January 12 – March 13, 2021 • Textile Center Galleries • Featuring the works of 2020 Fellows Eun-Kyung Suh and Liz Miller
Textile Center was pleased to present the work of our two inaugural McKnight Fiber Artist Fellows: Eun-Kyung Suh and Liz Miller. This exhibition was on view in Textile Center’s Joan Mondale and Mary Giles Galleries from Tuesday, January 12 through Saturday, March 13, 2021.
McKnight Fiber Artist Discussion Series
This is a recording of the first in a series of Zoom conversations with McKnight Fiber Artist Fellows. For this session, which took place on February 26, 2021, we welcomed 2020 fellows Liz Miller and Eun-Kyung Suh for a conversation with Glenn Adamson.
Adamson is a renowned curator, critic, former director of MAD in NYC and head of research at the V&A, and author of numerous books on craft and critical thinking, including Thinking Through Craft (2007); and Fewer Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects (2018). In 2020, he met with our fellows and this follow up conversation presents their work in fiber and textiles within the context of contemporary art. Special thanks to the McKnight Foundation for their generous funding of the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists.
This is a recording of the second in a series of Zoom conversations with McKnight Fiber Artist Fellows. For this session, which took place on March 8, 2021, we welcomed 2020 fellows Liz Miller and Eun-Kyung Suh for a conversation with Karen Patterson.
Patterson is the first-ever curator at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, appointed in 2019. Prior to this, she served for seven years as senior curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, curating and organizing more than 40 exhibitions and installations, bridging a multifaceted program featuring unique collections, an ambitious contemporary art program, and a celebrated residency program. Patterson’s curatorial approach combines a strong desire to elevate the public’s understanding of the creative process with a belief that art can be anchored in a variety of societal discourses. She recently met for studio visits with our fellows and this follow up conversation presents their work in fiber and textiles within the context of contemporary art.
Work by Eun-Kyung Suh
Eun-Kyung Suh’s work explored the contrasting qualities of two components of the life cycle, life and death, which are conceptually twisted like a lemniscate curve. In Shelter, geometric vessel-like forms aggressively spread across the walls, arduously crawled over fences, and persistently overcame barriers, similarly to how we live our lives. During 2020, discarded fabrics were collected at garage, estate, and moving sales from rural towns in Minnesota. These highly personal, familial, and even cultural fragments were embedded inside the vessels to punctuate a map-like trail. In Falling Loss, multi-layered, loosely draped silk panels suspended from the ceiling revealed laser-cut shapes, suggestive of aerial view maps. The pile of countless fallen silk cutouts became a ghostly and cloudlike backdrop for the waxing and waning projections of names from obituaries, illustrating the loss witnessed in 2020 as truly unprecedented, unrelenting, and ubiquitous.
Cardboard, discarded fabric, thread, laser cutting
Silk organza, thread, pvc pipes, mirror, hardware, projected text, laser cutting
Work by Liz Miller
Liz Miller’s Blind (Fort for 2020) explored broad ideas of infrastructure through abstract arrangements of materials that were at once structural and malleable, banal and decorative. Utilitarian, building and sporting materials like gutter guards, nylon jersey mesh, and tactical rope were transformed into an elaborate site-specific environment that integrated ornate handiwork with materials that sometimes seemed diametrically opposed to this treatment. The slow, elaborate act of stitching and the disposable, plastic elements that comprised the work’s armature existed in an inherent tension that was mirrored in the landscape where Miller lives. During the isolation of 2020, she cycled the gravel roads of her rural environment, experiencing both a desire to fit into the landscape, and a desire to be removed from it. She often saw remnants of building projects littered across the roads and in the ditches, and imagined herself sewing her own fort from these elements. Blind (Fort for 2020) was at once a protective barrier against the rural landscape, a celebration of it, and an escapist fantasy of what her own makeshift environment would look like.
Blind (Fort for 2020)
About the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists
Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive, the McKnight Foundation’s arts program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1982. The McKnight Artist Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 14 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently the foundation contributes about $2.8 million per year to its statewide fellowships. For more information, visit mcknight.org/artistfellowships.
Textile Center is honored to be a McKnight Artist Fellowships program partner.
(Header image: artwork by Eun-Kyung Suh [left] and Liz Miller [right])