On the Cover:
Ramekon O’Arwisters, Mending #18, 2017. Textiles and broken household ceramics, 16 x 14 x 7 in. Photo: David Schmitz, Courtesy the artist and Patricia Sweetow Gallery.
This issue was put together remotely, while the editors (and contributors) were sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic. With people around the world learning to do more with less, it is perhaps timely that a concern for what one might call humble materials is common to all the artists featured here. Sheela Gowda composes her assemblages from things found in her home city of Bangalore, “everything,” as her interviewer, Rajesh Punj, notes “from hair and incense to metal, steel, stone, plastic, and rubber.” Elana Herzog’s unique sculptural objects are comprised most often of textiles, though she employs other quotidian materials, like scrap wood and garden plants. While our cover artist, Ramekon O’Arwisters, also includes textiles, as well as pottery shards, in his pieces, he frequently turns to a process, crocheting, not generally associated with “fine” or “high” art. For her celebrated installations, Sarah Sze gathers any number of household or throwaway items; and nothing is more common than Pablo Lehmann’s chosen medium, words, or the paper and plastic he presents them on. The current situation reminds us that encountering great art live and in person produces an experience that is neither humble nor common. We hope that as the months and years unfold, that lesson remains with us. —Daniel Kunitz