SHEILA KLEIN & RIES NIEMI
May 4th -- 27th, 2018
Shed Boy Jacket
Embroidery on fabric
Making Up Stories and Looking At Things Sideways...
39 in x 25 in
I first met Sheila Klein at the L.A. art fair in the late 80's when she was making necklaces for skyscrapers. Her bejeweled buildings and public spaces were beginning to pop up from Chicago to New York to Seattle and back to L.A. If that sounds like a daunting body of work it is only the beginning. Last year she was the recipient of Artist's Trust's much esteemed Arts Innovator Award. In the intervening years she has been awarded numerous grants and commissions, both private and public, exhibited and taught all over the world, including a community collaboration in Ahmenabad, India. Her work is always timely, unpredictable, witty, thought provoking and beautifully tied to architecture. It is a pleasure to have her produce for a gallery exhibit at i.e. with her winter stays in Buenos Aires being the inspiration.
Some Things Never Go Out Of Style
Embroidery on Tarp
10.5 in x 22.25 in
My personal meeting of Ries Niemi did not occur til some 20 years later when I moved out of Seattle to the Edison area. When he was introduced to me as Sheila's husband at a neighbor's gathering I thought just one thing "well this makes sense". With a highly creative and personal style to his work Ries brings together metals and textiles and defines himself as an industrial artist. "As a craftsman and an artist, I love materials. I am a student of the built world, of pop culture, and the making of things. I have always made clothes, both wearable and not." Out of art school Ries proceeded to teach himself industrial fabrication techniques, starting with wood and plastics,and moving on to metals. " To draw with a cutting torch, to improvise with a milling machine, to forge intuitively. "But he also became an embroiderer, a sewer, a crocheter. I particularly love seeing these two expressions side by side in Ries's work, the intimate and domestic along with the broad architectural gesture and always his signature humor as an astute observer of the quirks and foibles of society. He has been awarded public commissions around the country and has been exhibited and collected publicly and privately.
Both artists have developed bodies of work for "Making up stories and looking at things sideways..." while living in Buenos Aires this past winter. They sometimes exhibit together but are not a "team" in their professional lives. They are two very individual artists. No doubt about that.