Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wendy Osher - Boy Code Embroideries

Boy Code - 2003 - Wendy Osher
Embroidery Floss on cotton, silk ties and men's suits

I wrote recently about visiting the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and the exciting work of two artists who go by the name of A BEE ( Carrie Houseman and Darbury Novoselic). In addition to this show there was a small grouping of embroidary works by Wendy Osher.

Osher's work is from her series The Boycode Project. There were 11 embroideries based on the drawings which are of a type typical of adolescence boys. The works feature gruesome male figures, warriors and superheroes. Each work is formated as a Thangka which is a type of Tibetan portable altar(as described by the artist) and is constructed of men's suit and tie fabrics.

As the mother of a son who is an artist and who like many young boys drew all over everything, I found this an interesting and powerful concept. The boys' drawings were rendered perfectly down to the lines on notebook paper. I responded to the intimate size of the work which made it necessity to view the work up close and presented a unique view of familiar subject matter.

The exploration of materials with ideas is central to Osher's work. The following is quoted from her biographical information. "Wendy Osher's practice works deep in the seams of discrepancies in our relationships with the natural world, each other, the things we use, and community. The materials she chooses emerge from the dynamics of each exploration. In recent years, discarded materials, installation, stitching, and documentary video have surfaced regularly. Her meticulous, labor-intensive approach betrays a rootedness in process, while her sense of humor always lurks in the wings."

This show will be on view through May 1, 2011.


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  1. Wendy is based in Pittsburgh. I loved her piece Promise which was in the Associated Artists 100th Annual at the Carnegie Museum last year
    It is is composed of pieces of graveyard decorations that she found on her walks through a cemetery so poignant. Sadly I didn't think it was placed well in the exhibition. I am a great fan of her work. Thanks for posting.

  2. This is an intriguing concept, which blends seamlessly with her use of materials. Fascinating!