Alexandra Kohl is the youngest artist we have worked with, yet her textile art has the meditative gravity of someone much farther along in her career. It seems to emerge from a dual strain: the deceptively simple minimalism of Agnes Martin and the earthy strength of Anni Albers.
And yet these woven pieces are also uniquely Kohl’s. Her materials are cotton and horse hair. In fact, many of her pieces use hair from the horses who are rescued and rehabilitated by Our Farm in North Salem, NY. And she has created a number of extraordinary custom textile works for avid riders with hair from their horses’ manes or tails. This year, Architectural Digest named her one of “17 On-the-Rise Designers You Should Know Now.”
But it is the stillness and balance of the pieces that we love, the cool geometry of the design contrasted with the warmth and texture of the fibers. These don’t seem like works made very recently by such a young artist. They have the quality of well-preserved artifacts of a long-gone culture.
“I think of the loom as an ancient computer, one that insists on a different sense of time than we are used to in daily life. Setting it up can take up to ten hours, and the weaving hasn’t even begun.
“Art, in all forms, asks us to slow down: pouring molten bronze into ceramic molds, mixing pigments of oil paint on a palette, or threading the reed and heddles that hold a warp in place. I have apprenticed to all of these forms. The work demands steady focus and attention— from the initial sketches to completion—and even so, the final product is always a surprise.
Hand-craftsmanship is an intensive and meditative practice. It’s my intention that the healing nature of this art transmits to those who enjoy these pieces.”
A selection of Alexandra Kohl’s woven textiles will be displayed at Lawton Mull for a limited time. Come to our 10th floor space at 200 Lexington Avenue to have a look.