I love the delicate handcrafted feel of the work of Bay Area artist Lena Wolff, who currently has an exhibition at the Traywick Contemporary in Berkeley, California. At first glance, the works’ unusual intimate nature make it appear understated. Upon longer viewing, Wolff’s pieces grab the eye as her thoughtful use of color, rhythm and shape cause the image to reverberate with light and energy.
Another Country, a nod to James Baldwin’s novel of the same title, features new works on paper that draw upon the various meanings of the word country. Wolff combines cartography, flags of fictional countries and abstract geometric pieces from early American quilt traditions. Borrowing processes from the quilt and textile worlds, the artist incorporates glued hole-punched papers, pinpricks and layers of hand painted paper cuts that resemble appliqué. Like fabric, multiple panels of paper are sewn together to make large-scale paper quilts. Like traditional fabric quilts, the resulting work beseeches the viewer to touch it. Exquisite!
Lena Wolff is also the curator of Paper Quilt Project: Collaborations in Contemporary Craft, showing concurrently at Berkeley Arts Center, www.berkeleyartscenter.org.
Another Country will be showing at the Traywick Contemporary through December 17, 2011.
*Photos from the Traywick Contemporary Gallery.