun to explore the medium in depth.
Donald and Era Farnsworth, whose work is featured in this exhibition with six magnificent work that pair Eastern and Western artistic traditions, are also the founders of Magnolia Editions, the studio where most of the works in the show were conceived. They have perfected the jacquard process, a system using a series of perforated cards that was first developed in the 19th century, and combined it with sophisticated digital imaging software that enables artists to work with minute details and an almost infinite palette of colors. Once the image is set the final work is woven by traditional artisans in Belgium.
Curator | Katheen Goncharov
Katheen Goncharov is currently Senior Curator at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. She served as US Commissioner to the 50th Venice Biennale where she curated an exhibition by Fred Wilson at the American pavilion. She has also organized exhibitions internationally in Cairo, Rio de Janeiro, New Delhi, Bologna, and Rome. She was Public Art Curator at the List Visual Art Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she oversaw the Institute’s Percent-for Art Program; Executive Director of Rutgers University’s Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions artist-in-residence program, and Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum at Duke University. For fourteen years she Curator of the University Art Collection at The New School in New York City where she built a major art collection and organized public programs for the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.