Shaped by the Wind: Kites
YONKERS, NY. May 25, 2004 - Shaped by the Wind: Kites brings kites by artist/ kitemakers from around the world to the Hudson River Museum, June 12 through September 12, 2004. Kiteflying appeals to our aural, visual and tactile senses, and kite-making is a rich medium for artistic expression.
The kite makers in Shaped by the Wind share artistic originality, an understanding of the principals of flight, engineering, and kiteflying skills recognized worldwide. Among the many influences on their work, these kite artists cite specific painters and sculptors; cultural traditions; historical kites; ocean sailing; space exploration; performance art; animation and costume design; and book illustrations.
For more than 2,500 years, kites were created for military, scientific, religious, ceremonial and recreational purposes. Today, we are most familiar with kites in sports and recreation. The kites in this exhibition are made as works of art. Artists, often trained in more traditional media such as painting and sculpture, have found that in the making and flying of kites they are best able to realize their artistic goals.
Shaped by The Wind: Kites includes kites by George Peters, Stuart Allen, Marc Ricketts, Scott Skinner and Tal Streeter from the U.S.; Istvan Bodoczky, Hungary; Jackie Matisse; and Marthe and Jean Marie Simonnet, France; Anna Rubin, Austria; and Mikio Toki, Japan. Their explorations with materials, structures, surfaces, and the interactions between colors and forms have added to their kite's expressive possibilities. From bamboo and delicate handmade paper, to space-age materials, these kites reflect the artists' distinct, individual voices. Their kites are arresting in repose, but it is in flight that their dream-like, gravity-defying properties are revealed. While flying, they are truly shaped by the wind.
Scott Skinner's kites evolved from a combination of American patchwork quilt designs and traditional Japanese kite forms. His kimono-shaped kites are made from patchwork blocks of handmade Japanese paper (washi). The paper patchwork blocks, cut from digital images of historic Cody kites, are pieced together in unique combinations.
Anna Rubin, from Austria, experiments with delicate natural materials such as bamboo, twigs, grasses and handmade papers to create her own vocabulary of abstract sculptural forms.
Istvan Bodoczky, an Hungarian artist, has made structural and aesthetic contributions to the world of contemporary kites with his explorations of asymmetrical forms. Bodoczky incorporates the kite structure into the overall surface design. Using paper, bamboo and an assortment of collage-like materials, Bodoczky expands the definition of kites.
Tal Streeter's clear colors and bold geometric forms fuse a profound knowledge of Asian traditions and cultures with Western minimal sculptural conventions. Streeter's recent rectilinear kites of rip-stop nylon are elegant and spare, referencing the paintings of Mondrian.
Marc Ricketts has developed ultra-efficient multi-wing kites from space-age materials that has led to his development of wind-free kites that can be flown indoors.
MikioToki, from Japan, specializes in Edo kites, a rectangular kite traditional to Tokyo. He uses sumi ink and outlines his brilliantly colored figures from historical anecdotes, old story books, Ukiyoe prints and the Kabuki Theater.
Jackie Matisse, a French kite maker, makes both "wind tails," long slender strips of appliqued nylon that ride the wind, as well as " seal tails" that undulate through underwater currents like giant seaweed. The underwater kites in this exhibition are suspended from a ceiling armature, which slowly revolves, suggesting underwater movement. The kites in Matisse's video Tailing a Dream make visible the invisible movements of both sea and air currents.
Marthe and Jean Simonnet are French sculptors whose kite designs are astoundingly origianl. One web-like kite in this exhibition, designed to reveal a backdrop of moving sky, is made of many smaller kites that have been randomly scattered
Stuart Allen's background as a sailor and boat maker as well as artist, is evident in the taut balanced form of his kites. Allen combines laminated maple and cherry woods with pristine sailcloth to evoke sea and sky.
Shaped by the Wind: Kites
The Hudson River Museum
June 12 to September 12, 2004
Organized by the Hudson River Museum
Co-Curators: Jean-Paul Maitinsky, Assistant Director, Programs and Exhibitions and Andrea Lilienthal, Guest Curator.
This exhibition has been sponsored, in part, by Wachovia.
Also on view, June 12 - September 12:
The Kites of Kyushu, from Japan's southernmost island, show a variety of mythological warrior heroes, divine beings and mythical beasts. The kites of Kyushu are made from traditional materials, paper and bamboo, and reflect a refinement of craft found in many Japanese traditions. Kites of Kyushu has been provided by the Drachen Foundation, a nonprofit educational corporation.
The June 26 Kite Festival at the Hudson River Museum, 12-5 pm, offers a host of kiting activities for all ages. Outdoor demonstrations and games FREE. Workshops and concert FREE with museum admission. Rain or Shine. Kite Demonstrations and a Candy Drop. Members of the American Kitefliers Association will conduct kite demonstrations and fighter kite "battles." Children can catch the Kite's Tail Contest and enjoy a candy drop from the sky. Creative Kite Workshops , 1 - 3 pm, feature kite artists and kite makers to assist the public to make their own kites.