Monday, March 26, 2007

More on the Quit Show - the New York Attitude

Above #13, by Mary Anne Ciccotelli, one of the ribbons on it is for best use of color. The picture doesn't even show how very colorful it is for the border fabric has all the colors of the main body. {The woman in the photo is unknown, it's not the quiltmaker.] When I go to a show I try to find the motifs -- even when there is no curator, when it's open to all as this show was, usually there is one or more motifs -- reflections of the time, the place, the ideas floating in the air. One of the motifs of this show was COLOR -- lots of it, bright, bold, aggressive, color sometimes for its own sake. A couple of years ago I saw a show in Brooklyn where many of the members were also in the Quilters of Color organization; then too I noted the use of color. But in that case much of it was inspired by African fabrics. In this case, the color is very similar but only a few quilts were full of African fabrics. More, I think, were full of Japanese fabrics -- not the recent Japanese quilters' love of taupe, but bold colors, lots of orange koi and other motifs.

Below are a couple more quilts, "Stars and Stripes" by Maggie Williamson and "Tropical Fantasy" by Margaret Morris. I took the photos mainly because they were quite close to each other and at that particular time the crowd was not too thick. But I tipped the camera, as you can see. I do not know any of these women [the guild is very large, and I'm not awfully active]. I felt, throughout the show the color was brilliant, aggressive and unexpected. It's an in-your-face feeling. A New York feeling.

After all the bright quilts the quilt below, "Heart-a-flutter" by Shirley Clark was a rest for the eye -- black and white with tiny hits of red! but it too is a bold design. We know different parts of the country, different cities have their own parochialisms, their own attitudes and tones. I felt the strength of design and color in this show was very New York. Also very New York was the excellence of execution. I've been to smaller quilt shows, both on Cape Cod and upstate, and found neither design nor execution so strong. It's the competitiveness here, the feeling that one MUST do an outstanding job and most make a statement people will remember.

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