Waters Above the Firmament

Panel of fabric and paper, central circle formed by thin vertical strips; top half colored blue.

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  • Panel of fabric and paper, central circle formed by thin vertical strips; top half colored blue.

Date:

1976

Artist:

Lenore Tawney (American, 1907–2007)
United States, New York, New York City

About this artwork

Lenore Tawney’s Waters above the Firmament owes its striking character to the simplicity of its basic concept: a large circle set into a square. This simplicity is complicated by the weight Tawney has given to the upper half of the circle, in which the warps are made of paper and fabric coated in thick blue paint. Here Tawney, known for her pioneering exposure of the warp (vertical thread element), provided a variant on that theme: she wove the circle with slits that open at regular half-inch intervals, emphasizing a third dimension, a device she utilized in many of her weavings. Trained in sculpture at the Institute of Design in Chicago and an alumna of the School of the Art Institute, Tawney’s exploration of weaving as a sculptural enterprise fits well within her body of work, which also includes laminated boxes and collages as well as constructions composed of such materials as eggshells and chairs.

On View

Textiles, Gallery 57

Artist

Lenore Tawney

Title

Waters Above the Firmament

Origin

New York City

Date

1976

Medium

Linen, warp-faced weft-ribbed plain weave with discontinuous wefts; 18th/19th century manuscript pages cut into strips, attached, and painted with Liquitex acrylic paint; braided, knotted, and cut warp fringe

Dimensions

397.6 × 369 cm (156 1/2 × 145 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

H. L. and Mary T. Adams, Harriott A. Fox, and Mrs. Siegfried G. Schmidt Endowments; restricted gift of Laurance H. Armour, Jr. and Margot G. Armour Family Foundation, Mrs. William G. Swartchild, Jr., Joan Rosenberg, Joseph W. Fell, and the Textile Society

Reference Number

1983.203

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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