Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock now open at Cranbrook Art Museum
3 November 2021
Tracing the artist’s career over five decades, Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock is the artist’s first major museum retrospective in the United States, consisting of some 60 works that elucidate her seminal influence and technical innovations. The artist was first introduced to the medium of fiber during her studies with Marianne Strengell at Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1954-1955. Since that time her work has prolifically evolved beyond the functional qualities of weaving into more experimental and sculptural woven forms.
Amaral’s woven sculptures are the result of a lifetime of experimentation and material studies drawing on techniques like plaiting and wrapping, using materials as varied as horsehair and gold leaf. Amaral has formed a unique visual language of abstraction that draws upon Colombia’s landscape and history as well as the artist’s own identity. Taking its title from an assignment Amaral had given to her students at the famed Haystack craft school in 1967, the exhibition Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock poetically expounds on her expansive views of textile practice. Still practicing in her eighties, Olga de Amaral’s work offers a prescient exploration of the expressive potential of fiber at a moment of renewed interest in the medium by contemporary artists and historians alike.
Olga de Amaral: To Weave Rock was previously on view at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (25 July – 19 September 2021). The major touring retrospective is on view at Cranbrook until 13 February 2022 and is accompanied by a fully illustrated ctalogue, including texts by co-curators Laura Mott and Anna Walker. The exhibition also coincides with Lisson Gallery's first exhibition with the artist, The Elements, on view at 508 West 24th Street in New York until 18 December.
Learn more about the exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum here.
Image courtesy Cranbrook Art Museum, photography by PD Rearick.