Norma Minkowitz var en produktiv fiber kunstner i 1970'erne er. Ud over at hækle arbejde, hun udnyttede flere andre sting teknikker som strikning, Stitchery og trapunto (which is a specific type of quilting) and she often incorporated multiple techniques in one piece. She was born in New York and it seems from her Facebookpage that she’s still in New York today and still working as a mixed media sculptor. Her work has been placed in renowned museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian and she’s received a number of prestigious awards from places like the National Endowment for the Arts.
Fun Fact: Norma Minkowitz owns hundreds of crochet hooks and uses them not only for crocheting but also for stirring paint, applying epoxy and more!
Norma Minkowitz, illustrator
Vile Strain, 2008, via Tegning center
Minkowitz blev født i 1930'erne, og hun dimitterede fra New Yorks Cooper Union i 1958 hvor hun havde studeret maleri og grafik med et mål om at blive en bog illustrator. Hun elskede detaljerne i de fine linjer, der går ind illustration, og det er noget, som du selv kan se på en anden måde i hendes hækling arbejde. Efter hun dimitterede, hun fik et job som tekstildesigner, og det var derfra, at hendes passion for at udforske fiber kunst og bløde skulptur voksede. I 1960'erne var hun hæve en familie, men hun var også at skabe sit eget arbejde og begyndte at indsende designs og sælge mønstre til magasiner. Selvom meget af hendes arbejde siden de tidlige dage har været i fiber, hun stadig gøre illustration arbejde samt.
Norma Minkowitz, fiber kunst skulptur
Foot Ball, 2006
By the 1970s she was working more in crochet art and other fiber art. She was on the fringes of the hot New York scene of crocheters but mostly in the sense of knowing people through the industry and not so much as being friends or collaborators with a lot of them. Her work was a bit different from what the core group was doing. They were working with heavier yarns and really bright colors (normalt, not always, selvfølgelig) whereas she was working with more neutral colors and lighter thread yarn. She mostly worked at home alone but was connected to that community of crocheters through art openings and in part through her connections with Julie Schafler Dale, author of Art to Wear, der var den første til at få hende til at tage hendes skulptur arbejde i wearable kunst arbejde. Minkowitz lavede også en smule hækling undervisning på dette tidspunkt.
Norma Minkowitz i The crocheter Art
Kun for kvinder (detalje)
Lad os starte med Norma arbejde i crocheter Art ved Fra Feldman. Allerede dengang bogen var allerede i stand til at citere flere priser som Minkowitz havde vundet for sit håndværk. Feldman siger videre, “Jeg bifalder hendes evne til at udvikle en unik kunstform, der respekterer og fejrer materialer og teknik”. Og Minkowitz er citeret for at sige, at hun virkelig elsker at eksperimentere med teknikker og teksturer til at udforske mulighederne og udtrykke stemninger. Det arbejde, Minkowitz gjorde på dette tidspunkt havde en sensuel, feminine feeling to it although Minkowitz never intentionally got into feminist art movements.
On and Around
Fun Fact: Minkowitz doesn’t use fiber specifically because she loves working in fiber but rather because she finds that the building block nature of it works well for what she’s trying to express. She thinks what you’re trying to express matters far more than the medium chosen to express it.
Norma Minkowitz in Art to Wear
Rose’s Shoes, 1981
Norma Minkowitz is mostly a sculptural artist but she has also explored wearable art in depth. My very favorite piece of hers is a pair of shoes that is featured in the 1980s book Art to Wear. De er hæklet i merceriseret bomuld og malet og shellacked. This book describes the theme of Minkowitz’s work as “containment”, saying that her sculptural fiber arts “allude to function but are not functional” and that they’re about restraint and safety/shelter. Her wearable work in contrast is seen here as celebrating the opposite of that: freedom. This is done by drawing themes from nature but also by being one of the kind art pieces that allow the wearer freedom of self-expression through personal style. Like with much of her work, the wearable items featured in this book are not just crocheted but combine crochet with knitting, stuffing, trapunto and applique work.
Green Mansions, 1980 (crochet and knitting)
It was from this book that I learned that Minkowitz learned to crochet with her mother. De ville gøre dukker sammen, og så ville de hækle tøj omkring dukkerne. Hun elskede, hvordan den ene krog og garn kan bruges til at eksperimentere i det uendelige. Og måske er denne erfaring er derfor, hun blev trukket til en kombination af skulptur og bærbar fiber kunst. I dette arbejde fortsætter hun at udforske kvindelighed ved at arbejde tøj omkring den kvindelige form.
Fun Fact: Minkowitz elsker meditative natur hækling. Når jeg forsøger at regne ud, hvad for at arbejde på hun begynder altid at gøre en cirkel, tage hende tilbage til de dage af gentagne mellemlægsserviet gøre som et kid.
Norma Minkowitz, 1990′s
Nogle eksempler på, hvad Minkowitz fortsatte med at gøre i 1990′s:
Fun Fact: Minkowitz har aldrig ønsket at blive kendt som et håndværk kunstner, men blot som en kunstner i almindelighed. She has expressed wanting to be known more as a fine artist.
Norma Minkowitz, 21århundrede
Rebirth of Venus, 2004
Unlike some of the artists from the 1970s, this crochet artist was easy to find on the web. It is really fun to look at the work that she’s done in the 21st century and to see how it compares to what she was doing in the 1970s. For eksempel, på Brown Grotta Arts we see a 2004 fiber arts piece called Rebirth of Venus that uses the same basic stitch again and again and Minkowitz compares this to the cross hatching of a pen and ink drawing revealing that she is still influenced by her early art education. (Faktisk, in a really terrific oral history interview about her work, she says that she chose crochet in part because it was really simple and you could just use the same basic stitch over and over again and it’s repetitive but it’s also always new because the hand never does quite the exact same thing twice. Interessant!) And the themes of her work are in the same vein as before, også, which we can see when she says: “My work retains implications of containment and psychological complexity, while focusing on the human form and often the land-scape. I am engaged in a process that weaves the personal and universal together.”
Bemærk: The fun facts in this article come from the Smithsonian’s oral history interview of Norma Minkowitz; you can find the transcript online