Keith Sonnier and Aaron Aujla: Transcontinental Carpetting

THE DAILY PIC: At National Exemplar, two artists play with how carpets get made.

THE DAILY PIC (#1567): I’d never been to National Exemplar gallery, far downtown in New York, when I ran across their latest show, which couples veteran American artist Keith Sonnier with Aaron Aujla, a Canadian who is 45 years his junior. Both artists’ offerings include textile works.

Aujla, source of today’s Pic, has taken America’s most popular machine-made carpeting and got the expert weavers of the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn to reproduce patches of the rugs by hand. It’s a lovely, clever reversal of the usual case, where factories try to copy the look of handicrafts.

Sonnier’s textile at National Exemplar is a small rug (see photo below) whose design is based on patterns sourced in India, but was actually made by craftspeople in Oaxaca, Mexico, in their own particular craft idiom. I love such hybridizing cross-culturalism; it’s like using pollen from one place to fertilize flowers from another. In nature, of course, such tactics have risks, but I think that in culture the result is most often beauty and vigor.

Of course, there’s the case of McDonald’s and Starbucks – cultural kudzu, for sure.

_DSC5171

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share

Article topics
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In