Maira Kalman's second gallery exhibition features a new medium for author/ painter/illustrator and designer Kalman- embroidery. She has created twenty new works which combine image/drawings and texts, including a large four-panel work quoting Goethe. Aphorisms include "seize the day," "everybody should be who they are" and "good things come to those who wait". The images themselves are based on photographs from Bellocq to snapshots. Although the text is determined in advance, the drawings are unplanned and embroidered directly on the fabric. The exhibition will also include dress/sculptures made by Kalman.
The interaction of image and text has been at the core of Kalman's previous work in her many books and illustrations, but the embroidery is something new. "My mother and my aunt embroidered, and I love cloth" says Kalman. She often uses old linens as the support for her works and they have a meditative homespun feeling.
The exhibition coincides with the release of Kalman's latest book project, Strunk and White's The Elements of Style Illustrated (Penguin Press). She has also designed a musical production based on The Elements of Style in collaboration with composer Nico Muhly which will premier in the main reading room of the New York Public Library on October 19th. "The audience is going to sit at the tables, and the musicians will stand on the balcony…the last song will have everyone singing together in one big cacophony."
Altogether October should be a very exciting month for Maira Kalman and her admirers.