Friday, May 16, 2008
Book Review: Masters: Art Quilts
I don't know why, but I've been in a creative slump lately. The thought of working with fabric just hasn't interested me. But today I knew I was going to be someplace where I'd be sitting and waiting for an hour or more, so on my way out of the house I grabbed a book I just received: Masters: Art Quilts: Major Works by Leading Artists.... and wow. Am I glad I did.
The book is curated by Martha Sielman, head of SAQA, the Studio Art Quilt Associates. And it's a lovely look at art quilts by 40 different quilt artists. I really, really like a lot of things about this book, but one of the best things is that each artist gets an 8 page spread, so you see an assortment of pieces that really gives you a sense of his or her work. The book is mainly photographs -- Martha Sielman introduces each artist with a brief commentary, and then there are a few quotes from the artist his/herself... And then the quilts speak for themselves.
Another of the things I really like about this book is that the quilt artists include artists from other countries whose work isn't as familiar as some others. I was delighted to be introduced to artists I'd not known about, like Eszter Bornemisza, Kyoung Ae Cho, Jette Clover, and Jeanette Gilks. There are, of course, other masters whose work was more familiar to me, including Jane Burch Cochran, Noriko Endo, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Inge Mardal & Steen Hougs, and Velda Newman.
This isn't a how-to book at all. It's simply a collection of selected works by very talented artists who are pushing the art quilt forward and upward. But it's a great overview of the breadth and depth of relatively current art quilting, and it's chock full of inspiration.
My 90 minutes in the waiting room flew by and I didn't make it halfway through the book. But boy, are my fingers itching to get to some fabric and get to work!