BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.- Two new installations inspired by The Baltimore Museum of Art’s collection explore the connection between textiles and architecture. Filigree Spaces: Textile Installations by Piper Shepard features a dramatic curtain wall in the Museum’s lobby and a “room within a room” design in the BMA’s textile gallery by Baltimore-based artist Piper Shepard.
“The BMA is committed to presenting contemporary art from Baltimore and beyond,” said BMA Director Doreen Bolger. “Piper Shepard is reinterpreting antique textiles in the BMA’s collection and adapting their patterns to new works created through a totally different process.”
The first installation, Along Lace Lines, features nine muslin panels painted and hand cut in designs adapted from lace in the BMA’s Cone Collection. Covering a large section of the floor-to-ceiling windows of the BMA’s lobby, the graphite-coated fabric will filter the sunlight to cast elaborate shadows onto the floor. The designs are based on laces in The Cone Collection, including a 19th-century Rosaline bobbin lace shawl from Belgium, a 16th-century Italian cutwork Reticella handkerchief, a 19th-century Belgian Point de Gaze needle lace, and a black Chantilly lace parasol cover from the 19th century.
The second installation, Chambers, consists of five elegant facades created out of lace-like fabric “walls” inspired by 19th-century wallpaper and printed textile patterns. Cut in three different complex designs and suspended over armatures hung from the ceiling, the intricate and ethereal panels are made with a laborious hand process. In addition to the hanging work, Shepard will cover the walls of the BMA’s Berman Textile Gallery with a hand-printed textile based on a circa 1862 Gothic revival damask fabric from the BMA’s collection. This cloth will be created by silkscreen printing and a burnout process called devoré. The overall effect will be that of spatial configurations within a room, emphasizing the connection between textiles and architecture.
Filigree Spaces: Textile Installations by Piper Shepard is curated by Anita Jones, BMA Curator of Decorative Arts for Textiles. This exhibition is generously supported in part by Nancy Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff.
PIPER SHEPARD - Piper Shepard has exhibited widely within the United States, including the Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia, and in the 1998 Biennial at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, as well as the Museum of Art and Design in Helsinki, Finland. A graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art with a Masters of Fine Arts in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, she has taught in the Fiber Department and General Sculptural Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art since 1994. She has twice been awarded the Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, first in 1997 and again in 2003.