Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50: New York Nexus

Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50: New York Nexus

New York Nexus presents the work of eight artists directly influenced in their studio practice by the Abstract Design in American Quilts exhibition in its original Whitney Museum setting or in other venues during the early 1970s. Most of these artists were working in painting, printmaking, and collage at the time. Although the term art quilt came into use in the mid-1980s, dozens of artists were creating quilts as art in the 1970s, with Abstract Design in American Quilts functioning as an inspirational catalyst.

The expressive possibilities of fabric and stitch viewed in a gallery space opened avenues of creativity explored in various ways by the artists in New York Nexus.

IQM Works in the Exhibition

IQM Works in the Exhibition

Cellular Structure VIII: Oval Shift
Sue Benner
Dallas, Texas, 2007
Silk and cotton, found fabrics; dyed, painted, fused collage, monoprinted, machine quilted
Gift of Friends of IQM and IQM Volunteers, and the Robert and Ardis James Foundation
IQM 2013.047.0001

In her Cellular Structure series, Sue Benner thinks about the layering of structure and looks deeply to see what is beyond the surface. Her education in biomedical science inspires artwork concerned with the human body and the microscopic universe. Benner sees a direct connection between the concept of quilt and the assembly of units, whether in cells or fabric. These shapes inhabit her mind and are the building blocks of her world and art.

A Young Obama
Michael A. Cummings
New York, New York, 2009
African wooden dolls and fabrics, man’s jacket and tie, safety pins, keys, fabric paint; machine appliquéd and quilted, machine and hand pieced
Gift of the Robert & Ardis James Foundation, IQM 2018.077.0002

Referencing the highly decorative nature of many African textiles, Michael Cummings celebrated several aspects of Afrocentric culture in his early quilts, including Egungun costume from Nigeria and Haitian folklore. His most recent work features heroic interpretations of political and literary icons, such as Shirley Chisholm, Barack Obama, and James Baldwin. Throughout his career as a quilt artist, Cummings has remained true to his roots, exploring various aspects of what it means to be a Black artist in this country.

IQM Works in the Exhibition

Gallery Photos

Gallery Photos
Gallery Photos

Virtual Gallery Walkthrough

Virtual Gallery Walkthrough
Virtual Gallery Walkthrough
Support for this exhibition has been provided by contributions from visitors like you and by the following sponsors Robert & Ardis James Foundation, Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild, Anonymous, Nebraska Arts Council/Nebraska Cultural Endowment and Friends of the International Quilt Museum. The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported this exhibition through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit www.artscouncil.nebraska.gov for more information.
Event Date
Friday, March 5, 2021 to Saturday, August 7, 2021