An avid Paul Klee fan, I was irresistibly drawn to San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art last weekend to see the latest exhibit, Paul Klee at Play (https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/paul-klee-play/) This intriguing exhibit features the handmade puppets Klee had created for his son’s Bauhaus performances.
The puppets are made of scraps of fabric, paper mâché, and found objects and they show Klee’s genius at creating vivid, lifelike beings out of random materials. As a knitter, I admire his resourceful use of objects and materials to express his point of view.
Fine art made for every day use is akin to hand knitting. After all, knitters are artful at combining colors and textures to craft beautiful objects we use every day. And fiber is a wonderful medium for art and sculpture. Moma features a magnificent installation by the fine artist Saraceno called Hybrid Webs and Spidersilk Maps in which threads inset with mirrors are suspended in mid air.
This display is interactive and some of the suspended mirrors reflect your body and face as you walk by them. This experience led me to reflect on the way that, as a knitter, the fiber webs that I am slowly crafting by hand reflect me.
As knitters, our fiber and color choices are extremely personal. This quick screen capture of a slice of my ravelry page shows my individual color scape. Have you ever looked from far away at your friends' ravelry pages to get a sense of their personal color palette?
I detect a strange similarity between my ravelry page and the "256 Farben" painting by German modern artist Ferhard Richter, which is one of my favorites at MOMA.
I know that my little sweater photos do not compare to this painted masterpiece, but they are my little repository of work all the same.
Isn’t playing with colors fun? No wonder shawl knitting is so popular!
First you pick colors you are drawn to and spend a happy time combining them in different ways. Then, once you have finished your personal shawl “painting” you can wrap it around yourself for comfort! Rather than a shawl, my next color project will be an afghan to keep our family warm in winter. Using Martin Storey’s two recent afghan KAL patterns as a starting point, I have drafted out this color chart for my blanket:
In the end, I feel that paintings are wonderful to look at in a museum, but I would rather have a cozy piece to keep me warm at home. I wonder about my knitting friends, and readers. Where do you draw the inspirations for your knitted projects? Or are all your color choices purely personal?