Olga de Amaral, Brumas (detail), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and The Patinoire Royale- Galerie Valerie Bach.
Olga de Amaral, one of the most recognized names in Latin American art, lives and works in her native Bogatá, Colombia. Tracing the artist’s career over five decades, Olga de Amaral: To Weave A Rock is the artist’s first major museum retrospective in the United States, consisting of some 60 works that elucidate her seminal influence and technical innovations. The artist was first introduced to the medium of fiber during her studies with Marianne Strengell at Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1954-1955. Since that time her work has prolifically evolved beyond the functional qualities of weaving into more experimental and sculptural woven forms.
Amaral’s woven sculptures are the result of a lifetime of experimentation and material studies drawing on techniques like plaiting and wrapping, using materials as varied as horsehair and gold leaf. Amaral has formed a unique visual language of abstraction that draws upon Colombia’s landscape and history as well as the artist’s own identity. Taking its title from an assignment Amaral had given to her students at the famed Haystack craft school in 1967, the exhibition Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock poetically expounds on her expansive views of textile practice. Still practicing in her eighties, Olga de Amaral’s work offers a prescient exploration of the expressive potential of fiber at a moment of renewed interest in the medium by contemporary artists and historians alike.
Olga de Amaral: To Weave A Rock is organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The exhibition is curated by Laura Mott, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art and Design, and Anna Walker, Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The project is generously supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, a Craft Research Fund Grant from the Center for Craft, and The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts.
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