the failed utopian | 2014-2015
This series began with my questioning the cliché of the 'failed utopian vision of modernism'. The image of Masaccio's fresco Expulsion from Paradise came to mind. Adam and Eve were the first, and their failure remains as our (daily) challenge. At the same time I am asking if failure may sometimes be met with enthusiasm.
the failed utopian series continues with hand stitched industrial wool felt and handmade paper with pencil, gouache and cut-and-pasted paper. The range of color is newly found.
Felt is a textile of ancient origin made from matted and consolidated tangles of animal fur suggesting a compressed chaos. The work is never pre-planned. Stitching the cutout shapes perfectly into the felt ground goes against felt's natural inclination to buckle, stretch, droop, and torque, which brings an element of chance and unexpected dimensionality. The felt work is banner-like in its reference to medieval heraldry, but has a tapestry-like presence due to size and physicality.
The polar bear is an important protagonist in this series reflecting the creature's as well as human beings' need to adapt to changing conditions.
The works-on-paper frequently involve several sheets of paper of varying translucencies sewn together with silk thread, providing hints of light and space.
Felt wall pieces and works-on-paper from this series comprised a solo exhibition, the failed utopian, at Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, in 2015. A different selection of work from this series was shown in the failed utopian & Other Stories, a solo exhibition at FiveMyles, Brooklyn, in 2018