Mark Newport and Jane Lackey: Correspondence
June 24 - August 12, 2023
Mark Newport and Jane Lackey:
June 24 - August 12, 2023
Matéria is pleased to present a two-person exhibition of recent works by fiber artists Mark Newport and Jane Lackey titled Correspondence. Correspondence, between two sets of actions–stitching and drawing, between the ways two bodies (people) process and translate, memory, emotion, and experience. Jane Lackey and Mark Newport use drawing and stitching, repetitive actions to interrupt order and structure. Whether tender or insistent, tense or calm their actions produce lines that accumulate, connect, and transform their respective substrates, cloth and paper. Cloth and paper speak of unseen networks of plants and culture, skin and community, fragility and protection. The ways we transform them reflect our respective drives to plum the mysterious ways we attempt to understand our experiences and our world.
For Newport, his works begin when he cuts a hole into the cloth. The cloth is from army blankets purchased at surplus stores. These blankets speak of our need for protection and warmth, in our most intimate and vulnerable moments. The hole is then filled by weaving with needle and thread. The repairs are made using traditional textile darning and mending techniques learned from studying European and American mending samplers. The mend itself, the stitches that hold it in place, and the embroidery in the fabric around the mended area become charts or maps of the effects of an action and its repercussions within a system. Whether the area of repair is immediately visible or camouflaged, mending these holes leaves a scar that speaks of vulnerability, intimacy, optimism, and futility.
For Lackey, what she wants to say is not to be found in words, It’s more atmospheric, porous and shifting, so she finds herself using the force or tenderness of her body’s movement as she draws out marks. In her drawing process, action and movement (not words), bring awareness to the qualities and sensations of physical materials that align with her emotional and intimate outpouring of feelings. Within the cohesive micro surfaces of textiles are myriads of invisible, floating links held together by over/under interlacement. Transposed to drawings, the macro grid of overlapping lines acts as a stable mesh, like the repeating folds of DNA or the repetition and constancy of the alphabet. The grid cradles the edges of accumulating marks that interrupt and seep into the paper from the margins and flow with a certain freedom, desire and formlessness. Her movement, her thoughts, her reactions gather on the surface of sheer paper made from the inner bark and wisdom of a mulberry bush. Like the quick passing of an unknown shadow, sliding in and out of sight, the flow and magnetism of engagement mirrors what might be said.
Jane Lackey is a visual artist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 2009. Informed by her life-long affinity to cloth textiles and the interlacement of threads, her drawings and installations investigate the connective tissue of human communication. Through meticulous process, sensation of materials and marks of hand, her works expand incrementally into spatial investigations. National/international exhibition venues include Wellcome Trust (London), I Space, Exit Art, Tang Teaching Museum, Detroit Institute of the Arts, New Mexico Museum of Art, The Art Gym (Portland, OR), Cranbrook Art Museum, Ent Center for the Arts (Colorado Springs), and Tshinghua University, Beijing. Lackey’s work has been supported by multiple grants, artist residencies and fellowships including the 2011 Japan-US Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship, Camargo Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship, Tamarind Institute and NEA grants to visual artists. Recent publications include A Philosophy of Textiles: Between Practice & Theory, Catherine Dormor and With Eyes Opened: Cranbrook Academy of Art, Andrew Blauvelt. Lackey’s work is in the permanent collections of The Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum, The Wellcome Trust Collection, James A Michener Collection-Kent State University and many other public and private collections. Lackey served as Artist-in-Residence, Head of Fiber at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Professor, Kansas City Art Institute and Contributing Faculty, Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Mark Newport is an artist and educator living in Michigan. His work uses textiles, performance, print, and photography to reveal the vulnerability inherent in traditional western ideals of masculinity. His work has been included in the prestigious Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art 2019, China; the 2019 Rijswijk Textile Biennial, The Netherlands, as well as in group exhibitions at the Textile Museum of Canada, The Mint Museum, The Textile Museum at George Washington University, and The Museum of Arts and Design. He has had solo exhibitions at The Arizona State University Art Museum; The Cranbrook Art Museum; The Chicago Cultural Center; and Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO. Newport’s work has been recognized by awards from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, a 2011 Artist Fellowship from the Kresge Foundation, and grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the Herberger College of Arts at Arizona State University. You can find his work in the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; The St. Louis Art Museum, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Cranbrook Art Museum; The Racine Art Museum; The Arizona State University Art Museum, 4Culture, Seattle; City of Phoenix Public Art, Microsoft, and Progressive Insurance. Newport was the Artist-in-Residence and Head of Fiber at the Cranbrook Academy of Art from Fall 2007 through May 2023. He earned his BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1986, and his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1991.