Exhibit-Geometric Stitch – Curator’s statement

Exhibit-Geometric Stitch. In the last 50 years, the multidisciplinary artist Susan Hensel has developed her practice by combining mixed media, such as sculpture and mural art, with embroidery through digital and manual means. The result of her innovative process is great proof of how the combination of different media can enhance the advantages of both classical and contemporary creative techniques.

Hensel’s exhibition

Hensel’s exhibition encompasses a series of abstract pieces that stand out for the intensity and expressive nature of the colors that escape from the everyday world of embroidery. The visual sensation seeks to appeal to the viewer in order to generate a sensory experience which the artist knows how to exploit well, through the different textures and degrees of three-dimensionality that challenge nature.

The artist materializes the figures in relief, achieving a sculptural aspect, and gives importance to the space they inhabit. Most are exhibited suspended on the wall like paintings, even though they are irregular structures. In this way, she deconstructs the traditional conception of space and painting.

The designs that are created digitally and then transferred to the embroidery machine allow Hensel to explore a wide variety of forms that allow her to exploit her creativity. From the technique of digital embroidery, she obtains unique geometric figures and patterns, whose process is often linked to the random factor or to chance giving rise to the beauty of imperfection.

Tradtional Techniques

Hensel’s innovative productions escape from what we traditionally associate with the practice of embroidery. It is a traditional technique that for many decades was available exclusively to women. It has been considered as an activity that is developed within the home, for which it is also related to the idea of intimate family life. The artistic character of embroidery has always been reduced to the artisan, the non-professional, the feminine, and the field of subjectivity.

In the contemporary world, technologies give rise to creations that aim to break with the conventional perception of embroidery. It is painting with thread and sculpting volumes with all kinds of textile materials. It is fabric and fibers as a matter of artistic expression, and it has a language of its own.

Its possibilities are infinite. The precision in each stroke resembles an oil painting down to the smallest detail. These thread works are the result of multidisciplinary experimentation that explores different modes of texture and composition and gives rise to unique creations full of intensity, symbolism, and life. Above all, the most important thing in Hensel’s work is to continue transmitting different ideas through her art.

Susan Hensel

Susan Hensel received her BFA from the University of Michigan in 1972 with a double major in painting and sculpture and a concentration in ceramics. To date, she has participated in over 200 solo and group exhibitions. Hensel’s art has received recognition from the art world through collecting, awards, and representation in libraries and museums as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Getty Research Institute.

Her curatorial work began in 2000 in East Lansing, Michigan with the Art Apartment and continued with the Susan Hensel Gallery. Since then, Hensel has curated over seventy exhibitions of emerging artists throughout the United States and Canada. Exhibit-Geometric Stitch.


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