Known for her explosive use of color and innovative use of fragile tissue paper, Maya Freelon creates soft, sculptural assemblages that contrast the vigor of moving energy with the impermanence of life and relationships. She will create for the KIA one of her signature, site-specific tissue paper quilts, through which she pays homage to her grandmother, “who never wasted a single grain of rice,” and to the quilt as a medium for transmitting personal memory and cultural history even as it is evokes comfort, warmth and healing.
Also on view will be a selection of Freelon’s tissue-ink monoprints, and the artist will create a small meditation room covered floor to ceiling with tissue paper quilts to encourage viewers to savor a present moment of seeing, listening, and learning. In discussing her fragile medium, Freelon has said, “Both delicate and resilient, the use of tissue paper poses questions surrounding preservation, ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, and the attribution of value for objects… How much pressure is needed until something is ripped? Is it destroyed? Can one find strength and power in fragility?”
Freelon’s work has been exhibited internationally in France, Italy, Jamaica, and Madagascar, and in the U.S. at the Smithsonian Museum of African American Art and the Nasher Museum of Art. She has been commissioned by Google and Cadillac.