Craft Contemporary presents “The Sum of the Parts,” an exhibition running through Sunday, Sept. 11, that explores the physical and conceptual dimensionality inherent in quilting.
Works by Kathryn Clark, Carlos Spivey, Lavialle Campbell, Sabrina Gschwandtner and Jade Yumang will be on display. Traditionally, quilts are composed of several layers – a top, soft layer of batting and back – joined together with extensive stitching that can produce rich patterns and textures. The five artists in the exhibition build upon the layering through extensive folding and wrapping, cutting holes, incorporating three-dimensional elements and adding light as an active component of their work.
The artists are also concerned with the layers of meaning quilts carry. Their works record stories and become illustrations of their wishes for a more equitable world. Quilts have often been used for expression, bringing people together for community building and political action. The exhibition’s works are provocative for their physical structures and for their narratives.
Clark has a fascination with data collection developed during years of work as an urban planner. Her deconstructed quilt tops serve as a map and historical record of the erosion of democracy since former President Donald Trump took office in 2016.
Spivey is a multimedia artist who started quilting in 2015, drawn to the medium for its softness and portability. He uses Dye-Na-Flow fabric paint on muslin to create portraits which he appliques to his colorful quilts.
Known as an improvisational quilter, Campbell often creates largely monochromatic quilt patterns, exploring the depth that can be achieved through extensive piecing, folding and stitching.
Gschwandtner started making what she calls “film quilts” after receiving 16 mm films from the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Anthology Film Archives. The artist cuts and sews lengths of film together, referencing traditional American quilt patterns and attaches her pieces to a light box.
Yumang works in intensive, research-based series examining how queer optics permeate into culture. Included are several sculptural constructions from the series “Drum,” which reference a 1960s queer magazine by the same name that differed from similar publications of the period by blending sexuality, politics, literature and humor.
A free exhibition tour with senior exhibitions curator Holly Jerger will be held on Aug. 7, from noon-1:30 p.m. Craft Contemporary is located at 5814 Wilshire Blvd. For information, call (323)937-4230, or visit craftcontemporary.org.
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