Crisp-Ellert exhibit to feature woven textile as art object

Crisp-Ellert exhibit
January 7, 2016

St. Augustine, Fla. — An exhibition titled “Layout,” featuring woven textile as sculptural object, will kick off the new year at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum from Jan. 15 to Feb. 27.

The exhibition will open with a reception of Los Angeles-based artist Krysten Cunningham’s work on Friday, Jan. 15, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Cunningham will give a walkthrough in conjunction with Art Walk, on Friday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m.

The artist’s body of work is conversant with the history of sculpture as well as that of feminist textile production, often balancing qualities such as masculine versus feminine, hard versus soft, and industrial versus handmade in an attempt to upend the hierarchies implicit between the two. From her series of “God’s Eyes,” hand-dyed and rough-hewn jute woven around industrial metal rods, to colossal industrial fabricated looms with corresponding weavings and to her more recent string drawings that investigate fourth dimensional space and the hypercube, Cunningham demonstrates how materials and techniques traditionally associated with the applied arts can be critically framed against formal sculptural elements to draw attention to their “marginalized and rebellious status as art objects.”

“Layout” presents a new body of work that probes the relationship between text and textile, textile and tool. Cunningham proposes “the way language, labor, technology and gender are interlocked within the history of textile production is a complex subject that is reflected in the woven structure and flexible nature of the textile itself.”

Her series of black and white fleece woven “texts” are parenthesized by sets of over-sized industrially fabricated bookends that hint at the “narrative information … embedded in the patterns and compressed lines of the thick woven cloths.” Drawing influence from the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop, there is a relationship between the reading of Cunningham’s textiles as “texts,” and artists such as Anni Albers and Gunta Stoltz whose writings on weaving theory were integral to their artistic practices. The works together urge the viewer to consider the historical associations alongside the spatial and tactile relationships the artist has created.

Krysten Cunningham has a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of California, Los Angeles (2003) and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (2000). She has had solo exhibitions at the Pomona College Museum of Art; the Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; and Ritter/Zamet Gallery, London. Her work has been featured in many group exhibitions including “Extending the Line” at IDEA Space at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2015); “Craft Tech/Coded Media” at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (2013); “Undone, Making and Unmaking in Contemporary Sculpture" at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (2010); "Beyond Measure" at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK (2008); and "THING: New Sculpture from Los Angeles" UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005) among numerous others in the United States, Germany, Switzerland and England. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

This exhibition and related programs is generously supported through a grant from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

For further information on the exhibition and related programs, please visit the website at, or contact Julie Dickover at 904-826-8530,  The museum’s hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.