Vibrant and joyful with eye-popping colors and textures, "Thread" at the Long Beach Museum of Art pushes the boundaries of textile art. Selected works range from modern to contemporary and display the ability to use thread to create narratives, sculpture and political comment.
"Thread" includes selections by some of today’s leading fiber artists: local and international,Terri Friedman, Miyoshi Barosh, Hannah Epstein, Diedrick Brackens, Tanya Aguiniga, Ardeshir Tabrizi, Channing Hansen, Moffat Takadiwa, Jeffrey Gibson, Luis Flores, Christina Forrer, Tschabalala Self, Ebony G. Patterson and Chiachio & Giannone.
Art in this exhibit has been created from wood pulp, home-spun wool and thread, alpaca, flax, jute, metallic fibers, re-purposed knitted and crocheted Afghans, linen, pipe cleaners, hemp, hair, cotton and beads and rhinestones, to name a few materials. Themes include Peruvian and Iranian mythology, pop culture, climate change, global recycling, colonialism and tribute. Techniques include hoop weaving, reminiscent of shag carpeting, knitting, weaving, macramé, cloth mosaics, stitching, beading, applique and spinning.
Moffat Takadiwa, from Zimbabwe, creates large-scale sculptural pieces from ordinarily discarded materials, including items such as computer waste, aerosol cans and spray bottles, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes. The artist’s choice of materials communicates his concern with issues of consumerism, inequality, post-colonialism and the environment
Chiachio & Giannone, recently in residence at MoLAA, selected several of their cloth mosaics, speaking to contemporary life. Hannah Epstein created “Intestellar Space Crew” figures from pipe cleaners, and characters from South American mythology using a latch-rug technique. Using “nice” materials and childhood techniques, Epstein brings us into a contemporary narrative of materials usage.
Luis Flores crochets 3-D figures, often contrasting in theme. For this exhibit, we see Flores’s very womanly interpretation of the Venus of Willendorf, Venus( steel), and a life-size “macho man,” Heart Breaker, wearing the artist’s clothes and shoes.
Ron Nelson, executive director of LBMA, said, “In many ways, ‘Thread’ exemplifies what the LBMA is about. We are not easily defined and quite unpredictable. Are we on the road less traveled? Maybe, but we also like the idea of blazing our own trail.”
If you have time, coordinate a visit to LBMA Downtown on Third and Elm to view the "Casting Nets" exhibit by artist Daniel Callis, also with a “thread" theme. The downtown show runs through Jan. 4.
Thread will be on display through Jan. 12 at LBMA 2300 E. Ocean Blvd. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, to 8 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $10 or $8 for students (with I.D.) and seniors 62+. Free admission after 3 p.m. on Thursdays and half price admission all day Friday. Claire’s, the on-site restaurant, provides diners half-price admission with Claire’s receipt, day of dining only. For more information, go to www.lbma.org or call 562-439-2119.