Rosie Lee Tompkins Exhibit pt.2

Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit overall
Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit overall

The other day I started writing about my visit to BAMPFA to see the Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit. Today I plan to continue talking about the pieces that I liked.

In the photo, left, you can see how the quilts were arranged. You can also see the older quilts on the left and the newer quilts on the right.

As I mentioned before I preferred the older quilts, which seem to be mostly made from velvet, etc. On the right, you can see the newer quilts. These are mostly made from cotton. They seem to have more meaning, according to the signs, but they lack subtlety and their design elements are less nuanced. The impression I got from looking at those quilts is that Rosie’s supply or source of fabric had changed. Alternatively, someone may have told her that quilts were made from cottons. I don’t know, but I may find out once I read the catalog.

Rosie Lee Tompkins pink velvet
Rosie Lee Tompkins pink velvet

One of the velvet quilts used pink with black, which is a color combination I have not yet explored, though it is on my list.

In this piece, I think it is interesting how Ms. Tompkins used a few different pinks, including a peachy-pink that I would not have used. I am not a peach fan, but the artist uses it to good effect in this piece.

I am interested in the shape of the various pieces and wonder how she worked? Perhaps there will be some photos of her workspace in the book, which I have not yet read. Did she have a dedicated space? Did she work on her lap? I am not disturbed by the shape, I just see it in several of her pieces and wonder if it is the result of her workspace.

Rosie Lee Tompkins 'pinwheels'
Rosie Lee Tompkins ‘pinwheels’

The design of the exhibit was good. While the pieces were in chronological order, I could see that the curators selected pieces that showed a flow of her development. I know that pieces had to be selected from the vast number Rosie Lee Tompkins made.

This green and gold piece was between the emerald piece I showed in the previous post and the pink and black quilt above. There were others with more triangles, but something about this one caught my eye.

Rosie Lee Tompkins more 'pinwheels'
Rosie Lee Tompkins more ‘pinwheels’

She showed a variety of blue and black quilts as well, which were also favorites. I looked at this one for a long time and like the subtle shading of the black and grey. I couldn’t decide if the fabrics were the same, but turned or brushed so the nap showed up differently and made the pattern or if the fabrics were different, but very close. She used bits of turquoise in various pieces and that was appealing. I like the purple and turquoise together.

This exhibit is well worth a visit.


Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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