Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Defining Anonymous

"Defining Anonymous"
mixed media sculpture

This is the fourth and last piece in my Anonymous Series.  Not for lack of ideas or way  to continue but because this body of work hinges on that blue and white quilt which has very little left to give.
In this work I was grappling with the ideas of identity.
Identity of unknown quilt makers.
Identity of quilts that were unsigned, undated.
And the transience of identity when one thing becomes another thing.

Initially a blue quilt that I owned made by an unknown woman (most probably a woman) was deconstructed and remade into an object that was more akin to a collage or painting.  A work that hung on the wall.  While I am more than aware of the 1970's installation of Amish quilts that were hung in an art gallery in New York City creating the first public awareness of "quilt as art object", my intention was to go beyond that concept.  To create a work that used a quilt, or parts of a quilt, both front and back, inside and outside as collage material for a 2D work that would be more related to painting than quilt.
Changing the identity of quilt as functional bed covering to an identity more closely aligned with painting.

There are three of these quilt-become-paintings in the series.
(See March 3, March 12 and March 25 posts to view this work)
While they definitely read, to me at least, more as a painting object, their quilt-ness is still quite prevalent.
My intention was not to delete their relationship to quilt but to distill it into an unexpected form.
The next step seemed to be to make the work sculptural.

There is a solidity to "Defining Anonymous" that is not present in the previous three pieces.
As a sculpture it inhabits 3D space, as it's presence reaches out away from the wall.
It is solid and heavy.
It has an interior that is both inviting and mysterious.
There is a strong reference to quilt in the folds and the way it seems to still want to be a functional object.
Yet there is a strength of character, if you will, that transcends the ideas one associates with quilt.

Have I changed this blue quilt's identity in this work or the previous three pieces
enough to go beyond the functional, traditional notion of a quilt?
Or have I just reinforced the true nature of a quilt that offers /suggests comfort, home, tradition.

For me the transience of identity is in the change from traditional functional bed covering to three
dimensional wall sculpture that certainly references the blue quilt's past, suggesting comfort and perhaps
an essence of memory but establishing its own character as an art object.

Want to receive these posts in your email inbox?
Just use the "Follow by Email" box at the top right of the page to sign up.


  1. I do like this piece! One thought I had just now that I didn't have when I saw it in person is that the top layer is like covers turned back. That's probably obvious to others, but I was seeing it as pure abstraction before. Also just now I spent some time on your website and see that the idea of peeling back is one you've expressed several times. I like when an artist revisits a gesture in multiple works. It makes me wonder and guess at the meaning. While poking around your website, I looked at all the images in Mixed Media on Paper and Canvas. I don't know if you like people to pick favorites, but these are mine: Staying Rooted Somewhere, Taking a Breath, The Lesson in the Work, Resisting Today's Reality, and Apple Blossoms.

  2. Thanks, Linda! I always value your insights. Staying Rooted to Somewhere is also one of my favorites. I enjoyed the challenge of those large paintings but I'm not sure that I am really an abstract painter, although I continue to explore that media.