Crafty ladies put a spin on the MCA
Yarnbombing as high art
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 03:02
Yarn bombing is like graffiti but it doesn’t destroy property.
In fact it gives a certain beautifying edge to the gritty world of street art. Denver is lucky to have the Ladies Fancywork Society, a rouge band of five crocheters that want to spread fiber art throughout the city.
The Ladies Fancywork Society or LFS produced a new installation of work in front of the entry to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown Denver. The installation adds a new element to the MCA that the museum never had before. Not only is the medium a non-traditional form of Art—with a capital A—but the installation makes the entrance lively and entertaining.
The crochet pieces create a kind of gate, reminiscent of Jean Claude and Christos’ giant orange gates that were placed in New York City’s Central Park. The yarn sections are set up in the entryway allowing a staggered design that produces a surreal interaction between it and the viewer.
One must walk between the sections to get inside the MCA, and to fully grasp what the art seeks to do. The idea of the sections was to serve as insulation of the entryway during the bitter cold months. These pieces are very beautiful and have intricate details on them. One could spend hours analyzing the fine points.
Along with the sections hanging from the ceiling there are also little gems of crochet yarn throughout the entryway. Some are wrapped around the railings giving a warmth and vibrancy to the cold touch of metal. Others have us following a chain link or a strand of yarn that leads the viewer up to the front desk. As in any respectable piece of artwork, the ladies have signed—with a large LFS—in yarn.
The Ladies are most well known for their works that are done in the secrecy of night and aren’t actually commissioned. The most notable work is the shackling of the big blue bear at the Colorado Convention Center.
Another piece constructed during the wee hours of the evening placed legwarmers on the dancing statues outside the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Once the oversized legwarmers were removed they were used as blankets in a women’s overnight shelter.
The MCA, however, is their first official showcasing by a museum. With that, the LFS is closing the gap between craft art and fine art, allowing craft artists everywhere to gain a greater exposure and real sense of respect. Their second museum appearance will be this summer at the Denver Art Museum as part of the museum-wide textile exhibit, Spun.
The Ladies Fancywork Society is a great role model for young artists. They show that art doesn’t have to be traditional, that it can be crafty and fun and even rebellious. They distance art from egotism, showing that it’s about the artwork itself and not the artist.
But most of all, the LFS teaches us to have fun in what we create, and to be playful. These ladies have stolen the heart of Denver one stitch at a time.