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Monday, August 20, 2018

TERRA FIRMA Exhibit at the Manhattan Beach Art Center featuring Robert Glenn Ketchum

When at UCLA, Ketchum studied with two very non-traditional photography practitioners, Edmund Teske and Robert Heinecken. Ketchum was especially influenced by Heinecken's use of many different materials in presenting his photographic imagery, some of which involved cloth and fabric. Working with UCLA, in 1985, Ketchum became the first American artist to enter their China exchange program. This began a 30-year collaboration with a nationally prestigious Chinese embroidery guild, to translate his photographs of the natural world into embroideries and loom weavings, of which two of the most recent are displayed here.

Graceful Branch Movement_ 2010
Graceful Branch Movement, 2010

One of the largest 2-sided embroidery panels ever created, featuring the untraditional use of two stitches that were never previously combined. The detailed leaves are done in the most laborious "Suzhou fine style," and all the other background work is done in the "random" stitch. There more than 40 dye colors used, and the work took several embroiderers 3-years.

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