Artsy Story about War Rugs, Boetti, and Leah Dixon

Vanessa Thill wrote an an interesting piece about war rugs for Artsy. which reaffirms Alighiero Boetti’s influence on world map rugs.



Alighiero Boetti, Mappa, 1983-1984
Tornabuoni Art

Despite decades of war, ancient pattern techniques that can take months or years to complete are still passed from mother to daughter. Testimony from the makers of these carpets is difficult to obtain, as many of these works remain unattributed, and the female weavers lack easy access to modes of international communication. But the largest online archive of Afghan war rugs, maintained by New York–based artist Kevin Sudeith, offers information and an online store. Still, the weavers’ authorship is often lost when these works go to market, yet their masterful compositions reveal a dark humor and complex commentary on contemporary life.

In the carpets’ compositions, perspectival viewpoints merge and flatten to integrate three-dimensional forms with maps and repeating decorative patterns. Some of the rug designs are based on Charbagh, a quadrilateral layout inspired by the four gardens of Paradise described in the Qur’an. Another genre of rugs depicts national maps of Afghanistan, which may have been influenced by Alighiero Boetti’s map series.The Italian Conceptual artist traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and worked with female weavers, first in Kabul and later in Peshawar, to create brightly colored tapestries depicting world maps with national flags labeled with bold text. In keeping with his interest in chance, Boetti sometimes left the color choices up to the women.
….
Because many artists shy away from this touchy subject matter, Dixon found unlikely peers in the anonymous rug weavers. The horrors of violence and the destruction of everyday life manifests in these carpets with an absurd levity. Dixon first created her own version in 2010—not woven but cut from colorful yoga mats. She described the work as an homage to the carpet weavers—and a jab at the United States’s commercialized relationship to war.



Leah Dixon, Don’t See a Need for Middlemen I, 2017–19.

Drone Rug in NY Times Opinion Piece

Opinion: The Secret Death Toll of America’s Drones

The Pentagon says American airstrikes in Somalia have killed no civilians since President Trump accelerated attacks against Shabab militants there two years ago.

Amnesty International investigated five of the more than 100 strikes carried out in Somalia since 2017 by drones and manned aircraft, and in just that small sampling found that at least 14 civilians were killed.

The Pentagon says airstrikes by the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State killed at least 1,257 civilians in Iraq and Syria as of the end of January.

Airwars, a university-based monitoring group, estimates that those strikes killed at least 7,500 civilians in those countries.

Those disparities show how poorly the American public understands the human cost of an air war fought largely by remote-controlled drones. Drones have been the main weapon in the counterterrorism fight for more than a decade. They kill extremists without risking American lives, making combat seem antiseptic on the home front. But the number of civilians killed in these attacks is shrouded in secrecy.

Similar drone rug available here

Tyne Bridge with Newcastle Swing Bridge



For some years there has been speculation about the location depicted in a group of landscape rugs showing a through arch bridge similar to the beautiful Sydney Harbour Bridge. The rugs in question though show a distinctive clock tower. Nigel Lendon was onto it in the post above (the ads and broken image links are unfortunate). These rugs show River Tyne with the Tyne Bride (through arch) and the Swing Bridge (at leftmost foreground in red and white.)



David R. Williams has a good
photo on Flickr from a similar vantage point showing both bridges


Abstract rug from the Textile Museum of Canada


Notice in the left foreground the white arch supported by red lines of the Swing Bridge.



This one is reversed (note the white arch on right) with warehouse building in foreground.

The Met Museum Releases 375,000 Images into Public Domain

The Metropolitan Museum in New York has made a tremendous contribution to the public domain by releasing hundreds of thousands of photos under a Creative Commons Zero license.  The Museum has made available a wealth of information licensed for almost any use.   Here are a few examples found in a search for “weaving”.

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/14794?sortBy=Relevance&what=Woven&ao=on&ft=*&offset=10608&rpp=100&pos=10638

 


http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/44125?sortBy=Relevance&what=Woven&ao=on&ft=*&offset=10708&rpp=100&pos=10727

 

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/13552?sortBy=Relevance&what=Woven&ao=on&ft=*&offset=10508&rpp=100&pos=10593

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/67544?sortBy=Relevance&what=Woven&ao=on&ft=*&offset=9808&rpp=100&pos=9825

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/73310?sortBy=Relevance&what=Woven&ao=on&ft=*&offset=10708&rpp=100&pos=10755


http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/316416?sortBy=Relevance&what=Woven&ao=on&ft=*&offset=10908&rpp=100&pos=11002

 

 

NPR Coverage on Impressions at Mike Weiss Gallery, NYC

npr-home

Not only am I into the art of presenting and selling war rugs but, I’m also a rock sculptor, reviving the original carvings through impressions presented at the Mike Weiss Gallery. Check out this write up on NPR, written by contributor,  Alva Noe http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/04/23/474717276/making-art-from-life

23193_hw500gt.3