This new exhibition presents an inspiring, retrospective view of work by two of America’s foremost pioneers in contemporary craft. Kay Sekimachi (1926-) and Bob Stocksdale (1913-2003) married in 1972. Seen together, their 50 years of work has a true poetic resonance.
Hailed as a father of American woodturning, Stocksdale revitalized the craft of lathe-turned bowls, beginning in the 1950s. In his exquisite works, he unveiled a compelling beauty in diseased and in rare woods, of which many are now endangered. Serpentine or ellipsoidal shapes— seemingly impossible to turn— are among his innovations. The exhibition features, for the first time on view, an example of his one-of-kind furniture.
Sekimachi is an influential master of complex weave structures in both off-loom and on multiple-harness loom techniques. Transparent marine creatures were the inspiration for her interlocking hangings in monofilament (fish line.) With these majestic pieces she ascended to the forefront of contemporary fiber art during the 1960s and 1970s. Throughout her sixty-year career she has created unique works of art in such natural materials as skeletal leaves, hornet’s nest paper, and grass. The exhibition includes examples of her translucent sculptural hangings and room dividers, along with other woven forms –accordion-formatted books, vibrant scrolls, seamless nesting boxes, and jewelry.
Exhibition curator Signe Mayfield has authored the 210-page book of the same title, featuring scores of beautiful object photos. It includes essays by Melissa Leventon (former Curator-in-Charge of Textiles at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and founding member of Curatrix Group of museum consultants) and John C. Lavine (former editor of Woodwork Magazine and furniture maker.)