Log Cabin Humble Beginnings, 1984
Watercolor, signed lower right, housed in artist's frame
25.50 x 19.75 in
This watercolor is an excellent example of the work of the Milwaukee-based artist Barbara Kohl-Spiro. This comes from a series of paintings based on quilt designs, in this case looking to a log cabin pattern. Kohl-Spiro says that: "For me, my life has been dedicated to family, tradition, and adding to the big pot of culture that I have the freedom to do. I celebrate families, daughters, granddaughters, and the creative spirit." The quilt for her thus acts as a symbol of passing traditions from mother to daughter and the strength of those familial relationships across generations. At the same time, this painting is very much of its time: The geometric pattern of the quilt, which radiates outward in dark and light squares, is reminiscent of the Op art of the 1960s, and even more so of the Italian Memphis style that has become the iconic style of the 1980s. While both Op art and Memphis design have characteristic hard lines, Kohl-Spiro's painting reveals the hand-made qualities of the painting in its free-hand lines. Even more, the it was during the 1980s that the artistry and design of quilts was coming to be recognized by art curators and critics, who lauded these patterns for their contemporary sensibilities. In addition, this painting is housed in a moulding of the artist's design, painted with patterns of lavender, orange, maroon, teal and purple. 25.5 x 19.75 inches, image 29.75 x 22 inches, sheet 36.38 x 28.38 inches, frame Signed in pencil, lower right Framed to conservation standards using 100 percent archival materials and housed in an artist-designed moulding Good overall condition. Some minor abrasions to frame.