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Jacqueline Surdell’s knotted tapestries combine industrial materials and robust topographies

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#chains
#Ribbon
#Rope
#Sculpture
#Tapestry
#Textiles

July 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

“We Will Win: Our Banner in the Sky (after Frederic Edwin Church)” (2020), cotton cord, nylon, paracord, fabric and ribbons, 84 x 108 x 12 inches, 120-inch bar. Photo by Ian Vecchiotti. Images courtesy of Jacqueline Surdell and Patricia Sweetow Gallery, shared with permission

Chicago artist Jacqueline Surdell sews lengths of rope, fabric and silky ribbons to create extensive abstract tapestries that hang in structured, colorful masses of walls and stand-alone fittings. Swelling bunches of knots and ties, loose woven fabrics, braided tunnels and dangling strands form their three-dimensional compositions, which are interrupted by objects such as steel chains, volleyballs and polyester shower curtains that are used sporadically. Due to the size of the pieces and the strong materials, the artist often uses her body as a boat to weave the colorful fibers together on massive hand-made looms.

Surdell embeds parts of her childhood in Chicago in her wall sculptures, particularly childhood memories of her grandmother’s landscapes and her grandfather’s job in South Side steel mills. These two experiences converge in her textured works, evoking vast terrain and the city’s industrial history through the use of commercial materials. Each piece offers further reflections on the world today, with energetic and chaotic pieces like “We Will Win: Our Banner in the Sky” (see above) that focus on the tense political landscape in the US and devastating events like forest fires and the loss of Coral reefs react to the climate crisis.

You can find more large-format tapestries from Surdell at her side, and go to Instagram to see their latest work.

Detail from “We Will Win: Our Banner in the Sky (after Frederic Edwin Church)” (2020), cotton cord, nylon, paracord, fabric and ribbons, 84 x 108 x 12 inches, 120 inch rod. Photo by Ian Vecchiotti

“Sacrifice of Columbia: Destruction (after Thomas Cole)” (2020), cotton cord, nylon cord, fabric, printed polyester shower curtain, American flag jacket, steel battle rope anchor, steel chain, canvas tarpaulin, acrylic paint drops and wood anchors, 84 x 96 x 12 inches. Image courtesy Patricia Sweetow Gallery

Left: “Neon Hymn” (2020), braided cotton cord, paracord, enamel and oil pen, 80 x 26 x 30 cm. Right: “Scylla III: The Pastoral State (after Thomas Cole)” (2020), cotton cord, nylon cord, paracord, printed cotton towel, steel frame and volleyball, 27 x 27 x 1.5 inches (frame), 33 x 85 x 9, 5 inches (floor extension). Images courtesy of Patricia Sweetow Gallery

“Straight-laced: The Consummation of Empire (after Thomas Cole)” (2020/21), cotton cord, nylon cord, paracord, printed polyester shower curtain and steel, 96 x 64 x 14 inches. Photo by Ian Vecchiotti

Left: “Purging: Desolation (after Thomas Cole)” (2021), cotton cord, nylon cord, fabric, printed polyester shower curtain and steel, 86 x 71 x 12 inches. Image courtesy of Galerie Patricia Sweetow. Right: “Untitled II” (2015), braided cotton cord, steel rod and steel fittings, 60 x 60 inches. Image courtesy Jacqueline Surdell

Excerpt from “Sacrifice of Columbia: Destruction (after Thomas Cole)” (2020), cotton cord, nylon cord, fabric, printed polyester shower curtain, American flag jacket, steel battle rope anchor, steel chain, canvas tarpaulin, acrylic paint drips, and wooden fittings, 84 x 96 x 12 inches . Image courtesy Patricia Sweetow Gallery

“Untitled XII (Reflections on the water)” (2020), braided cotton cord and steel, 60 x 144 x 12 inches. Image courtesy Jacqueline Surdell

#chains
#Ribbon
#Rope
#Sculpture
#Tapestry
#Textiles

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