The materials Davis Bliss and Line Bruntse choose to crochet, embroider, build or collect are as different from each other as the worlds they come from are. Davis Bliss starts in her home, illuminating the repeated work of housekeeping by distilling daily tasks into tangible objects that quantify "domesticity"; dryer lint coil rugs, hand embroidered paper towels and laundry-diary tables.

(above) Davis Bliss " Form Follows Function: A Diary"

 

Line Bruntse gathers things from the hardware store and the street, making objects out of inner tubes, mason line, spigot handles and zip ties which twist non-domestic, industrial materials into a lacework of textures and patterns that feel like family heirlooms. Her use of a traditionally female activity to render a traditionally male material into something new is illuminating.

(above) Line Bruntse "Conservative Estimate 36,042"

 

Bruntse creates deep, shag rug shelves of tufted, multicolored telephone wire, elegant afgans of silvery rubber and mats of innumerable plastic ties that bristle with a translucent glow that outshines any "off-the-shelf" associations. Bliss believes science, industry and systems like calendars are "human attempts to quantify and set within understandable limits, things which often defy order", and both of these artists enjoy transforming everyday objects and repeated tasks into a newly ordered structure which reveals its own contradictory histories. While working from very different sources these two artists similarly employ a somewhat Duchampian elevation of the "ordinary" which is posited with a rigorous, craft-based obsessive quality - stitching masculine to feminine and the chaotic to the controlled. The funny thing is that the ubiquity of the objects that both Bliss and Bruntse draw from does not dilute but instead enforces the impact they have as art objects; surfaces are rich, the organization has formal elegance and narrative references - all of which is amazing really - considering the former lives they had as tires, wires and pocket fuzz. -James Hull


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