Artists from The Grotta Collection opens at browngrotta arts highlighting important works of fiber and dimensional art by more than 40 artists collected by Sandy and Louis Grotta. Artists will include Toshiko Takaezu, Naomi Kobayashi, Norma Minkowitz, Axel Russmeyer and Mariette Rousseau-Vermette.
Long-time patrons of the Museum of Arts and Design and the American Craft Museum of New York the Grotta’s collection represents 70 years of arts patronage as well as unique friendships fostered by the Grottas with pioneering contemporary craft makers in the fields of textile art, sculpture, furniture, and jewelry.
The private collection is housed in an architecturally significant home designed by Richard Meier in the 1980s known as The Grotta House. Built of a balance of glass and concrete, the home was conceived as a living gallery for the collection, framing the objects within the open architecture. Nature, visible from many vantage points, also plays an essential role. The Grotta House is located in Harding Township, NJ.
“In quality and depth, the Grotta collection of contemporary craft outshines all others, including what is in museums,” according to designer and curator Jack Lenor Larsen.
The Grottas’ son, Tom Grotta, and his wife, Rhonda Brown, co-founded browngrotta arts in 1987. Since then, they have been continuing the guardianship and advancing the field of modern fiber art by curating and exhibiting renowned artists and publishing scholarly catalogs. They work with many of the artists who are part of The Grotta Collection.
Artists from The Grotta Collection is a special Fall addition to browngrotta arts’ “Art in the Barn” programming – an annual 10-day exhibition held in the Spring at the couple’s private home. – a two-story barn built in 1895 and expanded and contemporized by architect David Ling. Over 3500 square feet of space with a viewing vista of 55’ allows for experiencing works that reflect complex illusionary space.
The range of works will include ceramic vessels, three-dimensional sculptures made of paper, wood, waxed linen, steel, and basket forms of bark and twigs, bamboo, willow, and cedar. A number of artists have created wall works of linen, viscose, steel, cotton, and horsehair. The techniques are as varied as the materials — weaving, plaiting, knotting, ikat, tying, bundling, crochet and photography.
The exhibition also marks the release of a new book The Grotta Home by Richard Meier: a Marriage of Architecture and Craft (Arnoldsche, $85, 336 pp., 28 x 30 cm, approx. 300 illustrations, hardcover). The book celebrates the Grottas’ lifelong passion for craft art with 300 photographs of the private collection taken in its singular setting, photographed and designed by Tom Grotta. Accompanying essays by contributors to the craft movement including Glenn Adamson, Matthew Drutt, Sheila Hicks, Joseph Giovannini, Louis Grotta, Jack Lenor Larsen, John McQueen, Richard Meier, Wendy Ramshaw and David Watkins, afford the reader a greater sense of how the Grottas have not simply acquired art but have immersed themselves in its making.
Participating artists in Artists in the Grotta Collection include: William Accorsi (US), Dorothy Gill Barnes (US), Birgit Birkkjaer (Denmark), Sara Brennan (UK), Mary Giles (US), Helena Hernmarck (Sweden/US), Marion Hildebrandt (US), Thomas Hucker(US), Kiyomi Iwata (Japan/US), Ferne Jacobs (US), Stéphanie Jacques (Belgium), Tamiko Kawata (Japan/US), Naomi Kobayashi (Japan), Markku Kosonen (Finland), Luba Krejci (Czechoslovakia), Lila Kulka (Poland), Kyoko Kumai (Japan), Gyöngy Laky (US), Kari Lønning (US), Dawn MacNutt (Canada), John McQueen (US), Mary Merkel-Hess (US), Norma Minkowitz (US), Judy Mulford (US), Leon and Sharon Niehues (US), Ed Rossbach (US), Mariette Rousseau-Vermette (Canada), Axel Russmeyer (Germany), Debra Sachs (US), Hisako Sekijima (Japan), Kay Sekimachi (US) , Sylvia Seventy (US), Hiroyuki Shindo (Japan), Karyl Sisson (US), Jin-Sook So (Korea), Aleksandra Stoyanov (Ukraine/Israel), Toshiko Takaezu (US), Chiyoko Tanaka (Japan), Hideho Tanaka (Japan), Deborah Valoma (US), Katherine Westphal (US), Chang Yeonsoon (Korea), Masako Yoshida (Japan).
browngrotta arts is located at 276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT. The Artists Reception and Opening will take place on Saturday, November 2, 2019, from 1 pm-6 pm. The exhibition will be on view from November 3-10, 2019 from 10 am-5 pm daily.