Threaded Visions: Contemporary Weavings from the Collection

Exhibition Website

Feb 24 2024 - Aug 26 2024

Weaving—it’s a familiar term, a millennia-old art form, and a technique used across the world. But what exactly is weaving? What does the process entail?​​

Weaving is the act of making fabric by interlacing threads using a loom. It may sound simple, but because a whole cloth or segment comes off the loom fully realized, all the various artistic decisions—colors, textures, design, materials, techniques—must be decided before any weaving begins. A woven work is a concept made manifest.

This exhibition, drawn entirely from the Art Institute’s permanent collection, explores the beautiful diversity of this ancient and global practice through the works of 13 contemporary artists from five countries. Some of these artists—like Olga de Amaral of Colombia—are internationally admired and have decades-long careers; others—like Qualeasha Wood from the United States—have come to prominence quite recently.

Each of these contemporary creators has been a diligent student of the history of textiles, and this is reflected in their work. Many of the textiles, created from 1983 to today, are made from materials that carry cultural significance for the artist. Respect for the origins of fibers and knowledge of modern and historical techniques enables each artist, in their own way, to make informed decisions about what to use and how to use it.

The show also takes a closer look at the visual alchemy that results from combining different raw materials and techniques, such as coloring materials prior to weaving and using contemporary technology to translate concepts to cloth.

Despite the great diversity and originality these artists display, a common thread runs through their work: appreciation for the limitless possibilities of weaving to communicate ideas about human experience.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

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