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?