Anna Von Mertens’ exhibition, Shape/View, features intricately quilted fabric constructions created by the artist over the past two years. Her stark black silhouettes of shaped fabric punctuated with hand-sewn lines poetically combine her scientific research of the cosmos with her handmade practice. To create the artworks, Von Mertens first marks the fabric with chalk and seems to methodically decipher them through the act of hand-stitching. The resulting images appear as though the scientific data has been intimately embedded into the quilted artworks.
In two large, geometrically-shaped wall pieces titled Structure Within a Cube, Von Mertens illustrates the gravitational boundary between our galaxy’s supercluster and a neighboring one. The artist expertly creates the effect of viewing multiple points simultaneously, as if catching a glimpse of a rotating three dimensional, computerized model.
Six smaller works titled View I - VI are meant to reveal different rotations of the Earth’s distinct supercluster. The undulating shapes of the quilted canvases provide the backdrop for wispy, delicately stitched white lines that appear like tentacles of cosmic jellyfish in suspended animation.
Anna Von Mertens was born in Boston and currently lives and works in New Hampshire. She received her MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts and BA from Brown University. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts (Boston, MA), Rijswijk Textile Biennial, 2013 (Netherlands), 40 under 40: Craft Futures at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery (Washington, DC) and the DeCordova Biennial, 2012 (Lincoln, MA). Von Merten’s work is in the permanent collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley, CA), the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery and the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Art and Design (Providence, RI), among other institutions.