Ai Kijima Fused and Quilted
September 12 - October 18, 2006
Franklin Parrasch Gallery is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition of new works by Ai Kijima. Kijima has fashioned a new vocabulary for traditional quilting by creating fabric collages with her signature spin on pop iconography.
Born in Tokyo, Kijima moved to the United States where she studied at, and received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kijima currently lives and works in a converted industrial building on the South side of Chicago, also occupied by artist Nick Cave, who introduced her work to this gallery last year.
Kijima incorporates in her works new and vintage fabrics she has gathered from around the globe. Scouring flea markets, garage sales and thrift stores from Asia, Europe and North America, Kijima is an obsessive collector and connoisseur of printed fabrics. Coveting everything from vintage kimonos to picnic blankets and dishtowels, the artist incorporates sections of these objects in her works. Obsessively cutting, manipulating, and stitching the various fabrics she collects, Kijima fuses her intense, seemingly cacophonous imagery into highly choreographed quilted collage.
The 10 works in this show, ranging in scale from about 20 inches to over eight feet square, absorb the viewer in their layered narratives of fantasy and subliminal associations. Formally finessed, these images filter through the artist's rich knowledge of domestic consumer items and their global disbursement. Intuitively layered and sewn, the end result is an astonishing array of beauty and intensity.
A 16-page catalogue will accompany the show Fused and Quilted at Franklin Parrasch Gallery. The British advertising firm Don't Panic Media will release a poster of Kijima's piece called Home this fall, distributing over 100,000 copies throughout Europe.