Kay Sekimachi: Geometries
Kay Sekimachi: Geometries is an exhibition that includes more than 50 objects that highlight the artist’s material and formal innovations across her career. On view from May 28–October 24, 2021 at the BAMPFA (UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive).
Executive Director Carol Sauvion visited the exhibition accompanied by artist Kay Sekimachi and Forrest Merrill, friend and collector. Sauvion wrote this about the exhibition.
The Geometries exhibition is a visual feast. Kay’s elaborate monofilament hangings and tubular card weavings are prominently displayed in the center of the spacious gallery to welcome, amaze and involve the visitor. We immediately understand that the pieces on display are not mere weavings. They are a magnificent tour de force by one of the most inventive and creative fiber artists of our time.
As Kay and I examined each series of her work displayed in vitrines wrapped around the walls of the exhibition, she discussed her processes for each grouping. Her small scale rectilinear boxes start out as two dimensional weavings which she then transforms into three dimensional objects, ingenious in their design and construction. She uses heat to transfer patterns onto the warp of her hand woven, folded linen books, Wave and 100 Views of Mt. Fuji. The informative gallery guide that accompanies the exhibition states that these accordion shaped structures are ideally held in the hand as one would hold a book. I wished I could hold those precious objects! I enjoyed hearing Kay discuss her Kiriwood series, wood and paper forms that reminded me of extravagant architecture. Perhaps the quietest pieces in the exhibition are small weavings in homage to Paul Klee and Agnes Martin, proving the artist’s strong identification with these 20th century masters. Kay has employed the craft of weaving to make art.
At lunch with Kay Sekimachi and Forrest Merrill after our tour of the exhibition, I was reminded by our conversation that craft is about more than objects. Craft is a community that represents, in its work and its philosophy, the best of our culture. My thanks to Kay Sekimachi and Forrest Merrill for their contributions to this community.
Geometries will be on exhibit at the Berkeley Museum until October 24th, 2021. If you have plans to go to northern California in the next weeks, a visit to Geometrics is a must.
For more information about the exhibition: bampfa.org/program/virtual/kay-sekimachi-geometries