Maureen Nollette: Honorable Ordinaries

May 19, 2016 – August 14, 2016

Maureen Nollette’s work explores the beauty and meaning of repetitive patterns, grid systems, and their collective place within both modern art and traditional textile crafts. She is interested in the perceived value difference between the geometric grid as utilized in modernist art, and the patterning of quilts and other textile crafts that have historically been dismissed as “women’s work.” Though Nollette’s art comments on the tradition of textile crafts, she substitutes household materials like paper, contact paper, and fiberglass mesh for fabric. 
 
Nollette’s installation of with/without is comprised of rows of chevrons in a decorative pattern that covers large portions of an exterior window. The viewer’s range of vision is influenced or obstructed by the pervasive shapes, allowing the choice to either see the chevrons, or see past them. The chevron, an angled shape that references the roof of a house, is an honorable ordinary that symbolizes protection. Honorable ordinaries are the original marks of distinction on coats-of-arms indicating the owner’s distinguished service. The chevron’s dual connotations of private home life and public service echoes the grid’s dual presence in domestic craft and fine art.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:
Steelcase Inc.
Porter Foundation
The Jury Foundation