Minglings: A Journey Across Time
April 9, 2022 - October 9, 2022Harris - Burger Gallery
Minglings: A Journey Across Time explores a contemporary fiber artist’s engagement with the past. Inspired by a tapestry remnant from China’s Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), Gerhardt Knodel embarked on an exploration into the potential of how this fabric from another time and place could inform his present work. While portions of the tapestry were deteriorating, Knodel isolated 40 separate fragments that included images of butterflies, flowering branches, undulating lines, and a blue sky. Each small piece of finely woven silk became a new composition of abstracted, incomplete subjects that he could re-create.
Featuring a series of drawings, fiber artwork, and mixed-media objects, the exhibition will lead you on a journey between cultures, beginning in China and arriving at the artist’s studio in Pontiac, Michigan. These works will also show how beautiful objects migrate through time, carrying with them their cultural identity but also being reinterpreted in the context of the current pandemic. Minglings demonstrates how the past is never dead in the hands of the artist, offering the opportunity for rediscovery and reconsideration.
Knodel’s studio practice spans nearly 50 years, 37 of them invested as Artist- in-Residence, then director, and now Director Emeritus of Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has exhibited internationally and is a recipient of numerous awards, including the American Crafts Council 2018 Gold Medal and the Distinguished Educators Award from the James Renwick Alliance of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Gerhardt Knodel gives a talk on his workshop and works.