This group exhibition disabuses the idea that drawing is simply putting pen to paper, framing it instead as an open-ended act in which lines can be woven, stitched, knit, even embodied. Featuring sixteen contemporary artists who use textile in a variety of formats (embroidery, weaving, collage, and performance), the exhibition highlights the expressive and conceptual possibilities of line, with an emphasis on its making. The works selected invoke many characteristics long associated with the drawn medium; however, the application of textile brings forth a new hybridity in which the objects created, using the techniques and materials drawn from craft, result in lines detached from the picture plane, lines read on an unprecedentedly large scale, and lines that extend into real space—a collective, social space. For some artists, the line functions as a direct extension of the body—a performative act or participatory event. Others work in abstraction; still others use the line as a means of addressing gender, personal narrative, and politics. While this exhibition is necessarily limited in scope, it reflects a widespread tendency that has developed over decades and continues to propel the drawn medium forward.
List of Participating Artists: Mónica Bengoa (b. 1969, Santiago, Chile), Louise Bourgeois (b. 1911, Paris, France- d. 2010, New York, NY), Sheila Hicks (b. 1934, Hastings, NE), Ellen Lesperance (b. 1971, Minneapolis, MN), Kimsooja (b. 1957, Taegu, Korea), Beryl Korot (b. 1945, New York, NY), Maria Lai (b. 1919, Ulassai, Sardinia- d. 2013, Cardedu, Sardinia), Sam Moyer (b. 1983, Chicago, IL), William J. O’Brien (b. 1975, Eastlake, OH), Robert Otto Epstein (b. 1979, Pittsburgh, PA), Jessica Rankin (b. 1971, Sydney, Australia), Elaine Reichek (b. 1943, New York, NY), Drew Shiflett (b. 1951, Chicago, IL), Alan Shields (b. 1944, Herington, KS- d. 2005, Shelter Island, NY), Lenore Tawney (b. 1907, Lorain, OH- d. 2007, New York, NY), and Anne Wilson (b. 1949, Detroit, MI).
Thread Lines is made possible by the support of Richloom Fabrics Group, Fiona and Eric Rudin, Daniel Romanow, The Capital Group, the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, Ambach & Rice, and Lesley Heller.