Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Quilts at the MOMA

American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) worked in COMBINES- works in which he affixed cast-off items to a traditional support.

Bed (1955)
by Robert Rauschenberg
oil and pencil on pillow, quilt and sheet on wood supports
(photo courtesy of Sophia Reford)

They say that the bedding used in Bed was actually his own, making this a very intimate piece, almost as intimate as a self-portrait. 

Using cast-off items is very much in my vein of thinking.

I have used discarded items before, even an antique quilt which was badly damaged when I got it.

The previous owner had cut out a few blocks that were probably in better condition and my guess is  a pillow was made with them.

I used the damaged quilt as a starting point for "Pages of My Life" (2011).

It is an homage to my grandmother. 

"Pages of My Life" was exhibited in Toronto and in Italy
and was shown on OMNI newscast.

She came to America and started working in a clothing factory in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 

Her job was to embellish "mistakes" in clothing therefore using her creativity to hide the mistake. The one-of-a-kind garment was often sold for more money.

I repaired the quilt and in doing so told some of the story of her life.


  1. i love what you have done with the quilt --a lovely honoring of your grandmother--& therefore so many other women who made quilts.
    robert's --not into it. i don't think he understands what quilts are about.

  2. This is a beautiful post - lovely quilt and story.