Groundwork Anchorage artist transforms rags to-do lists into large-scale sculptures
September 16, 2014
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High-res jpegs are available in the online media room at anchoragemuseum.org.
Anchorage artist transforms rags, to-do lists into large-scale sculptures
“Groundwork” on view Sept. 26 – Nov. 9 at the Anchorage Museum
In her new solo exhibition, “Groundwork,” Keren Lowell has transformed modest rags into bold, large-scale sculptures. The work, on view Sept. 26 through Nov. 9 at the Anchorage Museum, takes the viewer on a journey through physical and emotional terrain – the literal ground beneath our feet, and the things that keep us grounded.
The Anchorage artist reclaims discarded fabric and paper from domestic environments, including towels, lace, to-do lists and clothing. “There is something humble, heroic, even tragic about this cloth,” Lowell said. “The holes and abrasions are beautiful to me. They reveal an accumulation of use, of work, of neglect and time.”
Historically and culturally, fiber and textiles have been typically considered women's work, often dismissed as decorative, domestic and anonymous. Her contemporary textiles question these prejudices.
Although Lowell’s work is made almost entirely of repurposed fabric and paper, it is all rigid. She layered the materials and applied treatments such as resin so the surfaces look less like textiles and more like leather, stone, wood and hide. In this way, Lowell binds together delicate, discarded materials to build something strong with new purpose.
Lowell ventures into dark territory in this exhibition, but it’s important to note all the work is backlit. For her, the luminous effect acknowledges the enduring power and hope of light.
Lowell has a master’s of fine arts in fiber from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and taught art classes at UAA as an adjunct from 1994 to 2013. Her work has been chosen for Anchorage Museum juried exhibitions including “Earth Fire and Fibre” and “All Alaska Juried.” This is her first solo exhibition at the Anchorage Museum.
Lecture: Groundwork, 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27
Keren Lowell explains how she layers different media to create new textures. Included with museum general admission
Artist on the Floor: Keren Lowell, 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3
Mingle with Anchorage artist Keren Lowell in her solo exhibition and ask her questions. Free
This exhibition is presented as part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series. The Anchorage Museum is grateful to the Alaska State Council on the Arts; the National Endowment of the Arts, a federal agency; the Municipality of Anchorage; and the Anchorage Museum Foundation’s Alaska Airlines Silver Anniversary Fund for ongoing support of the museum’s important solo exhibition series.
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. Learn more at anchoragemuseum.org.