Armory Access offers a platform for galleries from The Armory Show 2020 Presents section with the goal of facilitating digital engagement with their current gallery exhibitions.
RYAN LEE | Tim Braden: Woven Paintings
RYAN LEE is pleased to present, in this digital iteration of the Armory, Tim Braden’s most recent body of works blur the lines between craftsmanship and the fine arts. In this series, Braden pays homage to the often overlooked and marginalized traditions of craftsmanship, with a particular eye for weaving.
About the Exhibition
RYAN LEE is pleased to present, in this digital iteration of the Armory, Tim Braden’s most recent body of works, which sold out at the Armory booth this year. These new works, that debuted this winter, blur the lines between craftsmanship and the fine arts.
In this series, Braden pays homage to the often overlooked and marginalized traditions of craftsmanship, with a particular eye for weaving. The largely gendered traditions of craft that Braden studies in his work are currently gaining popularity and appreciation via exhibitions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950 to 2019 and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’s With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985. Prominent artists, such as Sheila Hicks, Rosemarie Trockel, and Emma Amos, among others, are gaining recognition for incorporating some form of textile and weaving in their practice.
In a nod to eras and movements in which craft was integrated into the elusive and frequently inaccessible world of the fine arts (such as the Gesamtkunstwerk era, the William Morris and Arts and Crafts generation, the Bauhaus School, or the American Black Mountain College, for example), Braden highlights in his new paintings the invaluable importance of craftmanship within his own practice as a painter. He directs his viewer’s eye to consider painting as a craft in and of itself, thus eliminating within his work the classic delineations drawn between the fine arts and so-called “common” creative endeavors. “As an artist, the market still needs to distinguish you from the lowly maker. My daily activity is simply that—making things with my hands and trying to coordinate my hands and my eyes,” Braden explains.
The so-called Woven paintings are a cornerstone motif within Braden’s new series. These works build on color and brushstroke as a way of adopting the practice of weaving itself within the painting. While creating these works, Braden imposes upon himself a set of limitations that emulate the parameters of weaving. These include working with a more restrictive set of colors within a composition, limited use of shading, and horizontal brushstrokes. By translating weaving traditions to the canvas, Braden implies a wealth of stories in his woven paintings—that of the textile itself, which he champions to be recognized as a work of art; that of the maker, who deserves be seen as an artist; and that of the wider culturally-specific background to which these designs belong. These new works are about the landscape within the textile, rather than trying to be a trompe-l’œil of painted fabric.
In fact, as Braden looks to the canvas rugs that he weaves with paint, he “finds compositions that appear abstract, and, somehow, become landscapes.” These new painted textiles, therefore, embody the artist’s circular practice of mingling abstraction and representation within a single composition. Using both modes of visualization, Braden is simultaneously weaving and showing the process of weaving, thus paying homage to both the work and the maker.
About the Artist: Tim Braden
Tim Braden (b. 1975 Perth, Scotland) is a British artist whose practice centers on a deep exploration of looking and what that means, shifting between abstract and figurative painting to explore how one mode operates within the other. He works in both painting and sculpture,
incorporating various different techniques and materials across media. In these experimentations with different types of paint, support, and application to explore subtle shifts in space, mood and tone, Braden’s work is ultimately drawn from a close reading of his environment and an attempt to depict the act of looking at things. He is continuously looking and re-evaluating his own work in progress to align these observations, and he often combines patches of color and light to produce scenes that recall both the specificity of personal experience and nostalgia for another time and place.
In 2018, Art/Books published Looking and Painting, a fully illustrated monograph on Braden. The book featured work created over the past decade, including many never-before-seen paintings and new texts by Jennifer Higgie (editor of Frieze magazine), Christopher Bedford
(director of the Baltimore Museum of Art) and Dominic Molon (contemporary art curator at RISD). Braden received his MA from Ruskin School of Fine Art at Oxford University and attended Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Braden has exhibited at Baibakov Art
Projects, Moscow; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; the Goethe Institute, New York; Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. His work is held in the collections of Ashmolean
Museum, UK; Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN; Nederlandse Bank, Amsterdam; Pembroke College, UK; Rhode Island School of Design, RI; Walsall Museum and Art Gallery, UK; and Zabludowicz Collection, UK. He lives and works in London, UK.
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