Section 1

1

ROBERT RAUSCHENGERG, Samarkand stitches IV, 1988

Samarkand Stitches is a suite of wall hangings made from sewn fabric, printed with photographs then silkscreened produced after the artist visited the ancient Silk Road city.

The vibrant panels are as much a representation of Samarkand’s culture as an expression of Rauschenberg’s aesthetic. Robert Rauschenberg (1925 – 2008) was an American painter and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the pop art movement. Rauschenberg was both a painter and a sculptor, but he also worked with photography, printmaking, paper making, and performance. He is regarded as one of the greatest collagists ever.

In 1984, Rauschenberg announced the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) at the United Nations. A seven-year, ten-country tour to places that the artist considered underdeveloped and/or politically repressed to encourage “world peace and understanding” (Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Beijing, Tibet, Japan, Cuba, the Soviet Union, Berlin, and Malaysia). In each country, he worked with local artisans to learn traditional artistic techniques and created multi-media works inspired by these surroundings. The around-the-world art-making spree eventually culminated with a 1991 solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. consisting of more than 170 works.

2

FAIG AHMED, Osho, 2015

Osho is a sort of a rug beginning as a classic pattern that encounters a glitch and suffered a sort of technical meltdown. “very stable, carpet is the result of ages”, according to Ahmed.

“Even 2,500 years ago there were similar patterns, similar techniques to today. The center and the borders are like a social structure, giving the idea of everything we know’. By cutting or modifying those he explores how stability and chaos live together. Representing Azerbaijan at the nation’s inaugural pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007, is known for his conceptual works that transform traditional decorative craft and the visual language of carpets into contemporary sculptural works of art. His art reimagines ancient crafts and creates new visual boundaries by deconstructing traditions and stereotypes.

3

GERALD CLARKE, Continum basket Piwat, 2018

A traditional art form of the Cahuilla people, basketry is a family tradition for Clarke. While his artworks do not utilize the same materials as seen in traditional basket-making, he sees his creation process as similar to theirs: “Cahuilla basket makers go out and gather materials, and they put them together to produce something that is both functional and aesthetic. I kind of do my work the same way. I go out and I gather these things. I combine them.” homage to the past, the piece also looks into the future of Native American people, the aluminum cans asking questions about where we go from here. Clarke intends for the cans to provoke thoughts about lifestyle choices, about cultural differences and about natural foods versus high sugar. Gerald Clarke is a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians.

For the past 25 years, Clarke has been creating conceptual, poignant, and often humorous art. He addresses Native American identity and its intersection with mainstream U.S. culture and politics while defying the trappings and stereotypes of Native American art.