• Kay Sekimachi: Amiyose III, 1965/2004; nylon monofilament, 54 x 14 x 10 in; Oakland Museum of California, gift of the Art Guild. 

  • Jenelle Porter

Teatime Thursday: Jenelle Porter on Kay Sekimachi

Open to Curator’s Circle members at the $1,000 level and above.

Please join us online for KAY SEKIMACHI: Geometries, a conversation with Jenelle Porter, BAMPFA guest curator. 

Kay Sekimachi is one of the most significant contemporary artists working in fiber. First recognized for her woven monofilament sculptures, made between 1964 and 1974, she has since used linear, pliable elements to create experimental objects that combine art and craft, found and made, and Japanese and American artistic traditions. Sekimachi has been a teacher and mentor to the Bay Area’s textile community and is widely regarded as a “weaver’s weaver.”

Kay Sekimachi: Geometries includes more than fifty objects that highlight the artist’s material and formal innovations, illustrating her dedication to form, shape, and line. Woven on multi-harness looms, her early free-hanging monofilament sculptures investigate space, transparency, and movement. They were a galvanizing counterpoint to the conventions of wall-bound pictorial weaving, as well as the characteristic coarse materiality of the international fiber art movement. In the 1970s, Sekimachi adapted the ancient card-weaving technique to create suspended monofilament or linen objects. She then addressed the intimate nature of scale through small-scale explorations, which have continued to engage and sustain her. Her most recent series mark a return to the fundamentals of loom weaving and pay homage to early twentieth-century influences such as Paul Klee and Agnes Martin.

Jenelle Porter is a curator and writer who has organized numerous major exhibitions, including Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design, Mike Kelley: Timeless Painting, Fiber: Sculpture 1960–Present, Dance with Camera, and Dirt on Delight: Impulses That Form Clay, as well monographic exhibitions on the work of Trisha Donnelly, Jeffrey Gibson, Charline von Heyl, Arlene Shechet, and Christina Ramberg, among many others. During her museum career, she was a senior curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; a curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and at Artists Space, New York; and began her museum career at the Walker Art Center and Whitney Museum of American Art. Porter is the author of numerous catalogue, journal, and magazine essays on art and artists. 

This online event is open to Curator’s Circle members at the $1,000 level and above. Space is limited, and reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis. Registered participants will receive an email with a secure event link on May 21.

Please contact Director of Special Events Masha Berek at mberek@berkeley.edu for more information or to register.