First Touring Retrospective of Visionary Colombian Fiber Artist Olga De Amaral Opens at MFAH This Sunday

First Touring Retrospective of Visionary Colombian Fiber Artist Olga De Amaral Opens at MFAH This Sunday

Brumas (Mists), 2013

THIS SUNDAY, JULY 25, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will present Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock, the first major touring retrospective of visionary Colombian fiber arts artist Olga de Amaral, who has been called an "alchemist artist" due to the experimental, genre-defying tapestries the artist is known to create, tapestries that often defy the confines of their medium due to their radical composition and use of material and space.


Co-curated by Anna Walker, the MFAH's assistant curator of decorative arts, craft and design; and Laura Mott, the senior curator of contemporary art and design at the Cranbrook Art Museum — Amaral's alma mater — the stunning and colorful exhibition will chronicle Amaral's career through four thematic sections that present a comprehensive survey of the seminal artist's sixty years of work.

"Amaral has developed a language all her own within the fiber arts movement through experimentation with the loom and her transformational use of materials," said Walker in a statement. "The MFAH has established the most comprehensive collection of her work in North America. It's a thrill to present these works alongside other important examples that exemplify her creative spirit."

Columna en pasteles (Column in Pastels), 1972

Lienzo en dos colores (Lienzo in Two Colors), 2017

Amaral, who has been a leading figure in the fiber arts movement for decades, eared an architectural drafting degree in her native Colombia before studying under the renowned Marrianne Stregnell in the mid-1950s while attending the fabric and design weaving program at Michigan's Cranbrook Academy of the Arts. After returning home to Colombia, the artist applied ideas gleaned from Stregnell — things like textile design's relationship with space and its potential as an architectural material — to create thoughtfully woven architectural works informed by her environment and deeply rooted in her Colombian heritage.

Not afraid to experiment, many of Amaral's works are made from unconventional weaving materials like horsehair, gold leaf and plastics and challenge traditional weaving methods through innovative plaiting, wrapping, coiling and warp manipulation.

"This retrospective allows audiences to see the six decades of my work side by side

for the first time," said the artist in a statement. "To have it open at the Museum of Fine

Arts, Houston is a great honor, as they hold leading collections in both decorative

arts and Latin American art in the United States.

"This retrospective and publication have been years in the making, and I feel they are a wonderful showcase of my life's work," she continued.

The exhibition, which includes some 50 works by Amaral, will be on display at the MFAH from Sunday, July 25 through Sunday, September 19 before traveling to the Cranbrook Art Museum in Michigan.

Art + Entertainment
With Expertise in Blondes, Extensions and More, the Janelle Alexis Team Is a Go-To Salon

YOU CAN'T LIMIT Janelle to one title – Hairdresser. Her career and business has been established and built on a strong foundation. Using her two business degrees + one more in-process, this enables Janelle and the team to deliver not only a customer-focused experience, but a foundationally solid business. There is much more than meets the eye, and in sharing a little bit about Janelle, she was not only an international hair extension educator for over 14 years, but brings extensive expertise to blondes. She rounds this out with her previously launched namesake cosmetic line, which is a perfect complement to her belief that “Beauty is our Business”.

Keep ReadingShow less

AS WE PRODUCE our second annual “Cool 100” list, we’re reminded of our thoughts as we debuted this feature last year. We acknowledged that deciding who and what is cool is not only a moving target but also entirely subjective. And that attempting to “rank” the coolest people in Houston is a fool’s errand, one that will leave us immediately open to criticism. “You think she is cooler than him? You included this person?! You left off that one!?"

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places

Gragner's (photo by Marco Torres)

THE MUSEUM DISTRICT hasn't always been the easiest place to open and operate a restaurant, for some reason. But there's a Houston couple who seems to have gotten the hang of it — and today they unveil their newest concept on Binz St.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food