Since each of us was several, there was quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as fartherest away. (Deleuze & Guattari, in the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, 3)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Does the Art Quilt exist?

As we continue to use lines to divide ourselves into parts, we lose a sense of the whole. We tend to forget that even as lines divide, they also connect. While we so readily express our differences, let us also acknowledge our common humanity." (source: Kim Schmahmann)
Since I first started to research quilts, I have had a problem with the use of the term, 'art quilt' to identify a separate category of layered and stitched textiles that fall within the broader category of quilts.

As a starting point I would like to suggest that there is not such category and draw attention to  
two exhibitions at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum:  

  • Quilts In Common was the opening exhibition for the IQSC in 2008. As the curators It took a unique approach to the quilts by making connections between the various quilts in terms of individual marks, design, shape, technique, symbolism and by displaying the quilts alongside other objects

  • The second was  South Asian Seams, an exhibition of quilts from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  I had the opportunity to see this exhibition for myself at the Textile Society of America conference in Lincoln, Nebraska this October--the quilts were vibrant and completely in context within the gallery context.  

I intend to explore this issue in future Posts--and would appreciate any comments on the topic!

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