February 1, 2007
BMA Presents NUNO: Japanese Tradition/Innovation in Cloth
BALTIMORE, MD (February 1, 2007) — Since the 1980s, Japan has been at the forefront of a revolution in textiles, combining traditional craft with futuristic technology to create dazzling works of art. NUNO, one of Japan’s most influential and innovative textile producers, is known for beautiful, commercially viable fabrics used in interiors, fashion, and art. The Baltimore Museum of Art will display more than a dozen examples of these striking textiles in the exhibition NUNO: Japanese Tradition/Innovation in Cloth, on view March 28–October 7, 2007, in the Jean and Allan Berman Textile Gallery.
Exhibition highlights include pleated and folded polyester inspired by the Japanese art of origami, natural fibers whimsically printed with large paper clips or scattered rubber bands, and ethereal layers of transparent silk interwoven with strips of paper or feathers.
“The NUNO textiles featured at the BMA continue a long tradition of collecting and presenting contemporary art of exceptional quality,” said BMA Director Doreen Bolger. “This exhibition joins a roster of shows that provide an international perspective of contemporary art with works by artists from Africa, Italy, and Japan on view this spring.”
Founded in 1984 by Junichi Arai and Reiko Sudo, NUNO (Japanese for fabric), has distinguished itself within the experimental, groundbreaking movement by adapting the refined beauty of natural fibers and historical techniques to the sophisticated materials and complex innovations of contemporary techno-culture. While tried and true materials of cotton, linen, silk, and polyester are often used, NUNO fabrics also result from the skilled manipulation of less usual elements generated through both high and low technology, such as thin copper wire used in telecommunications or rusted iron nails and sheet metal. The intriguing, sometimes playful results belie the difficulties involved in the process of their creation.
In 2002, the BMA acquired fourteen NUNO fabrics in honor of the late Dena S. Katzenberg, the Museum’s Consulting Curator of Textiles from 1969 to 2000. Mrs. Katzenberg admired NUNO and donated an example to the Museum, inspiring the formation of a small collection of these textiles with funds donated in her memory. Since then, and with the generous support of Jane and Worth B. Daniels, more NUNO fabrics were added to broaden the variety of techniques, materials, and designs represented in the collection.
NUNO fabrics are found in the collections of major museums around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York.
This exhibition is organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art and curated by BMA Curator of Textiles Anita Jones. The exhibition is supported by the BMA’s Venable Exhibition Endowment Fund.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.