Fuzzy Logic at the Des Lee Gallery, February 5 – March 13, 2010
“Craft” is a fantastically nebulous term. We might associate it with actors, glassblowing, witches, or cuisine –– and each would be apt. More commonly, it might evoke a variety of handmade crafts, including knitting, latch-hook rugs, needlepoint samplers, tatted lace, and patchwork quilts. These traditional handicrafts provide the inspiration –– as well as the techniques and materials –– for the work in the exhibition Fuzzy Logic.
The contemporary reclamation of traditional craft –– driven by issues of sustainability, frugality, anti-consumerism, and a feminist reclamation of “women’s work” –– is something of a cultural phenomenon. When handicraft is utilized in the realm of fine art, many of its cultural associations are subverted. But since knitting has become a hip hobby, simply utilizing materials like yarn, felt, or fake flowers isn’t particularly radical. Instead, we are faced with the term’s multiple meanings –– in particular its connotation of utility –– which contradicts the already tenuous delineations between “fine art,” “design,” and “craft.” The artists in Fuzzy Logic do not merely present craft with a twist, but explores its potential more fully. Because craft is democratic, it is familiar and accessible. It is textural and tactile, inviting our participation. The work in Fuzzy Logic exploits this, evoking our desires for comfort, connection, contentment, and indulgence –– as well as the complacency, superficiality and fleeting joy that might accompany these feelings. While the myriad new directions in fiber art in recent years have encouraged us to consider the ways craft can look and function, the artists in this exhibition ask, “how does it feel?”
Fuzzy Logic is curated by Audrey Mast and features artists Gina T. Alvarez (St. Louis), Mike Andrews (Chicago), Amanda Browder (New York), Rob Conger (New York), Shelby Donnelly (Philadelphia), Carson Fox (New York), Orly Genger (New York), Laura Splan (New York) and Stacia Yeapanis (Chicago). Join us at the Des Lee Gallery for the opening reception Friday, February 5, 2010 from 6-9 pm. The exhibition runs through March 13, 2010.
The Des Lee Gallery is located at 1627 Washington Ave., St. Louis, Missouri 63103. 314.621.8735. Gallery hours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 1 until 6.