February 21-April 18, 2015
Walk-through with the artist: Friday, February 20, 2015 (Please call the gallery for time.)
Opening reception: Saturday, February 21, 2015 5pm-7pm
Shoshana Wayne Gallery is pleased to present Film Quilts, a solo exhibition of new work by Sabrina Gschwandtner. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. Film Quilts features fifteen quilts constructed from celluloid and presented in framed light boxes. Gschwandtner’s work engages viewers on multiple levels; from a distance, bold textile patterns glow like light filtered through stained glass. Up close, individual strips of film converge to form narratives about materiality, labor, and handcraft.
Since 2009, Gschwandtner has been working from a collection of 16 mm films that were de-accessioned from the Fashion Institute of Technology and given to her by Anthology Film Archives. These short films, dated between 1950 and 1980, are educational documentaries about textiles as art, craft, fashion, military camouflage, political expression, and scientific metaphor. The artist makes new meaning out of this source material by cutting and sewing it into configurations based on popular American quilt motifs.
Gschwandtner’s work connects experimental filmmaking methods to the forgotten history of early cinema, in which cameras were constructed from modified sewing machine parts and women with agile sewing fingers were employed as editors. Images of hands at work – weaving, dyeing cloth, feeding fabric into machines – are repeated throughout the exhibition, reminders not only of the artist’s labor and the handcraft history of film editing, but also of the tactile quality of film. To further underscore her treatment of film not as a projected image but as a series of tactile prints, the artist freely uses countdown leader, her own footage scrawled with film lab notations, and film she has marked with lithography ink. In each work, Gschwandtner creates a dialogue between the images inside the frames and the symbolic and historical meanings of the quilt patterns, thereby engaging the notion of filmic suture in a reconfigured form. By pairing the centuries-old craft of quilting with the near-obsolete medium of celluloid, Gschwandtner presents viewers with a new kind of montage.
Sabrina Gschwandtner received a BA from Brown University and an MFA from Bard College. Her work has been exhibited in the United States as well as internationally at institutions including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC; the Museum of Arts and Design in New York; and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her film quilts can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the RISD Museum, the Philbrook Museum, and the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, among many other public and private collections worldwide. The artist lives and works in New York.
For more information please contact Alana Parpal:[email protected]
Upcoming Exhibitions., Sabrina Gschwandtner - Film Quilts