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Woven with copper wire against a muted dusky-pink background, this tapestry replicates an early computer circuit board. Long, thin rectangles in two columns take up most of the height of the composition. A few rows of smaller rectangles are in three columns below and larger shapes are above. Numbers and letters, like serial numbers, including “INTEL,” can be made out on the rectangles. The copper gleams, creating a shimmering effect.

Analia Saban, Copper Tapestry (iSBX 275 Graphics Card, Intel, 1983), 2020, woven copper wire and linen thread, Avalon Fund, 2023.27.1

Braided Histories: Modernist Abstraction and Woven Textiles

Presentations, Panel Discussion, and Artist Conversation

Focus: Exhibitions

  • Friday, May 31, 2024
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • East Building Auditorium
  • Talks
  • Hybrid
  • Registration Required

Join us for an afternoon of presentations and conversations in celebration of our exhibition Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction.

This program is organized by the National Gallery’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (the Center) in collaboration with Lynne Cooke, exhibition curator and senior curator in the department of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art.

Keynote Lecture, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Welcome by Steven Nelson, dean of the Center, and Lynne Cooke, National Gallery

Jenni Sorkin

Jenni Sorkin
Underwater Basket Weaving
Jenni Sorkin (University of California, Santa Barbara) writes on the intersections between gender, material culture, and contemporary art, focusing primarily on women artists and underrepresented media. Her books include Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women Artists, 1947–2016 (Skira, 2016), and Art in California (World of Art, Thames & Hudson, 2021). She has also written numerous essays in journals and exhibition catalogs. Sorkin is co-executive editor of Panorama: The Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, an open access, peer-reviewed journal. She is currently a senior fellow in American craft at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Presentations and Panel Discussion, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Introductory remarks and panel discussion moderated by Kaira M. Cabañas, associate dean of the Center

Horacio Ramos. Photo: Marcin Muchalski

Horacio Ramos
Maquiraicu (Thanks to my Hands): Design, Labor, and Indigenous Worldviews in Contemporary Andean Textiles
Horacio Ramos is a PhD candidate in art history at the CUNY Graduate Center. He holds an MA in art history and a BA in philosophy from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Horacio has previously held positions in the curatorial departments of the Museo de Arte de Lima and the Museo del Barrio in New York. He is currently the Mellon-Marron Research Consortium Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Fernanda Pitta. Photo: Ana Druwe

Fernanda Pitta
Short Stories and Missing Threads: Brazilian Modernism and Indigenous Art

Fernanda Pitta is an assistant professor in art, theory, and criticism in the research division of the Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of São Paulo (MAC USP). She is principal investigator in the research project Decay Without Mourning, Future Thinking Heritage Practices (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond). Her latest curatorial project is the retrospective Eleonore Koch: On the scene, on view from April 6 to July 14, 2024, at MAC USP.

Candice Hopkins. Photo: Thatcher Keats

Candice Hopkins
Warped Wefts Short Circuits: Women Weavers and the Manufacture of Early Computer Chips on Navajo Nation

Candice Hopkins (Forge Project, Mahicannituck Valley) is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation and lives in Red Hook, New York. Her writing and curatorial practice explore the intersections of history, contemporary art, and Indigeneity. She is executive director and chief curator of Forge Project in Taghkanic, New York, and was the inaugural senior curator for the 2019 and 2022 editions of the Toronto Biennial of Art. Hopkins’s most recent exhibition is Indian Theater: Native Performance, Art, and Self-Determination since 1969, which opened at the Hessel Museum at CCS Bard in June 2023.

Artist Conversation with Analia Saban, 4:00–4:45 p.m.
In dialogue with Lynne Cooke, National Gallery

Analia Saban. Photo: Art Streiber

Analia Saban
Born in Argentina and based in Los Angeles, Analia Saban works across media, exploring how art objects are constructed and understood. Her work is deeply engaged with the tools of artmaking: while she regularly uses traditional materials, she subverts and often combines them with digital technologies to completely rethink how a work of art functions. Saban’s work is in the collections of the National Gallery; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, among others.