bed

Fiber, Painting, Mixed Media

Vignette: Denise Furnish

"Gain/Loss (detail)" by Denise Furnish, 31x31in, yoyo quilt patch, archival ink on cotton, acrylic, $900 |  BUY NOW

"Gain/Loss (detail)" by Denise Furnish, 31x31in, yoyo quilt patch, archival ink on cotton, acrylic, $900 | BUY NOW


“I was asked, ‘What is a quilt?’ It is a question that, at first, seems obvious, but the answer goes much deeper than a hand-made bedcovering. The process of defining a quilt is the essence of my art. The quilt is a sign of women’s work. The making of a quilt implies a chain of signification through conception, use, deterioration, and, in my case, transformation.” — from Denise Furnish’s Artist Statement


"  Gold Star" by Denise Furnish,   77.5x76in, discarded lone star quilt, acrylic, $3200 |  BUY NOW

"Gold Star" by Denise Furnish, 77.5x76in, discarded lone star quilt, acrylic, $3200 | BUY NOW

In the history of Modern Art, or the still-being-written chronicle of Contemporary Art, the quilt can still seem like an outlier, despite several generations of fiber artists using it as the foundation of their work. Yet the very associations that might lie at the heart of perceived limitations – namely its functional role as comforting family heirloom, are also the source of the quilt’s unique power in communicating themes and ideas. Denise Furnish exploits these attributes but also subverts them by using discarded quilts as a vehicle for painting.

"Bed" by  Robert Rauschenberg  75.25x31.5x8in, oil and pencil on pillow, quilt, and sheet on wood supports (1955) © 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

"Bed" by Robert Rauschenberg 75.25x31.5x8in, oil and pencil on pillow, quilt, and sheet on wood supports (1955) © 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

“The quilt as a sign for bed interests me, yet I nearly always remove quilts from the bed and put them on the wall. For his collage, “Bed”, Robert Rauschenberg took a quilt from a bed and destroyed it to make art in 1955. The difference is that I am interested in taking already damaged quilts and transforming them into art. I later realized that seeing that work in the Museum of Modern Art in 1968 has influenced me.”

The inherent qualities of each quilt are crucial in the conceptual nature of Furnish’s approach, informing her thoughts and application of medium, but there is also a sense of rejuvenation emanating from the transformation of a tattered, worse-for-wear object becoming a wholly new creative action.  

“My work developed as a chain of signification beginning with the recognition of quilt as a sign of pre-feminist ‘women’s work.’ This work was created and executed with attention to design and purpose. It was used, washed, worn. Often, it was separated from its maker. It was found by me and painted–a sign not only of transformation, but also of post-feminist women’s achievement.”

Denise Furnish’s work is currently featured in the Louisville Visual Art exhibit, Tessile Ora, on display at Louisville’s Metro Hall through May 26, 2017.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, University of Kentucky, 1972; Attended Louisville School of Art 1980-1981; BFA University of Louisville, 2008; MA University of Louisville, 2009
Website: http://www.denisefurnish.com

"Red Basketweave" by Denise Furnish, 56x37in, worn and discarded flower basket crib quilt, acrylic, $1200 |  BUY NOW

"Red Basketweave" by Denise Furnish, 56x37in, worn and discarded flower basket crib quilt, acrylic, $1200 | BUY NOW

"  Flower Garden Boogie Woogie" by Denise Furnish, 48x53in, worn and discarded flower basket crib quilt, acrylic,telephone wire, tablecloth, $1200 |  BUY NOW

"Flower Garden Boogie Woogie" by Denise Furnish, 48x53in, worn and discarded flower basket crib quilt, acrylic,telephone wire, tablecloth, $1200 | BUY NOW

"Lavender Log Cabin" by Denise Furnish, 40x28in, discarded log cabin crib quilt top, acrylic, $900|  BUY

"Lavender Log Cabin" by Denise Furnish, 40x28in, discarded log cabin crib quilt top, acrylic, $900| BUY

"FIreball" by Denise Furnish, 43x29in, discarded fireball crib quilt, acrylic, $1200|  BUY NOW

"FIreball" by Denise Furnish, 43x29in, discarded fireball crib quilt, acrylic, $1200| BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserve d.

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Painting

Vignette: Julio Cesar Rodríguez

"The Fleeting Reflection" by Julio Cesar Rodríguez, 24x48in, oil on canvas (2016)

"The Fleeting Reflection" by Julio Cesar Rodríguez, 24x48in, oil on canvas (2016)

Rodríguez at work in his studio.

Rodríguez at work in his studio.

Julio Cesar Rodríguez describes his work as: “…a mixture of figuration and expressionism with an air of surrealism, where I project my individuality as a creator poetically and philosophically.” Certainly the images call to the viewer’s mind Rene Magritte, even if the impenetrable black hat we find here is a fedora and not the iconic bowler of the famous French surrealist painter.

Drawing on his dreams in the most literal sense, Rodríguez recreates images from the narrative his subconscious weaves at night, wherein the human form occupies space as both object and field. The ubiquitous and benign violation of the body in dreams is brilliantly realized in these paintings, but in terms that are unexpectedly accessible and not so disturbing; flesh becomes wood but is not deconstructed into splinters.

“When I'm painting I feel my mind is opened as a theater stage, and my staging begins to establish itself with its own lights and shadows, colors and strokes; and then going to bed trying to sleep with that huge dark hat is the night. It is in this process where I feel I still perched at that stage…floating in my paintings.”

A detail of one of   Rodríguez   paintings.

A detail of one of Rodríguez paintings.

Rodríguez has exhibited internationally and has work in private collections in Cuba, USA, Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Belgium, Panama, Argentina, Spain, Ukraine, the Dominican Republic, Germany, and Italy. His most recent show was “SLEEPLESS ILLUSION”, was at Revelry Boutique Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky.

You can visit Julio Cesar Rodríguez in his studio on the southeast side of Louisville during OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND, November 5 & 6, 2016. The event benefits scholarship programs for Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute and tickets may be purchased here

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 40
Education: 1988-1995 Fine Art Academy in Holguin, Cuba. Graduated in Painting, Drawing and Photograph
Gallery Representative: Revelry Boutique Gallery

“Fading Flesh” by   Julio Cesar Rodríguez, 48x36in, oil on canvas (2016)

“Fading Flesh” by Julio Cesar Rodríguez, 48x36in, oil on canvas (2016)

“The Mystifying Face of the Moon” by   Julio Cesar Rodríguez, 48x36in, oil on canvas (2016)

“The Mystifying Face of the Moon” by Julio Cesar Rodríguez, 48x36in, oil on canvas (2016)

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Please contact    josh@louisvillevisualart.org    for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Please contact josh@louisvillevisualart.org for further information on advertising through Artebella.