CUE Art Foundation is pleased to present Rewire, a solo exhibition by Terri Friedman, curated by Kathy Butterly. Friedman creates large, painterly weavings that ooze, sag, pinch, and dangle in vibrant shades of magenta, vermilion, fluorescent yellow, and cobalt blue. Her compositions, full of seemingly dissonant yet pleasurable colors and patterns, draw upon viewers’ feelings of discordance to provoke a visceral response.
Originally trained as a painter and sculptor, Friedman began weaving in 2014 and found that the repetitive, tactile process was meditative and allowed her to merge formal aspects of both practices. Working on a loom, the artist assembles undulating abstract shapes accentuated with cotton piping, colored glass, and applied paint, evoking bodily textures and psychedelic patterns. In some cases, she builds up emotive clusters of looped fiber and embeds warped text in phrases such as “Enough” and “If Only.” Friedman embodies a sense of precariousness in her textiles, with threads that cling to one another or appear to be on the verge of unraveling. This tension is an important aspect of her practice and reveals itself in the contrast between natural and synthetic fibers, contradictory colors, and lopsided forms.
In this body of work, the form mirrors Friedman’s conceptual interest in neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to develop new neural connections over time. In her catalogue essay, Alexis Wilkinson writes: “Her works are both a result of and build toward her desire to usher in a ‘collective rewiring’ to contend with the tenor of anxiety and distress in a turbulent cultural and political climate, while recognizing that joy and despair exist alongside one another. By creating compositions that have the potential to engender simultaneous responses of attraction and repulsion, Friedman hopes to ‘rewire’ her viewers’ relationship to comfort and discomfort via notions of style and taste.” As such, Friedman’s textiles optimistically probe at the possibilities for adaptation and growth that haptic encounters offer.
Terri Friedman’s work has traversed the landscape of paint, kinetic sculpture, writing, collaboration, and now, fiber. She explores issues of gender, the mind and body, and more recently, neuroplasticity and resilience. After receiving her BA from Brown University and her MFA from the Claremont Graduate School, she launched her career in Los Angeles.
Friedman has been included in solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad at such venues as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s Art Wall; James Cohan Gallery; Lancaster Museum of Art and History; Long Beach Museum of Art; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art; CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands; Geffen Contem- porary MOCA; Santa Monica Museum of Art; Orange County Museum of Art; Torrance Art Museum; San Jose Museum of Art; John Michael Kohler Art Center; and numerous galleries in the United States and abroad. Her work has received critical reviews in publications such as Artforum, Art in America, Frieze, Sculpture, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Artsy, and more. In 2019, she was featured in Vitamin T: Threads and Textiles in Contemporary Art (Phaidon Press). Friedman currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and is an Associate Professor at the California College of the Arts.
Kathy Butterly is an artist who lives and works in New York City and Searsmont, Maine. Butterly studied at Moore College of Art from 1982-86, where she received a BFA, and at the University of California, Davis from 1988-90, where she received an MFA. Butterly’s work has been exhibited widely around the US and abroad. Most recently, a mid-career survey consisting of 55 sculptures and works on paper was on view at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art in California. She is currently preparing for an upcoming exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, in September 2021. Butterly has been the recipient of many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Anonymous Was a Woman Award, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, Pollock- Krasner Foundation Award, Smithsonian Art Museum Contemporary Artist Award, and Artist Legacy Foundation Grant, among others. Her work is represented in NYC by James Cohan Gallery and in LA by Shoshana Wayne Gallery.