Chicago’s Danny Mansmith shines in a perplexing and strange light in this eclectic collection of four fabric artists. The initially endearing story of Mansmith’s mom and grandmother teaching the young suburban boy to sew takes a darker tone when realization hits that this little boy wearing hand-sewn clothes was the ill-fated societal outcast. Though Mansmith’s wall-hung pieces like “Sewnland” breathe love and warmth, his large yarn human form, “Dark Doll,” is simply terrifying in a deliciously frightening and wonderful way. Also from Chicago, Deb Herman creates exceedingly intricate pieces—her tribute to 9/11 being the standout of her collection. Natividad Amador, famed Mexican fabricist, rarely shows north of the border so this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see her colorful skills. The unusual fabric sculptures of Veronique Leriche Fischetti depict Haitian Vodou stories. Knowledgeable gallery founder Laurie Beasley can retell each of the extraordinary tales behind the baby doll and fabric sculptures. There isn’t anything amiss among these four textile artists—a refreshing occurrence at a group show. (Rachel Turney)
“Fabrics and Fabricators” shows at Ridge Art, 21 Harrison Street, Oak Park, (708)848-4062, through September 14.
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