Perhaps everyone with an overflowing inbox needs a basket. Kari Lønning, the nationally recognized and collected artist who makes contemporary baskets, explains: “Though many contemporary baskets still suggest a vessel form, often these forms no longer have openings or bottoms — they suggest use rather offer one. As we no longer feel the need to fill baskets with something physical, the contained space becomes as important as the container giving it form.”
Vineyard Haven’s Shaw Cramer Gallery opens the season today with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. celebrating Ms. Lønning’s baskets as well as the oil paintings of Island artist Leslie Baker.
The relationships between Ms. Lønning’s textural forms and Ms. Baker’s subtly layered paintings present an unusual art show; enjoy it, with refreshments and jazz piano by Abbie Dreyer, at the Main street gallery.
Leslie Baker is a painter, author and illustrator who has shown her work primarily on the east coast for over 30 years. Her paintings are based on studies made on site, developed into a larger in scale in her West Tisbury studio. “The sometimes irregular handling of the paint, the marks, splashes, scumbling and washes is intentional. Even the underlying drawing, a whispering thought underneath the layers of paint, is often left for all to see. This irregular handling of the paint interests me.”
Ms. Lønning’s baskets are in the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution and the White House Collection of American Craft.
“Contemporary baskets have gone from being objective to subjective,” she says. “The makers themselves define the objects they are bringing to life, pieces which only their own eclectic interests and histories could put together. They are creating dialogues between makers and audiences, ideas and materials.
For details, call 508-696-7323.