.0320 Italian Story 1978

Rags, cut, sewn, compacted.  8″x5″x4 1/2”. Collection of the Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University. 

Exhibited at the Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C., 1984.

This piece is seminal–a precursor– foreshadowing many of the themes I continue to address and return to:
saving, re-use, record keeping, journaling with materials, autobiography. “Italian Story” is made from bits of fabric that had already been used when I discovered and purchased them in a store on Via Santa Reparata in Florence, Italy in 1974 or 75. This unusual store was located a few doors down from the Santa Reparata Printmaking Studio where I was first introduced to the exciting medium of etching. In what felt like an un imaginable juxtapostion, this “store” was also located steps away from “The Last Supper,”1445-1450– by Andrea del Castagno –a dramatic and powerful work that impressed itself on my memory (accessed through a door on Via Ventisette Aprile at the corner with Santa Reparata) I was on a tight budget and had never been much of a shopper, but I looked through these piles(small hills!) of rags and chose the ones that reminded me most of the colors of the Tuscan landscape that was unlike anything I’d ever seen prior. I had grown up in a (nondescript)Chicago suburb. In Florence I had entered a thrilling stage of my artistic development. I was also fortunate to be on the receiving end of great unexpected encouragement and affirmation of my experimentation with less orthodox techniques and materials. I began to print on these fabric scraps, sew them together, embroider them. I started to make a quilt. Ultimately, i was unsatisfied with it visually. But it was a reflection of a lot of time, thought , and experience. It had the aura of some of my history on top of the history the rags held-the life that the fabric had before it came into my hands. Italy was my first experience of a culture older than that of the US, with visible layers of long history, In this piece I chose to layer, compress, and thereby distill this record, and reveal some mysterious sense of it by exposing the layers.

.0035 The Bhgavad Gita-As It Is 1978

Pulped pages of the book “The Bhagavad Gita- As It Is, given to me at an airport. 16″x 9 1/2″x 3 1/2”. Collection of the artist.

Exbitited in “Bookworks: DC,” at the Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C., 1980.

Exhibited in “Packard, Spaulding, Yamaguchi,” at the Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C., 1984.

.0033 Continental Shelf 1978

National Geographic magazines. 10″x7″x 2 1/4″. Collection of the artist.

Exhibited in “Paper: Changing Uses and Concepts,” Gallery 10, Washington, D.C., 1980.

Exhibited in “BOOKWORKS:D.C.,” Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C.,1980

Exhibited in “Packard, Spaulding, Yamaguchi,” Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C.,1980