• Lincoln, Nebraska
May 27, 2019 - September 22, 2019
Trained as a painter and an architect, Liz Axford turned to textiles in the context of the Studio Craft movement, which defined itself as a branch of art-making focused on material explorations. In 1985, Axford left a career designing generic commercial architecture and committed to a studio quiltmaking practice that remained steadfastly experimental for 35 years.
Throughout the ‘80s, Axford’s approach was fairly traditional. Like many quiltmakers of the era, her main avenue for investigating color was the juxtaposition of commercially printed cottons. In the early ‘90s, Axford started experimenting with dye methods. She was always entranced by color, and by the nature of dye as transparent and difficult-to-read—as immaterial. No less interested in materiality, Axford also used chemistry to disintegrate fibers and reconstitute them in different form.
Overlay highlights Axford’s Shift series—wholecloth quilts with hand-dyed surfaces integrated by dense, single-color quilting. Rectangular panes of color evoke otherworldly light, and each grid invites us into multiple other-worlds that are at once discrete and contiguous, like the relationship between our own imaginations and realities. Created in the last five years, these pieces testify to a decades-long commitment to engage with the quilt idiom in a spirit of real invention.
International Quilt Museum
1523 N. 33rd St
Lincoln, NE 68583