Fabric Connection: Seven Swiss Contemporary Quilt Artists
January 22 - April 18, 2009
Fabric Connection: Seven Swiss Contemporary Quilts Artists highlights the diversity and innovation of seven pioneering artists who have built a new tradition of quiltmaking. The artists of Fabric Connection came together out of a passion for quilting. Maryline Collioud-Robert, Beatrice Lanter, Elizabeth Portmann, Ursula Kern, Ursula Koenig, Katherina Della Chiesa, and Sylvia Einstein have each worked professionally for many years. The artists have developed strong contemporary styles, some with a stunning exuberance, others with an enthralling tranquility, many sharing an inventive, unconventional approach to materials. Their work comes to the United States in this exciting exhibition. Although Switzerland hasn't a formal tradition of patchwork, the country has a very strong history of fine needlework, especially embroidery and knitting, as well as of high-quality silk fabric production. Quiltmaking came to Swiss awareness in the 1960's as many Swiss nationals visited the United States and came to appreciate the art form. Gradually, patchwork became incorporated into the already-rich Swiss needlework tradition. As seen in the works of Fabric Connection, this absence of a tradition has fostered dynamic reinterpretations of traditional techniques in service of a very modern aesthetic. Nonetheless, this textile form remained a craft, not an art, in the eyes of many in the European art community. It was partially to raise awareness of quilting as a valid art form that the contemporary art quilt group Fabric Connection was formed. Breaking down barriers took determination, but has won a place for quilting in the Swiss art world. The artists originally met at the first quilt exhibit held in Switzerland, organized by the "Club de Patchwork du Littoral Neuchtelois." Over several intervening years, the artists came to admire the others' works, and the group came together, submitting portfolios of their work to eleven galleries and museums, and exhibiting together for the first time at the gallery of the Basel School of Design. Many of the works from this original exhibition are included in the NEQM exhibit. Together, the artists of Fabric Connection have created an exhibit that will delight and inspire. Fabric Connection will run from January 22 through April 18, 2009 at the New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St., Lowell, MA. Support for this exhibition is provided in part by Swissnex-The Consulate of Switzerland in Boston.