May 6-28, 2016
Please join us for the opening reception of our new exhibitions on First Friday, May 6, 6-9pm
curated by Tomas Volkmann
Part of the European Union’s Month of Culture, Nordic Stars presents selected works of the best Nordic fashion illustrators and is an updated selection of a bigger project New Nordic Fashion Illustration Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, exhibited at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (2015) and the Helsinki Design Museum (2012).
As a genre, fashion illustration brings the focus to the artist’s interpretation of sources of inspiration in contemporary fashion, embracing the full variety and richness of illustration styles, while concentrating on the poetic intersection of present-day fashion and time codes.
It is a unique momentary expression of the artist’s poetic sovereign choice: a colorful selfish worldview that, at the same time, takes account of the fashion industry trends, sometimes opposing to them, sometimes interpreting them, or making an attempt to capture new drifts.
Fashion illustration serves as a paradox between the boundaries of pragmatism and creative freedom, being a unique fusion of the two and, as such, an integral part of the fashion media: magazines, commercials, fashion design, decorations, textiles, videos, and applied art.
Nordic Stars was curated by Toomas Volkmann and brings to you the brightest illustration artists from Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Participating artists include Britt Samoson (Estonia), Marju Tammik (Estonia), Mads Berg (Denmark), Naja-Conrad Hansen (Denmark), Cecilia Carlstedt (Sweden), Daniel Egneus (Sweden), Laura Laine (Finland), Jarno Kettunen (Finland)
Rikke Kühn Riegels (Washington, DC + Denmark)
In A State of Impermanence
As a bridge between an initial idea and a final result, the model plays a central role in the work of the architect. It serves as an important tool in this process of realization as it allows ideas to become tangible, testifiable, modifiable. In her work as a painter, Riegels also work with architectural models, but unlike the architect, hers do not only function as tools to enhance her understanding of basic spatial problems like perspective, depth, proportion etc. Rather they are themselves the subjects of Riegels’ attention.
Architecture is often thought of and also depicted as the stable foundation for modern transient life. The rocks for city dwellers. However, architecture is man-made, a result of imagination and craftsmanship. What interests Riegels about architectural models is that they so explicitly point to that feature and thus remind us about the fragility and impermanence of our physical surroundings. They invoke the same type of insights we get in moments of catastrophe, as when we see buildings or even cities torn apart after earthquakes, hurricanes or times of war. But in contrast to the ruin, architectural models offer us such perspective in their virtue of being something not yet existing rather than something not anymore existing. They express hope, potential and dreams. And they remind us about the mobility and lightness of the structures we take as the most cemented framework for our lives, however terrifying or optimistic that might be. These structures might be concrete walls or they might be the dogmas we set up as points of navigation through life. In other words, architecture models contain a much richer meaning as they refer to a complexity that goes far beyond their apparent status as tools in a process. This richness is what Riegels intended to bring about as a topic of reflection with this series of paintings.
Rikke Kühn Riegels is a Danish artist living in Washington DC. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and art spaces in Denmark, Sweden and Washington DC. After finishing her master’s degree in philosophy at The New School in New York she moved to Washington DC in 2015 where she became part of Brewmaster’s Studios at The Heurich House Museum. Rikke Kühn Riegels has been a visiting artist at The Corcoran School of the Art and Design and a guest lecturer at CUA’s school of architecture.
Dominie Nash (Washington, DC)
In our Members Gallery, Dominie Nash shows The Recombination, a series that began as experiments in monoprinting on fabric. Each completed work is a combination of two or more of the original prints: layered, cut through, collaged, and stitched together. The originals are retained but transformed into something new. Some larger fabric pieces incorporate rubbings of leaves, with scraps and experiments left over from making the cloth used in some of Nash’s older work. These “found” fabrics are rescued and recycled into new pieces.
Nash is a full-time studio art quilter, primarily self-taught. She has spent the last 20 years learning and practiving her art, first in my home studio and later in artist cooperative spaces. After a brief career in social work, Nash discovered textile arts in the late 1960’s and began to explore as many techniques and materials as she could. She felt she had finally found a kind of work, which would be fulfilling over the long haul. At the beginning she concentrated on weaving and dyeing, making a few quilts now and then; the number kept increasing until she realized that this was her medium. She gradually developed her own way of doing things and a personal style, which involved finding a way to do the types of designs she envisioned without using the precise techniques of traditional quiltmaking. Hence, a sort of overlapping appliqué, leaving the edges raw, was her solution. Since she didn’t know the rules, Nash felt was free to break them and to achieve the kind of spontaneity she was seeking.