• Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock
    Olga de Amaral
    Laura Mott and Anna Walker
    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
    Jul 25, 2021 to Sep 19, 2021
    Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills
    Oct 30, 2021 to Feb 13, 2022
    Cranbrook Art Museum

Olga de Amaral, "Brumas," 2013. Acrylic, gesso, and cotton on wood, 75 x 35 1/2 in. Courtesy The Patinoire Royale-Galerie Valerie Bach

Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock is the first major US retrospective of the artist’s career—co-organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston—and presents her groundbreaking practice over five decades. Still prolific at the age of 87, Amaral first studied weaving at Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art in the 1950s, and then returned to her native Colombia to become one of the most recognized names in the field of Latin American art. While fiber is essential to Amaral’s visual language, her work extends beyond any one medium and this retrospective places her work in dialogue with philosophies prevalent in other fields, such as painting, ceramics, sculpture, and architecture. A fully illustrated catalogue highlights her technical innovations, key bodies of work, and generates timely new scholarship on a significant woman of color whose work can be found in numerous collections in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America.

Born in Bogotá in 1932, Olga de Amaral studied architecture at the Collegio Mayor de Cundinamarca, and later studied fiber at Cranbrook Academy of Art. After returning to Colombia, she became the founding director of the Textiles Department at the Universidad de los Andes. Her work is concerned with color and structure as well as process and materiality, and is inspired by the Colombian landscape, adobe houses, pre-Columbian textiles, and principles of abstract geometry. In 1973 she was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2005 she was selected as an Artist Visionary by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. In 2008, she was honorary cochair for the benefit of the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She has exhibited at institutions around the world and her work is part of permanent collections in the US, Asia, Europe, and South America.

Laura Mott is senior curator of contemporary art and design at Cranbrook Art Museum since 2013. In 2016, she was named a Warhol Curatorial Fellow in support of the project Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy, and Materiality (2019). Mott has held various curatorial positions at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden; Gothenburg Konsthall, IASPIS in Stockholm; Mission 17 in San Francisco; and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She holds a master’s in curatorial studies from Bard College, and bachelor’s in art history and a bachelor’s in studio art from the University of Texas.

Anna Walker is the Windgate Foundation Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) where she is responsible for the exhibition, research, and publication of the craft collection; the proposal of acquisitions; and the development of a long-term collections strategy. Prior to joining the MFAH, she was the curator at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC).

Andrew Blauvelt is director of Cranbrook Art Museum, curator-at-large for the Museum of Arts and Design, and former senior curator of architecture and design at the Walker Art Center.

Founded in 1904, Cranbrook’s mission is to provide extraordinary education, to encourage creativity and innovation, and to value learners of all ages and backgrounds. Cranbrook develops people who will live with purpose and integrity, create with passion, explore with curiosity, and strive for excellence.