Nancy Crow: Sequences, Riffs, and Drawings

June 10 – August 20, 2023 

Artist Statement

As I reflect on the group of works included in my exhibition, I realize they represent a range of emotions and thoughts that are articulated in the language of geometric elements emphasizing great figure/ground tension. For me, great figure/ground tension equals beauty. Beauty is life-giving. I need beauty. Haydn’s “Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major” is beyond thrilling to the soul, life-giving and it is about beauty. I want to create works only about beauty.

But many artists struggle and I too struggle…mainly with anxiety and doubts. By nature, artists are very connected to their emotions so the politics, the chaotic disruptions in lives all over the world, the war in Ukraine, the wars in many African and middle eastern countries, the hatred spewed towards others who don’t fill some mold of acceptance is disorienting and disheartening, destabilizing, and discouraging. During the coronavirus I could make no work. When I started again, I felt anxious and found that sequences were all that I could make and sequences were the only thing that helped subdue the heightened anxiety I felt and tried to quell, never totally. I do not want to make work that reflects the cruelty in life and the world today. I only want to create works about beauty.

SEQUENCES: Making repetitions calms me and this process is necessary to who I am.

RIFFS: Taking an idea and allowing it to become variations on a theme.

DRAWINGS: Actually, I believe all of my work is a form of drawing because I do cut into fabric thinking that I am actually drawing. 

Nancy Crow gave informal Gallery Talks at 2 and 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at the Schweinfurth Art Center. Watch a video of her presentation below.

Learn more about Nancy Crow’s exhibition

About the Artist

Artist Nancy Crow has been making quilts for over 40 years. She maintains large studios and a teaching facility on her 218 acre farm east of Columbus, Ohio. Named a Fellow of the American Craft Council, she has received the major award, The Individual Artist’s Fellowship, from the Ohio Arts Council twice and The National Living Treasure Award from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. In addition, she was named a Master of her Medium in Textiles by The James Renwick Alliance, associated with The Renwick Gallery/Smithsonian Institution.