Bienvenu Steinberg & J is pleased to present Between Texts and Textiles, an exhibition including eight international artists. The works featured stretch the fabric of reality, from text to textile, from pattern to language. What is presented is a gradual approach to painting, sculpting, weaving and writing by visual fusion of what might be called the textile sign. The works break the link between vehicle and destination: textiles to be read with no intention of being informed, texts with no plot and no point.
Language and text are at the tactile and metaphoric center of Ann Hamilton’s work. She uses common materials to invoke particular places, collective voices, and communities of labor. What are the places and forms for live, visceral, face-to-face experiences in a media saturated world? In Shell, an homage to Joseph Beuys, in the form of a white felt coat, as well as in a group of collages on book end paper, the relations of cloth, touch, motion and human gesture give way to dense materiality.
In her re-reading of twentieth Century avant-garde practices, Fernanda Fragateiro frequently repurposes already-existing and symbolically layered material, in order to fashion delicate work criss-crossed by an intricate web of inner references to the history of art and architecture. Her ongoing Overlap sculptures are made of stainless steel supports and handmade fabric-bound sketchbooks. Overlapping is an important word to talk about the essence of all these works: overlapping of elements, overlapping of materials, overlapping of histories, and time overlapping. In a new series of paintings titled Poly-Grounds, Suzanne Song creates multifaceted dimensions that blur the boundary between illusion and reality. The paintings’ shapes are direct extractions of the marginal spaces delineated from previous bodies of work. The placement of shadows disrupts the flat picture plane and transforms the two-dimensional surface into an ambiguous field: are we looking at a painting, a very finely woven fabric or a polished surface?
Visions, inspired by dreams, surrounding life, or drawn from the unconscious, are at the heart of Mia Enell’s paintings. She plays with words through images, her figures of speech are free associations on canvas. Loosely Knit is a literal rendering of its title: a system of interconnected discrete units freed from instrumental utility or significance. Alina Bliumis’ text-based sculptural works, Concrete Poems, recall street wall scribbles, graffiti, and absurdist poetry. They consist of words literally inscribed on tablets of wet concrete. Border/Order; Textile/Tile; Lover/Over: the playfulness of crossword puzzles often leads to unexpected existential interrogations. Using ready made expressions or repetitions of a single word, Elvire Bonduelle utilizes a repertoire of images and objects with apparently joyful potential. Made of words carefully calligraphed -in her own hand-designed font- over colorful wave patterns, Bonduelle’s paintings revel in their own obviousness.
Analia Saban dissects and reconfigures traditional notions of painting, often using the medium of paint as the subject itself and the canvas as a medium rather than a support. Her methods such as unweaving paintings, laser-burning the canvas, molding forms or weaving paint through linen thread, remain central to her practice, as she continues to explore tangible materials in relation to the metaphysical properties of artworks. Julianne Swartz articulates an architecture of frailty. When viewed, her sculptures are activated slightly, at times, they even appear to breathe. Zero blanket is a silent tapestry, made from hair-thin copper wire. The tenuous lines from the irregularly weaved structure delineate and hold space until emptiness becomes substance. Zero Blanket embodies invisible presence and tangible absence, it engages a palpable vulnerability.