Quilts and Abstract Expressions at Sara Kay Gallery

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Function to Freedom: Quilts and Abstract Expressions
is an exhibition on view at Sara Kay Gallery in NY, on view until January 27, 2018.

Function to Freedom features around twenty handwoven quilts in brightly coloured materials from rich velvets to feed sacks alongside an exceptional selection of abstract works by Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Yayoi Kusama, and Louise Nevelson. The show focuses on women artists and the socio-political context of 19th century North American society in which these works were produced. These work

The departure from being a merely functional passive hobby and peaceful process (made possible by developments in technology and, accordingly, changes in technique, style and purpose) shifted people’s perspective on quilting to be recognized as a proactive complex and expressive art form reflecting a wide range of artistic voices and messages.

“The thoughtful display of quilts aligned with abstract works offers a dialogue between the technical splendor and lyricism of geometric patterns with the apparent freedom of color and expression,” explained Sara Kay. “These works blur the boundary between canvas and quilt, what is art and what is craft, and whether this distinction is a meaningful one. Function to Freedom is a celebration of the artistic voices of women. It is a portrait of women’s boundless vision and resourcefulness.”

Image: Left: Southern Exposure by Helen Frankenthaler, 2002, acrylic on paper. Right: Double-sided Linsey-Woolsey, c. 1790. Photo by Adam Reich; courtesy of Sara Kay Gallery.