A provocative and timely exhibition of work by international artists that use knitting and traditional handcrafts in unexpected and unorthodox ways, Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting illuminates a field of creative practice that is fresh, surprising, and engaging. The exhibit features 27 artists from seven countries, and the work ranges from Althea Merback’s microknit garments (1:144 scale) to large-scale, site-specific installations. The artists employ a variety of media, from traditional yarns and laces, to found objects and video, and explore contemporary currents in art practice of socially engaged, participatory work.

Radical reformers in the world of knitting and lace making have overthrown the status quo from the inside out. In the space of ten years, knitting has emerged from the “loving hands at home” hobbyist’s den into museums and galleries worldwide. Knitting clubs meet in cities from San Francisco to Stockholm, while interactive knitting “performances” have been held in as seemingly unlikely places as the London Underground. Artist Sabrina Gschwandtner turned the traditional knitting circle into a participatory event, in which Museum visitors can use knitting to engage in a dialogue about war. Janet Echelman’s work also provides social commentary, highlighting the countries that have publically detonated nuclear weapons

The artists in this exhibition are experimenting with forms and techniques in the most novel and surprising ways, exploring new relationships between structure, design, color, and pattern. Yoshiki Hishinuma uses industrial knitting machines to create 3-dimensional free-form sculptures, some of which are also wearable. Industrial designer Niels van Eijk has used lace techniques to create a lamp out of optical fibers.

And the rest of the artists are equally interesting!

If you are in the New York area and a devotee of the knitting arts, don’t miss this exhibit!

WHEN: January 25 – June 17, 2007
WHERE: Museum of Arts and Design, 40 West 53rd St., NY 212.956.3535
OPEN: Daily 10 am-6pm, Thursdays until 8 pm, Closed Major Holidays
COST: $9 for adults, $7 students & seniors, free for members


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