Daniella Woolf: Art that inspires
Daniella Woolf is an artist, author, curator and instructor in encaustic, fiber and mixed media. She describes her work as ‘an amalgamation of materiality, mathematics and repetition’ and her preferred medium is encaustic because of the versatility it offers. She is a founding partner of Wax Works West, a school for the encaustic arts, and is the co-president of the Lucky Girls Society, with her wife, Kim.
‘Art that inspires’ is a brand new series for TextileArtist.org, in which established textile practitioners discuss artists and pieces that have been influential in their own creative journey. Here Daniella Woolf introduces us to some of her favourite pieces and tells us why they are so special to her.
Daniella Woolf: This was a really hard assignment. I could do fifty really easily! There are so, so, so many artists that inspire me. To ask me to give you only five makes me want to whine, but I won’t. OK, OK, I’ll do it.
Artist: Frantisek Kupka
Name of piece: Nocturne
The painter I have loved the longest has been Frantisek Kupka.There is something about the way he uses verticals that are distorted. He is mysterious, chaotic and orderly simultaneously. I was very young when I first saw his work. It may have even been a puzzle-only a guess. I respond to strong verticals, and he always delivers the goods.
The Open Window
Artist: Pierre Bonnard
Name of piece: The Open Window
Materials used: Oil on Canvas
Size of piece: 118 x 96
Notable exhibitions: The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
Pierre Bonnard has been a favorite for much of my life. I appreciate his color sense and his added wonderful story telling ability. I particularly love the windows and the little brown dog. The textile person in me always responds to his use of pattern.
Abstract Diagonal Composition
Artist: Sonya Delaunay
Name of piece: Abstract Diagonal Composition
I have always adored Sonya Delaunay for so many reasons. I think because of her use of color, pattern, and fearlessness. She worked in so many disciplines like textile design, weaving, quilting clothing and theatre design, painting cars, and simply being a wild thing.
Artist: Dorothy Caldwell
Name of piece: Book
I first discovered Dorothy Caldwell in a magazine, maybe twentyfive years ago. Something about that black and white and blue. The stitching. The calmness. The simplicity. The beauty. The knowing. I saw her giant art works in Kansas City, and was struck by the sheer size and scope of the work. Then I saw a book on a small table, or it may have been a podium. I turned every page with reverence.The entire book was black marks on brown paper. It was a holy book. It made my heart jump out of my chest with joy. Not sure how this happens, but it felt like the pure expression of brilliance. I was so taken with this work, which seemed to come from a deep well of knowing. Seven years ago, for my birthday, I traveled to Canada to take a five-day workshop with Dorothy on mark making. I was blissed out for all five days.
My Favorite Things
Artist: Maira Kalman
Name of piece: My Favorite Things
My newest art crush is painter Maira Kalman. She uses color with abandon, is prolific, and I don’t think she takes herself seriously. I’m just guessing, but I think we might share some DNA. She is a great story teller, and makes me laugh out loud. It is apparent how she loves life, food, objects, good design, people, dogs and nature. I hope that some day can I meet her, and we can just sit and blah blah blah blah blah. I know we would for sure be foodie friends. I have been to her gallery in NYC and have looked at all of her work with her gallerist. What a huge treat to be up close and personal with her paintings.
More art that inspires
I also made a one minute video of works of some artists I admire. I wish I were the love child of Agnes Martin and Mark Rothko. I wish Dorothy Caldwell were my sister. I want Do So Huh to be my studio mate, and Susan Rothenberg to teach me how she painted that horse in the SF MOMA that I can’t find online. The one that was all white, except for the faintness of horse hooves and flared nostrils. The notion of revealed and concealed simultaneously always gets my vote for inspiration. I have a book on Lenore Tawney that I have looked at over and over and over thousands of times. I love the two El’s. El Lissitsky, a Russian Constructivist and El Anatsui, the Ghanian who does the enormous metal tapestries. For some of the classics in fiber and sculpture, that would be Sheila Hicks, Olga de Amaral, Eva Hesse and Magdalena Abakanowitz, and “You must come to my villa in Dubrovnik”, Jagoda Buic. Recently I saw these shoes in a niche that had a translucent cover, and that was the work of Doris Salcedo – the piece made my aesthetic heart skip a beat. And finally, here are two more winners that get my vote for material brilliance: Sonya Clark and Simryn Gill.
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