Opening June 12 – John Garrett and Rebecca Bluestone

Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art announces two solo shows running concurrently June 12 – July 11, 2009, John Garrett’s Second Sight and Rebecca Bluestone’s Landscape, with the opening reception Friday, June 12 from 5 to 8 pm.

John Garrett: Second Sight

Albuquerque artist John Garrett uses traditional textile technologies, such as sewing and weaving, to create unique sculptural forms that incorporate salvaged materials. Layered with meaning, Garrett’s work blurs the lines between textiles, drawings, and sculptures, and also re-imagines functional objects and materials into playful art works that engage the imagination and dazzle the eye.

Garrett, an NEA Fellowship Award winning artist, has been working with textile forms for over 30 years. The new show will explore four different formats Garrett uses to express his aesthetic vision: baskets, wall works, wire works, and scribbles. The scribbles take the idea of simple line drawing made tangible by substituting suspended wire for mediums drawn on a flat surface. Some of Garrett’s wire works can be manipulated by bringing together and taking away certain elements making them interactive. His basket pieces, although they are intended as singular works, also reflect the idea of interactivity: the functional component of traditional fiber arts as vessels, for instance. Garrett translates them into a contemporary idiom by his choice of materials. Sometimes elegant, sometimes chaotic, Garrett’s wall works range from simple, linear constructions to more complex nets of wire and recycled objects that form spectacles of color and light.

Garrett takes the things that are familiar to us, such as board game pieces, aluminum cans, and machine parts, and juxtaposes them into a confluence of interrelated objects with coherent and uniform patterns. Giving these objects a second look, we have the opportunity to reflect on their respective histories as functional items and how this informs their new use as art.

Rebecca Bluestone: Landscape

Incorporating subtle number patterns that allude to the numerical sequence of Leonardo Fibonacci, artist Rebecca Bluestone weaves landscape inspired textiles that reflect idiosyncrasies unique to the Southwest. The connection between form and space in the history of human interaction with the environment is reflected in Bluestone’s vibrantly colored weavings. Trained under master Hopi weaver, Ramona Sakiestewa, Bluestone has created a much sought after body of work that is represented in museum collections throughout North America.  Her work has been featured in several national publications including The New York Times.

Bluestone hand dyes her tapestries in vivid hues with gradations that morph smoothly from one color into another. Reminiscent of the cochineal and indigo dyes used in the fiber arts of pre and post contact societies of the Southwest, her stunning reds and blues capture the colors associated with the desert landscape. The geometric patterns, rendered in repetitive use of squares, convey an idea of human kind’s ongoing manipulation of-and reliance on-landscape and the desire to impose order on nature or to find order within nature and bring it forth.

Bluestone weavings incorporate what she calls “contemplative repetition”, an idea also suggested by the Fibonacci number sequence. It is also an inherent part of the weaving process whereby changes in color and imagery are introduced seamlessly into the work without breaking the pattern created by warp and weft.