We are excited to share a new Featured Artist Series of fiber artists from the past and present. Check back twice a month to learn about the work that is inspiring the makers of the Modern Macramé studio and those of our fellow community.
Lenore Tawney (1907 - 2007) was an artist by many sensibilities of the word. Her work explored all media: drawings, collage, sculpture, and her ground breaking explorations in fiber art assisted the development as we know and love it today.
Tawney offered gratitude to her education, after studying in the 40s and 50s under an incredible list of artists, including Moholy Nagy, cubist sculptor Alexander Archipenko, abstract expressionist painter Emerson Woelffer, weaver Marli Ehrman, and the finnish weaver, Martta Taipale, it wasn’t until the late 1950s when she blazed her own path focusing on weaving. Lived to be 100 years of age, Tawney fiercely crafted the second half of her life.
Tawney's weavings fall into three categories: the solid straight weaving, the open warp weave, and the mesh or screen woven as background for solid areas. Tawney often went beyond traditional definitions of weaving, including needlework to add action to the line of a woven design. (fun fact: did you know Modern Macramé's founder Emily Katz made embroidered watercolor illustrations before she tied knots?)
Furthering her experimentation, Tawney began creating what she called “woven forms.” These totem-like sculptural weavings abandoned the rectangular format of traditional tapestries, and were suspended from the ceiling off the wall.
Like many explorers of fiber, she sometimes incorporated found objects such as feathers and shells into these pieces.
Images were found on the artist's foundation website and Pinterest.