The Fabric of Fine Art. Reviewed by Davina Thomas.
When I heard that ‘our Gillian’ was featured in a book about textile artists, of course I had to have a copy. This is a very intellectual book and takes an in-depth look at textiles as used by artists today. Starting out with some essays on textiles at the cutting edge, the book is then divided into four main areas: drawings, paintings, sculptures and spaces. In each of these sections the work of a number of textile artists is featured many of them would not be known to the casual reader, but famous names such as Tracey Emin and Christo and Jean-Claude are also included whose work reaches the wider media. In the chapter on drawing, for example, the work is mainly using line in the form of embroidery to convey the message, in the painting section the work usually takes a broader approach. For example, in Devorah Sperber's work, thousands of reels of thread are hung to create what appear to be abstract images but when viewed through a small sphere are shown to be likenesses of paintings such as the Mona Lisa. For years textiles have been the poor relation in the art world, but just seeing the work in this book makes you realise that artists are continuing to work with textiles regardless. It is a fascinating book to dip into and is the perfect read for stimulating discussion about textiles as art.
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