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Whirlwind of Art NYC: Grid/Weave/Tangle

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Last week I flew out to NYC for some Art saturation.  Museums, Galleries, the Whitney Biennial, a show, studio visits… it was wonderful.  There will be a post about all that, but I thought I’d share the work that really connected to my current exploration of weave and grid and tangle.

I happened to see Jasper John’s “Regrets” series at MOMA and noticed a lot of fabric and weave in his prints!  It was interesting to me that though I knew him as a painter since high school, I’d never really seen any of his print work (one of those some-media-privileged-over-others things?).  He also directly incorporated cloth and weave into his in 0-9 series on display there. Last week I was just working out how I would incorporate the weave into my first copper plate and here was a famous artist doing just that.  Serendipitously later that day I saw another Jasper Johns piece at Matthew Marks Gallery in Chelsea related to the 0-9 prints at MOMA which was done as a bronze sculpture … again with the weave.

The following slide show is made up of the work around NYC, old and new that fed  into the shapes and thoughts around grid/weave/tangle that I’ve been exploring.


Written by Mary Corey March

March 29, 2014 at 1:00 am

First Responses

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responsesContinuing on the Write me for Art (working title) project…

I’ve completed two responses so far out of the hundreds I expect. I’ve already discovered how huge a range there is in how easy one type of handwriting is to embroider than another.  Curves take more stitches, and getting details correct is involving multiple tries at times.

These are from the responses my nurse friend got at the hospital in San Francisco.  There are a lot of sad ones in this batch, but they are really beautiful too.

It will be interesting to get more in the mail because besides the postmarks I will have no clue which groups of people (if there was a group) they were from.  I passed out a few to people around NYC who looked interesting to me in some way or who I talked with- on the street, in the bus, the subway, etc..  I passed some out to a few people in the line for the Rain Room piece at MoMA (partially on the basis that these people might be seriously dedicated to art, but also as a way of participating in an art project, since some of them might not make it in).  I incidentally heard about the piece when it was in London and planed my trip to the East Coast this summer around going when no one had heard of it.  Then it became a Thing and there was just no way.  I went in the short line to see it in action, but didn’t wait the 7 hours to interact (not with a 4 year old!).

One insight from watching that was that I never want to do that to people with my art.  So many of these things have limited access.  I want to make more work that everyone can experience and be part of.

Written by Mary Corey March

July 27, 2013 at 9:47 am


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The first responses are coming in for Write me for Art.  This is so exciting!  A nurse friend of mine took an envelope and some copies of the call to the hospital and came back with some wonderful ones.  From her description people seemed to have a similar reaction to Identity Tapestry on a smaller scale- moments of introspection and being very happy to be part of something.  I’m very glad to hear it.  I’ll be checking my studio mailbox at the end of the day in case there are any more that got mailed in.

I’ve also been thinking.  This is as much a participatory project as Identity Tapestry or any of the others, just in a more private space for the participant, on their own terms.

Tomorrow I leave for New York and now I have a little pile of responses to take with me and work on.  Embroidery was absolutely made for journeys.

Written by Mary Corey March

July 20, 2013 at 10:36 pm

First Response

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watercolor crayon (9/11/2001)

I was in art school in Boston when the World Trade Center was hit.

My first response to the images of 911 was bewilderment, and the second was to do a pile of sketches in front of the news.  It was my only way to process the images. A couple jumping hand-in-hand hit me the hardest. A childlike response was the only thing comprehensible to me- a babble… and so I used crayons.

This large-scale drawing came out of those sketches when I got to my studio at school.  Any over-worked, over-thought response seemed too pretentious to me in that first moment.  Children put things into drawing by impact, without regard to scale or timeline or even what they can actually see.  There were people on that plane and I was thinking of them looking out as they crashed, so I drew them.  The way the whole city seemed to lean away- the smoke, the I-beams, the hovering news helicopter, the person leaning out of a window above the blaze waving a flag.  Did he think someone would be able to reach him?  Could that news helicopter have saved anyone?  What were those two people thinking about as they jumped?  How overwhelmed was that lone fire truck?

I babbled it all out in crayon.

I recall a Colombian student in a very different state of bafflement that day.  For Colombians, he said, this sort of horror was what they lived every day. Buildings bombed, family members disappeared.  Yes, each attack was smaller, but they happened all the time.  He shared our grief, but at the same time found us terribly sheltered from the horrors of war that so many people in the world live with day to day.  I got the feeling we were all the more rocked because we thought we were invulnerable.  I remember Dan Rather- the uncrackable man- crying to that thought.

Today as a mother I mostly think about the children of the workers there losing their parents, and wonder how many children might have been in the building. It breaks my heart.  The other thought that haunts me today is for the fact that the people who were brave enough to go in and help and come out alive are now dying of cancer and are largely unaided by our government.

My reaction to the kind of hate that fuels this kind of attack is still utter bewilderment.  I can comprehend in my mind how these things happen.  Cycles of violence and deprivation.  The passion for a cause that young men in particular get swept up in, the creation and dehumanization of the Other, the surrender of the self to the cause (and with that surrender, letting go of personal empathy).  It happens again and again- to soldiers, revolutionaries, police, prison guards… for as far back in history as we can see.  I’ve had my share of history, psychology, and social psychology.  It doesn’t stop me from babbling in incomprehension when hate strikes.

In the spirit of looking forward, everything I have ever seen or read speaks to reaching for empathy for the Other.  To stop anything that makes you separate them into other (or worse, into “not important people, or not really people, or into “vermin” or things).  It’s a slippery slope.  Try to understand someone completely not your kind of person today.  Try to find your common thread of humanity with someone you see on some level as the “enemy” or at the very least with someone you just don’t understand.

Written by Mary Corey March

September 11, 2011 at 8:50 am