• Jean Stamsta, Orange Twist, ca. 1970, wool, synthetic yarn, wood, 43 × 103 × 43". From “Fiber: Sculpture 1960–Present.” © Estate of Jean Stamsta.

    “Fiber: Sculpture 1960–Present”

    Institute of Contemporary Art

    October 1, 2014–January 4, 2015

    Curated by Jenelle Porter

    In 1986, Mildred Constantine, Neda Al-Hilali, and Mary Jane Jacob organized an exhaustive traveling exhibition titled “Fiber R/Evolution.” It included such luminaries in the field of fibers as Sheila Hicks, Anne Wilson, and Claire Zeisler, and it unapologetically reinforced craft’s relationship to gender and women’s work. Nearly thirty years later, “Fiber”features many of the artists represented in the breakout ’86 show (including Hicks, Wilson, and Zeisler) but expands its purview to include a broad range of generations, nationalities, and conceptual approaches, as represented by thirty-four artists who engage in the material processes of the craft. The catalogue, which includes an essay by the new director of New York’s Museum of Arts and Design, Glenn Adamson, will flesh out the implications of fiber’s political and conceptual “r/evolutions.” Travels to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, Feb.–May 2015; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Aug.–Oct. 2015; Des Moines Art Center, IA, Nov. 2015–Jan. 2016.

  • “Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals”

    Harvard Art Museums
    32 Quincy Street
    November 16, 2014–July 26, 2015

    Curated by Mary Schneider Enriquez

    Art, science, collaborative innovation, the risks and responsibilities of patronage—you couldn’t invent subject matter more fitting for the inaugural exhibition of the Harvard Art Museums this fall following Renzo Piano’s extensive renovation. “Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals” will present a set of paintings commissioned by the university for its Holyoke Center penthouse dining room. In 1962, Rothko made six abstract panels, each almost nine feet high; five were hung. Reflecting his interest in creating a space rather than its decoration, he also consulted on the walls and fiberglass curtains for the room’s ample windows. Despite these measures, the paintings quickly deteriorated and by 1979 were banished to dark storage. All six will reemerge, alongside thirty-two studies from 1961–62 and with the benefit of some conservation magic: The Harvard Art Museums and MIT Media Lab developed software that creates “compensation images” for projection over the canvases to virtually (and fleetingly) restore their original color. Light, once a vandal of the works, now plays the hero.