Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock
Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
25.07. – 19.09.2021
Olga de Amaral, Brumas (Mists), 2013, acrylic, gesso, and cotton on wood, courtesy of the artist. © Olga de Amaral / Photograph © Diego Amaral
This summer, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock, the first major touring retrospective of the prolific, visionary Colombian artist whose pioneering visual language has helped to transform the fiber arts movement. Co-organized by the MFAH and the Cranbrook Art Museum, the exhibition traces Amaral’s architectural investigations of the woven form through some 50 works created during the past six decades, ranging from her early Muros (Walls) series to the more recent immersive installation Brumas (Mists).
“This retrospective allows audiences to see the six decades of my work side by side for the first time,” Olga de Amaral said. “To have it open at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is a great honor, as they hold leading collections in both decorative arts and Latin American art in the United States. The exhibition was also co-created with Cranbrook Art Museum, the museum of my alma mater, Cranbrook Academy of Art, which is such an important part of my creative history and where I met my husband, the artist Jim Amaral. This retrospective and publication have been years in the making, and I feel they are a wonderful showcase of my life’s work.”
Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock will be on view in Houston from July 25 through September 19, 2021, before traveling to the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in October.
An “alchemist artist,” Amaral has experimented radically with material, composition, and space, transforming flat-woven tapestries into forms that defy the confines of any genre or medium. Co-curators Anna Walker, Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design at the MFAH; and Laura Mott, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art and Design at Cranbrook Art Museum, chronicle Amaral’s career through four thematic sections: “Radical Materialism,” “Rebel Warp,” “Alchemy,” and “The Line.” They also devote two galleries to the artist’s immersive Brumas (Mists) and Estelas (Stele) series.
“Olga de Amaral is a leading figure who continues to push the boundaries of the fiber arts movement. Deeply rooted in her Colombian heritage and architectural training, Amaral’s sculptures command our attention with their exploration of color, texture, and structure,” said Gary Tinterow, Director, the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, MFAH. “We are delighted to partner with the Cranbrook Art Museum to present this comprehensive survey and highlight Amaral as a seminal artist of the last 60 years.”
“Amaral has developed a language all her own within the fiber arts movement through experimentation with the loom and her transformational use of materials,” Walker said. “The MFAH has established the most comprehensive collection of her work in North America. It’s a thrill to present these works alongside other important examples that exemplify her creative spirit.”
This exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock, authored by co-curators Laura Mott and Anna Walker and co-published by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Arnoldsche Art Publishers.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houdson, US
Houston, Texas 77005