When artist Alexander Stadler opened his jewel-box-sized shop a little more than a year ago, near Rittenhouse Square, in Center City Philadelphia, anyone who knew Stadler was sure it wouldn’t be ordinary. Think of the shop, Stadler Kahn as a well curated “five & dime” one featuring cool objects rather than safety pins or baseballs. He sells textiles of his own design, along with furniture, vintage items, art, and all kinds of indescribable unexpected “object,”(pronounced ob-jay”). Stadler, an author/illustrator has authored several children’s books that reveal his whimsical, off-beat take on life. The shop’s point of view expresses this as well.
Tonight, an exhibition of truly unusual hand made doilies, by artist and dancer, Asimina Chremos will open to the public. The show, Neo-Doilies, is the first solo exhibition by Chremos.
Stadler flipped for her work because of its whimsical quality, which he compares to music: “Chremos’ work, like a jazz riff on a standard, reveals what is possible when a classical structure is toyed with and subverted. Her work exemplifies the most elevated form of play.”
Chremos brings her appreciation for free movement and improvisation to her crochet work. Working without a pattern, she discovers the form organically as she works with the material, although she uses traditional crochet technique.
Asimina was first exposed to the crocheting craft at an early age. Her mother worked in weaving, spinning and other fiber art, and her grandmothers – though from starkly different backgrounds (one was a native rural Virginian and one first generation Greek) – both did crochet. Under their guidance, she grew an inherent sense for the feminine traditions of household order, and an appreciation for the loving the creation of crocheted afghans and doilies for domestic space. She now does crochet-work for several hours each day.
There are nine pieces in Neo-Doilies, ranging from $340-$460. Freeform and distinct, these biomorphic, sprawling “drawings in movement and thread” vibrate and draw the eye no matter where or how they are displayed.
Asimina uses a small hook – size 10 or 12 – for her crochet-work. She uses a size 20 thread, which is intentionally on the larger end to allow her work to be delicate yet with a pleasing sturdiness. To finish each piece, she weaves the ends of the threads back in, then soaking in water and stretching out on a cardboard box with pins. This process is called “blocking”. Once dry, she un-pins, irons and starches to create the finished doily.
Opening: Thursday, November 7th, 2013
6:00PM – 8:30PM
November 7th– December 12
1724 Sansom Street (beneath Joseph Fox Books)
Philadelphia, PA 19103