Magazine article Sculpture

Gail Grinnell

Magazine article Sculpture

Gail Grinnell

Article excerpt


Boise Art Museum

Seattle artist Gail Grinnell has gained her share of attention over the past several years with thoughtful fabric-based installations and striking wall hangings at prominent venues throughout the Northwest. angle of repose, a site-specific project for the Boise Art Museum's high-ceilinged, expansive Sculpture Court, enabled her to create her largest work to date, spanning the entire 80-foot-long space. With assistance from her artist son, Sam Wildman, Grinnell fabricated an expansive, lightweight, yet imposing structure made from 600 yards of translucent seamstress interfacing held together by crochet pins.

Though the work appears fragile, these ribbons of treated, spunbound fabric are, in fact, resilient. Dyes made from tea, coffee, and India ink produce an understated palette of browns, grays, and black, interwoven with accents of acrylic pastels and white. The climbing cornucopia-like form soaring from ground level to the high, far corner of the space accomplishes its state of repose through a combination of balance and gravity. The result is a poetic stillness that, when stirred by a light breeze, evokes a softly breathing cocoon poised for transformation.

It is readily apparent that drawing is at the core of Grinnell's aesthetic. A skilled, delicate draftsmanship informs angle of repose, with the black and white contour lines of the interfacing providing the technical underpinning of the three-dimensional composition.

Grinnell states that "it is the tension between the past and present that drives the final form of this installation. …

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