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Colossal

Introducing Chicago Art & Culture, A Weekly Newsletter Curating Events Around the City

November 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Safety Patrol” (2018) by Bisa Butler This week, we’re launching Chicago Art & Culture, a new weekly roundup of exhibition openings, artists talks, and other fun events occurring around the city. Each Thursday, we’ll share a shortlist of three to five happenings in the realm of art, design, and visual culture. As guidelines around COVID-19 mitigation evolve, we’ll be curating events that are either virtual, held outdoors, and/or following best practices. Sign up for Chicago’s newsletter—in addition to our daily, weekly, and shop updates—here, and check out the first issue. Keep an eye out for New York, Los Angeles,…

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: Discover Bisa Butler's Approach to 'Painting with Fabric'

December 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Bisa Butler (previously) shares her fascinating journey with fiber art, African textile traditions, and historical portraiture in an interview with Colossal’s managing editor. Drawing from university training with both AfriCOBRA artists and feminist fiber artists, Butler has carved her own path as an exhibiting artist with vibrant and evocative quilts. Get to know Bisa Butler in our exclusive conversation, part of our new Interview series for Colossal Members. Learn more about Membership and join here….

 

 



Art

African Fabrics Connect to Form Quilted Portraits of Black Figures by Bisa Butler

September 28, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Broom Jumpers. Credits: Ian Rubinstein / Claire Oliver Gallery Brooklyn-based artist Bisa Butler (previously) uses brightly colored cotton, wool, and chiffon fabrics with bold patterns to piece together quilts featuring detailed portraits of Black people. The materials and themes connect American subjects with their African roots and tell visual stories of history and culture. Butler is a New Jersey-born African American artist with Ghanian heritage. A closer look at her portraits reveals intricate mosaics of shapes and patterns and complex multi-hued skin tones. For her James Baldwin-inspired piece “I Am Not Your Negro,” Butler created a portrait of a man…

 

 



Art Craft

Colorful Quilts by Bisa Butler use African Fabrics to Form Nuanced Portraits

February 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Three Kings”, detail Artist Bisa Butler draws from an array of vibrant patterned fabrics to create portraits of everyday people. She eschews representational colors, favoring layered jewel-toned hues to form the skin of her Black subjects, and often groups figures together into strong silhouettes. “I have always been drawn to portraits,” Butler explains in a statement on her gallery’s website. “I was the little girl who would sit next to my grandmother and ask her to go through her old family photo albums. I was the one who wanted to hear the story behind every picture. This inquisitiveness has stayed…