Art Review

Art Beat

World of New Colors, which closes Saturday at the Bayeux Gallery in the Golden Triangle, is a solo show devoted to the work of Philadelphia-based textile artist Marcia Hewitt Johnson.

Johnson creates geometric abstractions with pieces of cloth joined together using quilt-making techniques, as in the two-panel "New York New York" (above). With a careful sense for color-mixing, in this piece she directs the viewer's eyes from the bottom to the top. In other Johnsons your eyes will be made to dart from left to right.

These bold abstract textiles are based, believe it or not, on photo collages. Johnson takes photos during her travels, then cuts them up and reassembles them. The resulting collages serve as prototypes for her fabric pieces. Bayeux Gallery director Carla St. Romain has included several of these photo montages hung in and among the textiles.

The Bayeux Gallery is the only specialist in town for contemporary textile art, and thus the only place to see a lyrical and luxurious show like this.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia