Wilkes University

Future Exhibitions

Material Pulses: Seven Viewpoints

Curated by Nancy Crow

Exhibition Dates: January 14 - February 28, 2020

Material Pulses: Seven Viewpoints, an exhibition focused on the art of quilt-making, presents seventeen works by seven fiber artists representing the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
 
Curated by internationally renowned artist and teacher Nancy Crow, Material Pulses contributes to the dialogue of contemporary textile arts. Says Crow, “MaterialPulses is the culmination of my mission to bring back the majesty, strength, and energy of textile works, particularly large  quilts.” The exhibition features quilts, mixed media, and installation work. Quilts of up to 101 inches high will be featured, for dramatic scale of an art form that is often relegated to its functional qualities. The artists investigate color, pattern, and size through traditional and experimental quilt-making applications. The curator balances a focus on shapes with oversized works, exploring excellence in machine quilting and surface design. 
 
The exhibition’s artists bring their techniques and vision to realizing this celebration of contemporary textile arts. Among them, Elizabeth Brandt balances large geometric and organic shapes, while at the same time flirting with a demanding dark palette. Jayne Willoughby’s work on one side seems contemplative, while the other spouts riotous color systems. Mary Lou Alexander has been exploring shibori (a Japanese dyeing method) for decades, and utilized this technique to exemplify the beauty of mark-making.  Barb Wills printed her fabrics, both cotton and silk, with original woodcuts created from Shina wood, using cutting tools from Japan. 
 
The exhibition artists are Denise L. Roberts, Albright, WV; Claire Benn, Surrey, England; Jayne Willoughby, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Mary Lou Alexander, Hubbard, OH; Christine Mauersberger, Cleveland, OH; Barb Wills, Prescott, AZ; and Elizabeth Brandt, Holland, MI.

Drawn to Abstraction

Marks on Paper from the 60s and 70s

Exhibition Dates: March 31 - May 17, 2020

The mid- to late-20th century in America was a time of boundary testing and social critique. Artists, too, challenged accepted techniques and subject matter while critically examining the role of art in society. 
 
Abstract Expressionism—America’s first home-grown, avant-garde art movement—attempted to heal the traumas of post-war society, emerging from a sense that American society was losing touch with a spiritual core. In the 1960s and ‘70s, the art scene continued to fracture, stylistically and philosophically,as some artists continued to explore the techniques of action painters and color field artists.  
 
Meanwhile, other artists, identified as “Minimalist,” reacted by returning to push the boundaries of a reductive impulse initiated earlier in the century. Experimentation with placing the emphasis on the experience of the viewer led to Op Art. And Pop Artists spurned the earnest emotionality and psychological alienation at the core of Abstract Expressionism. 
 
Printmaking brought the excitement of the New York and International art scene within reach of a wider range of collectors. The works in this exhibition capture the vibrancy of the emerging abstract movements during this time, including Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Op Art, and Pop Art. This exhibition features an extraordinary collection of works on paper by artists now widely recognized as giants of 20th-century art: Josef Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Frank Stella, and others.
 
 

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