In Pictures: See How a New Cohort of Contemporary Textile Artists Are Taking Quilting in Challenging New Directions

"The New Bend" at Hauser & Wirth is curated by Legacy Russell.

Installation view,
Installation view, "The New Bend" at Hauser & Wirth New York 22nd Street. © Hauser & Wirth. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt

The small town of Boykin, Alabama, also known as Gee’s Bend, has a population of less than 300 people. But within the tight-knit African American enclave, in which many residents are descendants of slaves, a rich tradition of quilting has made the community world famous.

The colorful, patterned, hand-sewn textiles of Gee’s Bend, associated with quilters like Sarah Benning (b. 1933), Missouri Pettway (1902-1981), Lizzie Major (1922-2011), Sally Bennett Jones (1944-1988), and Mary Lee Bendolph (b.1935), tell the stories of community, family, tradition, and art in vibrant style. Today, building on and referencing the textile-art inspirations of Gee’s Bend, a new cohort of contemporary artists is taking quilting in new directions.

In a new show at Hauser & Wirth curated by Legacy Russell, artists embrace the history of quilting and apply contemporary considerations of gender, class, and technology. Twelve individuals—Anthony Akinbola, Eddie R. Aparicio, Dawn Williams Boyd, Diedrick Brackens, Tuesday Smillie, Tomashi Jackson, Genesis Jerez, Basil Kincaid, Eric N. Mack, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Qualeasha Wood, and Zadie Xa—comprising Russell’s presentation of “The New Bend” use textiles to continue the tradition of storytelling in art history.

See pictures below. “The New Bend” is on view at Hauser & Wirth, 542 West 22nd Street, through April 2, 2022. 

Eric N. Mack, Forward walking boy on the edge where the sand meets the shore (from DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (2018). © Eric N. Mack. Courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates.

Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, <i> Holbein En Crenshaw (Washington Blvd. and Crenshaw Blvd., LA, CA)</i> (2018). © Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, Holbein En Crenshaw (Washington Blvd. and Crenshaw Blvd., LA, CA) (2018). © Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

Anthony Akinbola,<i>Jubilee,</i> (2021). © Anthony Akinbold. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

Anthony Akinbola,Jubilee, (2021). © Anthony Akinbold. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

Tomashi Jackson, <i>Upright, Colored, and Free</i> (2017).© Tomashi Jackson. Courtesy the artist and Tilton Gallery, New York.

Tomashi Jackson, Upright, Colored, and Free (2017).© Tomashi Jackson. Courtesy the artist and Tilton Gallery, New York.

Basil Kincaid, Four Eyes One Vision (2021). © Basil Kincaid. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

Tuesday Smillie, <i>Sequin Light (Orange, with Kjerstin Rossi)</i> (2021). © Tuesday Smillie. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

Tuesday Smillie, Sequin Light (Orange, with Kjerstin Rossi) (2021). © Tuesday Smillie. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

Installation view, "The New Bend" at Hauser & Wirth New York 22nd Street. © Hauser & Wirth. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt

Installation view, “The New Bend” at Hauser & Wirth New York 22nd Street. © Hauser & Wirth. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt

Installation view, "The New Bend" at Hauser & Wirth New York 22nd Street. © Hauser & Wirth. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt

Installation view, “The New Bend” at Hauser & Wirth New York 22nd Street. © Hauser & Wirth. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt

Installation view, "The New Bend" at Hauser & Wirth New York 22nd Street. © Hauser & Wirth. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt

Installation view, “The New Bend” at Hauser & Wirth New York 22nd Street. © Hauser & Wirth. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt


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