Want to see new art in New York this weekend? Start in Chelsea with Cameron Welch’s
ambitious mosaics packed with cultural references. Then head downtown to see Lukas
Quietzsch’s casual but meticulous paintings. And don’t miss Peter Uka’s paintings of the
groovy Nigeria of his 1970s childhood.
The textile artist Kira Dominguez Hultgren cites the Nahua weaver, educator and artist’s
model Luz Jiménez (1897-1965) as a major influence. But not much work survives by
Jiménez, so she appears in this exhibition only in a few reproduced drawings and
photographs. What remains is essentially a New York solo debut for Dominguez
Hultgren, whose textiles, which incorporate alpaca and camel fur, strips of her Punjabi
grandmother’s clothing, rope from a Utah climbing gym, her own hair, plastic zip ties,
ratchet straps, and a shredded reprint of an exhibition catalog titled “Luz Jiménez,
símbolo de un pueblo milenario 1897-1965,” are draped and tied across ad hoc looms made
of salvaged wood.
On paper, the gallery’s explanation for this eclectic array of materials — that they
represent the artist’s multicultural heritage — sounds a little literal. But it’s actually this
kind of transparency that makes the work compelling. Three strips of yellow and blue
woven fabric stretch down a ladder of wooden bars in “In the Silence Between Mother
Tongues,” with the rubbery-looking climbing rope snaking in and out between them, while
five separate burlap-colored panels meet in a loose knot at the center of “Colita de Rana
or Zip Ties.”
No single knot or stretcher bar stands out more than any other, but they don’t quite blend
together, either. Instead, the impression made, say, by “Colita de Rana” is less like a
singular picture than like a complex spiritual machine.