Monday, July 01, 2013

Quilt National 2013 Stats

I got my Quilt National catalog this week. Quilt National is a very prestigious biennial exhibit of art quilts. The catalog is a feast for the eyes... inspiring, provoking, deep and delightful!

As I did with the catalog for the 2011 QN, I thought it might be fun to pull together some thoughts about the 2013 QN in the form of statistics. These are mostly the same categories I used last time. They focus on styles and techniques that are particularly interesting to me.  I'm not making any claims of accuracy. Just my thoughts from flipping through the book.

Total quilts: 85

Countries represented: USA, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Germany, Belgium

Quilts that include digital imagery and/or digital printing: 21

Quilts that include images of people: 25

Quilts that include images of buildings: 15

Quilts that include images of plants: 22

Truly abstract: 18

Quilts made with old or recycled fabrics: 5

Longest side: 97" (Brook Atherton's "Springfield" is 32x97" and Best of Show.)

Shortest side: 21" (Cris Fee's "Contemplating Self" is 27x21".)

Seemingly smallest pieces: 22x26",  24x23" and 27x21"

Guestimate of average size: 45x70ish (Maybe when my daughter gets home from soccer camp, I'll task her with compiling some size stats. She's my math girl!)

Incorporating found objects: 3

Unusual materials mentioned: paper maps, plastic bags, barricade tape, vintage linens

Quilts that mention Spoonflower in the description: 3

Primarily pieced (no surface design or other techniques): 4

Whole cloth: 15 -- very subjective... it's hard to tell

Irregular edges: 10

Main focus is dyed or painted fabrics: 8 (the fabric almost stands on it's own) 

Quilts with words or letters on them: 25

Hand stitching or hand quilting: 20

Insane amount of hand stitching: 3

Social or political statements: 8

Mostly black, white and gray: 14

Quilts that include ladders: 2

Quilts that include severed body parts: 2

Interesting techniques: burned, basketry, words cut from magazines, glue transferred, stiffened, fabric aged over a winter in my back yard, cut with a soldering iron, direct writing, tied, thread drawn, sanded

Artists I've met in real life: Katie PM, Cathy Kleeman, Karen Rips, Susan Callahan, Judith Plotner, Marianne Williamson, Joan Schulze, Elin Noble, Benedicte Caneill, Deidre Adams, Paula Kovarik, Kate Themel, Natalya Aikens

It's interesting to compare these past two collections. 

Way way way more use of digital images and digital printing this year. Also far more quilts incorporating words or letters.

Overall... I'd say there are is more representational work this year. 

Unlike several previous QN collections, almost all the pieces in the 2013 collection appear to be three layers held together with stitching. In my opinion, there are no ragged, conceptual, or avant-gard pieces this year. Also fewer pieces using unexpected materials. Or is that just that the unexpected has become more standard? 

I think it's a great collection and a great catalog. One more thought... as beautiful as the catalog is, there is no substitute for seeing art in person! 

What other stats are you curious about from the QN collection?


Gerrie said...

Wow, Deborah! This is very interesting. Thanks for doing all this work.

Tonya Ricucci said...

interesting. ooh, insanely hand stitched sounds really intriguing and wow that really is a lot of wordy quilts. how many artists had never had a quilt in the show before? I stopped buying the catalog a few years ago because it felt like it was the same people over and over again... Does it feel more of the same-y?

Marijoe said...

Thanks for all the QN stats. I did my own informal survey of the catalogue. I was especially interested in average quilt size, materials, how many used surface design and hand-dyed fabrics as opposed to more traditional techniques and commercial fabrics. But you went way beyond that. I love it!

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

Truly interesting, Deborah! Thanks so much for this post!!

Del said...

It is, as always, a thought provoking exhibit. Many of the artists were at the opening and talked about their work. Although it is not mention in the descriptions many, many more than three of the artists used Spoonflower. The idea went around that with such representation they should ask Spoonflower to be a BIG sponsor. SAQA offered an interesting panel discussion featuring first-time artists, Pamela Allen and Karen Rips, and long-time artists, Susan Shie and Kate Themel, talking about their QN experience. I wish I could have taped it - fascinating.
They also had a panel with the three jurors which was amazing. Well worth the time and money to go to the opening and learn so much.

Brenda said...

This is a great breakdown. Only yesterday, I was commenting on differences between 2011 and 2013 in very general terms. Your analysis has helped me pinpoint some aspects.

Cathy Perlmutter said...

Fascinating, Deborah! Thanks for doing this!

Kathy Nida said...

"Quilts that include severed body parts" made me laugh...and then I wanted to know what the OTHER one was...

LA Paylor said...

I was kind of glad to hear there were a good number of representational quilts. I sure miss being able to see them at the Lancaster show when it was the Quilters Heritage Show.

Thanks for the low down!
Lee Anna Paylor

Vivian Helena said...

thank you for sharing..My goal is one day to send in an entry.
I think best to not think of the statistics and just do.
Fascinating however. I know Kerby and Lura S. Smith both got in,, is this the first time a husband and wife both had work in the show? I had not heard anything about that statistic.