Fiber Artists In Tribute Show

Posted: November 15, 1991

Diane Itter, who died two years ago at 43, was an influential and beloved figure in contemporary fiber art, known for her knotting techniques and imaginative use of color. As a homage to Itter, Helen Drutt Gallery has organized a show featuring work by three dozen fiber artists.

It includes pieces by Lenore Tawney, Ed Rossbach, Joyce Scott and Claire Zeisler. The local fiber community is represented by Adela Akers, Sandra Brownlee-Ramsdale, Lewis Knauss, Michael Olszewski, Warren Seelig and Deborah Warner.

Some pieces specifically cite Itter, while others refer to her influence more obliquely.

Jane Burch Cochran's lively "homage" quilt decorated with buttons, beads, patchwork and 43 birthday candles honors the person, while Ann Baddeley Keister's small trompe l'oeil tapestry, Celebration, acknowledges her contribution.

Lou Cabeen's embroidered Collage Quartet supplies an appropriately inspirational message.

With so many prominent artists included, the show also reads as a catalogue of fiber techniques and themes. One of the more beautiful pieces in this regard is a woven silk "skin shield" by James Bassler that refers to animal- hide objects made by American Indians.

Helen Drutt Gallery, 1721 Walnut St. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Through Dec. 24. Phone: 735-1625.

SCHMIDT/DEAN. Printing from layered negatives can be an effective tactic for photographers interested in creating heightened romantic or surreal images.

Linda Adlestein, who is showing a series of 10 such images at Schmidt/Dean Gallery, extends the montage effects by hand-coloring, which enhances the antique ambience the images suggest.

Adlestein's basic theme is the Italian artistic legacy, specifically the architectural vocabulary of Venice.

Some images superimpose a famous painting, such as an Ingres nude or a Raphael Madonna, on an architectural feature, such as a cracked and peeling wall.

Others combine architecture with images from nature; in a typical montage of this kind, a Venetian loggia appears to rest on a forest floor of dirt and leaves.

Because the negatives are transparent, and because Adlestein sometimes uses as many as four in one print, the blending is much more integrated than it would be in a collage, where the layering sequence can be determined.

This melding, combined with the soft coloring in watercolor and oils, results in a metaphorical dreamscape in which Italian culture is evoked rather than described, and in which human presence is denoted by artifacts rather than activity.

Schmidt/Dean Gallery, 1636 Walnut St. Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Through Nov. 30. Phone: 546-7212.

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