Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In the Tapestrymaker's Mode

American Craft Magazine has a feature "from the stacks". This month's was "In the Tapestrymaker's Mode" on James Bassler from Aug/Sept 1982 issue. The feature states: "Among the processes Bassler then employed to create his tapestries were strip weaving, ikat and batik. Since the 1980s, Bassler’s tapestries have become increasingly complex, incorporating techniques of the Navajo and ancient Andean cultures—building his reputation for focusing on the past.

The recipient of many honors, Bassler was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 1998 and interviewed for Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art in 2003. Widely exhibited, his work is in numerous museum collections as well as in the Cotsen American Masters Textile Collection.
Today Bassler is represented by the Jane Sauer Gallery in Santa Fe and the Gail Martin Gallery in New York City. Dismissing any notion that he lives entirely in the past, Bassler, using shopping bags from Trader Joe’s, spun and wove a paper bag, complete with handles, that the Martin Gallery recently displayed at the International Tribal and Textile Arts Show in New York. The artist can be seen on film in one of two new episodes of the PBS series Craft in America, scheduled to air on October 7. Jane Sauer says 'Jim’s work has the integrity and depth that few ever obtain and he has sustained this level of making for over 40 years. Dedicated to the past and the future, Jim is truly a national treasure.' "

The entire 1982 article may be downloaded at:



Theresa said...

Wonderful article! I've never seen an issue of American Craft. I think I'm going to have search one out to get my little hot hands on.
Thank you for yet another great link!

Life Looms Large said...

I'll definitely try to catch the PBS show with him on it. His work is really interesting.


Jennifer said...

Theresa, American Craft Magazine can be accessed online for free. It's posted a little after the hardcopy arrives in the mail. It's definitely interesting and I enjoy it for seeing something different. I enjoy functional art, but sometimes the art overshadows the function. Still it makes me think.

Sue, I was excited to find the show itself. Looking at the website, it started on June 3, 2009. I'm hoping they will add the video to the website after the series is over...