Goldstein Museum of Design presents “Beyond Peacocks and Paisleys: Handmade Textiles of India and its Neighbors” from June 11 through September 25, 2011 at the University of Minnesota – St. Paul campus, 364 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108. The Opening Reception is set for June 10, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Artisans in South Asia use a broad range of handcraft techniques to meet the apparel and home furnishing needs of consumers in India, surrounding nations, and around the world. Beyond Peacocks and Paisleys examines how techniques evolved over time as the producers reached discovered new markets and faced competition from international handcraft and industrial producers.
The handcraft techniques include ikat weaving, several varieties of embroidery, block printing, bandhani and lahariya varieties of tie-dye, and more.
The exhibition showcases saris, shawls, and home textiles collected over a 50 year period by Dr. Donald Clay Johnson, former curator of the Ames Library of South Asia at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Johnson began collecting during a year’s residence in India in 1966.
He named his collection “Paritosh,” which means “contentment,” after his host family’s compound. He continues to expand the collection’s comprehensiveness in techniques and regional design on annual trips to South Asia.
The skilled artisans making these beautiful objects today are the inheritors of long-standing textile traditions, but they also adjust their methods and designs when advances in technology and changes in taste redefine quality. Chief among these changing contexts are political restructurings, globalization, fashion, the industrial and digital revolutions, and public concern with sustainability.
Support for this exhibition and programs provided by: University of Minnesota Libraries, Holly Hunt, Jim Thompson Fabrics, Ginny Friend “of the Surface Design Association” and generous individuals.
Catalog sponsors: Regents Professor Emerita Joanne B. Eicher. The Friends of the Univeristy of Minnesota Libraries, Akhouri A. and Dorothy Sinha, Karin and Bharat Parekh and an anonymous donor.
Curated by Stanford Anderson, Professor of History and Architecture at MIT, the “Eladio Dieste: A Principled Builder”, exhibition will be on display May 30 through August 1, 2011 in the HGA Gallery Rapson Hall, 89 Church St. SE, Minneapolis.
“Light as a brick!” Eladio Dieste, Uruguayan engineer, embraced a little known technique, reinforced masonry, inventing appropriate structural types that he exploited with daring. He was a builder. Innovations in construction were integral to his engineering insights. He built prodigiously, mostly humble structures for storing and making. Yet even these works were raised to higher levels: the sheer daring of great spans with impossibly little material was one step.
Other qualities emerge: the proportions of the whole, the economy and the elegance of the materials, the detail of the parts, and above all, the knowing use of light. These are the qualities of a fine architect.
With a few, all too rare special opportunities, Dieste proved undeniably to be an architect. The churches at Atlántida and Durazno make this evident. Indeed, San Pedro in Durazno is one of the finest architectural works of the late twentieth century, worldwide.
Dieste was committed to scientific theory and to principle in all aspects of life. He would not have realized his brilliant and innovative works had he relied on the conventions of ordinary practice; he rather began from first principles in physics.
We learn that such adherence to first principles does not inhibit, but rather enhances, the search for sound forms appropriate to the demands they must meet. It is physically possible to do what is unreasonable, but working from principles one is not led to the unreasonable. With Dieste one enters upon brilliant work by a man of principle, revealing a process of designing and building that is also principled.
Goldstein Museum of Design is located in the University of Minnesota – St. Paul campus, 364 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108. Visit online at http://goldstein.design.umn.edu.