Textile, (n.) A woven fabric; any kind of cloth. Also, a synthetic material suitable for weaving; any of various materials, as a bonded fabric, which do not require weaving.                (O.E.D.)

The standard definition of a textile points us to cloth, to the utilitarian, but if we investigate further, one sees that a textile—no matter the construction technique—is essentially a set of elements working together to make a whole. In this sense, textile can be used to describe many things: paintings, drawings, sculptures, and so forth. 

When initially conceiving of this exhibition, we wanted to highlight the expanded field of contemporary fiber practices, where the influence of the of the textile can be seen in a number of ways, from the structure or aesthetic, to the historical and cultural traditions employed in the works. Craft is embraced as content by some and a production tool for others. 

In Eric Dever’s three pieces, IBTW 1.15, IBTW 1.21, IBTW 1.34, the carefully assembled squares and rectangles intersect to resemble the warp and weft of weaving. Each painting utilizes a different material—linen, burlap, or traditional cotton canvas—as its backdrop, but is just as important as the paint. Where each shape ends and a new one begins, the material is highlighted in the negative space.

Though traditionally woven, Michael Radyk’s Orange Plastic Prison is far from the usual. Using plastic lace instead of common thread, Radyk challenges one’s perception of textiles. The lace also represents a strand of relatability that is inherent in textiles. While we relate to textiles through clothing and other objects in our daily lives, the plastic lace brings us back to making keychains as children. 

Jessica Palomo’s graphite marks in Unbounded Growths IV point us to the structure of textiles. Through the intersection of drawn lines, Palomo not only exhibits growth, but also structure. As each mark interacts with each other, we are reminded of the crossing of threads that happens within textiles.

Within Somewhere Between Black and White, all of the works have ties to the fiber arts, whether it is the materiality or the methodologies, while proposing new directions and hybrids that represent the interdisciplinary nature of a contemporary craft practice.

Artists:
Diana Baumbach, Wyoming                                    
Jeremy Blair, Colorado                                            
Audra Carlisle, Arizona
Madison + Matthew Creech, Arizona
Sage Dawson, Missouri
Eric Dever, New York
Liz Ensz, Illinois
Rachel Goodwin, Arizona
Lauren Kalman, Michigan
Taehee Kim, Texas
J. Myszka Lewis, Wisconsin
Shannon Ludington, Arizona
Chelsea Lyles, Arizona
Heather Macali, Michigan
Kristen Miologos, Arizona
Nancy Nakamoto, Arizona
Sarah Nguyen, Missouri
Gina Hedegaard Nielsen, Denmark
Elizabeth Odiorne, Arizona
Jessica Palomo, Arizona
Michael Radyk, Pennsylvania
Courtney Richter, Arizona
Margi Weir, Michigan
Sarita Zaleha, Minnesota

Curated by: 
Molly Koehn, Arizona
Erika Lynne Hanson, Arizona 

Press:
The Best Art Shows in Metro Phoenix in 2015, Phoenix New Times
In Case You Missed, Somewhere Between Black and White, The Arts Beacon