Art With Fabric Blog Hop -- 5th Edition

Alida of Tweety Loves Quilting is hosting the 5th Edition of the Art With Fabric Blog Hop.  I decided to play along!

The theme for this edition of the hop is 1 + 1 = 3

I have to admit I was somewhat stumped by this theme.  The concept is from Josef Albers, who highlights how two graphic elements positioned close to each other may create additional graphical elements and active negative space.  I am always appreciative of negative space.  But it could also mean other things -- a mathematical absurdity (you did know the answer to the equation above is incorrect, right? ;)) or the fact that society may be greater than the sum of the individuals who make it up.  I thought and thought, and decided to take the theme a little differently.  I took one painting and interpreted it in a small quilt.  And then I took that quilt and abstracted it further.  And finally, I took the second quilt and abstracted it further.  So three degrees of abstraction from one inspiration piece.

Abstract enough for you?

I love the work of Josef Albers, and since Alida had mentioned him in her description of the theme, I decided to use one his paintings as my starting point.  Albers is best known as an abstract artist and color theorist.  But he was also a printmaker, poet, photographer, educator and typographer.  He came to the US in 1933 from Germany and taught at Yale. His book,  The Interaction of Color, has been in print since 1963.  I have a copy of the 1971 edition, and if you don't have it (any edition will do), it is worth seeking out.  His work and his use of color are very recognizable and his color theory is very interesting.

I chose "Variant: 4 Reds Around Blue," 1948.
Which, as I gazed at it, presented the questions "How do you abstract something that has already been simplified to it's basic elements?  How do you abstract an abstraction?"

I try very hard every month to use the inspiration piece as just that, inspiration.  I have no desire to copy a painting or sculpture in fabric.  Rather, I try to use it as a starting point.  So I made a few sketches and came up with this piece.
Albers #1, 17"w x 22"h
Very simple.  In fact I thought it was too simple.  So I sketched a little more and tried to move it a little farther away from the original.
Albers #2, 17"w x 28"h
I liked the tension/sense of imbalance of this piece, but I still didn't love it.  So I moved in a completely different direction.  And I added some green.  Adding green is never a bad idea, in my opinion.
Albers #3, 24" x 24"
I liked this piece better, but it doesn't look very much like the Albers piece, does it?  Perhaps that's the point.

Visit all of the wonderful blogs on this blog hop!  


piecefulwendy said…
I considered Albers' work too for this blog hop, but I couldn't decide what I wanted to do, and I really wanted to make the rooster I ended up with. I did get his book, though, and will enjoy using that for some inspiration. His classes sound like they were fun and challenging. It's fun to see your three variations, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts as you created them.
Tu-Na Quilts said…
I enjoyed reading your thought process for making each of the pieces. Your piece turned out great and I can see how you were inspired by the original art work to finally achieve it. I always remember what I learned in school, “Art is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone will have their own interpretation.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri.
Tami Von Zalez said…
I like that "How do you abstract an abstraction?"
Which piece did you settle on finishing?
It’s so interesting to see and read aboiut your thought process in trying to abstact and abstract. Kind of an abstraction obsession (try to say that 3 times fast) lol!
Hi Heather, I like all three of your quilts - like you said, the original is just a starting point. Personally I like the 2nd one the best since it reminds me of a pile of books that may or may not topple over (much like the piles in my bedroom!)...and yes, a little green is usually a good thing:-)
I have always been a very literal type of girl, so I admire anyone comfortable working in the abstract. Your process was very interesting, I'm glad you walked us through it. Thanks.
AlidaP said…
Wow, you abstracting an abstracted piece sounds super intense!! You created three amazing pieces and I am so inspired by your creativity and talent!! Thanks for joining the blog hop and for making it a success!!!
Vivien Zepf said…
This is a really cool idea!! Well done!