International Orange

This small quilt pays homage to the bold geometric style of Czech artist František Kupka (1871–1957). I have reinterpreted his black-and-white painting, Abstraction, in a wholecloth ombré blue fabric with inset strips the iconic color of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is known as International Orange.

International Orange is one of 41 pieces juried into “Stitching California,” a traveling exhibition mounted by the Northern California/Northern Nevada region of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). The show’s first venue is the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, California, from August 17, 2019–January 5, 2020. For information on other venues and the exhibition catalog, please visit this post.

Quilts in many SAQA shows are now accompanied by audio commentary from the artists. Visitors at show venues can listen on their phones; viewers of SAQA’s online galleries can hear audio through their computer. Here are my remarks:

I am a modern minimalist quilter. I love geometric abstractions, hard-edge compositions with both drama and serenity.
My work is mainly non-representational. But in this piece I wanted to give an abstract, minimalist structure a hint of something familiar—the Golden Gate Bridge.
My design reinterprets a black-and-white painting by the Czech-born Parisian artist František Kupka, who lived from 1871 to 1957. His piece is purely abstract—just black vertical lines, and one horizontal—on a white background. But to me those vertical lines kept whispering … “suspension bridge”!
So I set out to remake his composition into a quilt that is both abstract and representational. It took two simple changes: I pieced the background from a moody blue/grey fabric (with matchstick quilting in myriad colors to suggest the look of water) and the horizontal/vertical lines in “international orange.”
Viewers familiar with that color may see the bridge in this quilt; to others, it may remain an abstract work. And to me … that’s the best of both worlds.

Earlier this year, the quilt was juried into QuiltCon 2019, an international modern quilt exhibition held February 21–24, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. It was one of 400 quilts selected from a pool of more than 1,700 entries.

QuiltCon is held annually by the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG), a nonprofit that supports and encourages the growth and development of modern quilting.

“The QuiltCon juried quilts really demonstrate how innovative and design-focused modern quilting has become,” said MQG executive director Alissa Haight Carlton, ”and it’s thrilling be able to feature the best in modern quilting on this international stage.”