The diverse roster of women artists in A Beautiful Mess: Weavers & Knotters of the Vanguard twist, tie, and braid tactile, utilitarian materials to push the boundaries of fiber art and elevate the traditional status of weaving, knotting, and macramé. The artists in this exhibition transform rope, yarn, clay, wire, and extension cords into wall hangings and sculptures that range from minimal and hyper-organized to expansive, organic installations. Mining a lifetime of experiences, the artists explore personal and political ideals and freely break the rules to create works that make a strong cultural and intellectual impact.
By bringing their unique stories to the forefront, the artists draw from potent source material to create sculptures and installations staggering in beauty and conceptual underpinnings. These works tell profoundly personal and powerful histories, not only about the artist, but about the traditions and norms we honor and those that need to be addressed and eradicated. The artists confront uncomfortable issues like racism, sexism, patriarchal systems, and climate change. They also reveal the brilliance of the natural world, the richness of tradition, and the power of self-acceptance, all while demonstrating extraordinary technical skill.
Kira Dominguez Hultgren
Katrina Sánchez Standfield
Main Image: Kira Dominguez Hultgren, Across_1, 2018, handspun and industrially spun wool, acrylic, cotton, metallic thread, novelty yarn, rayon, wool rug mill ends, roving, polyurethane tape, coaxial cables, plastic tubing, nonmetallic conduit, stranded copper wire, digital-hand loomed jacquard fabric, wood and plastic loom bars and posts, nylon rope, zip ties, 96 x 212 x 10 inches, Courtesy of Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Photograph courtesy of Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA