This is a monumental textile installation by renowned Detroit Fiber Artist Jane Knight. The title of this work is “Convergence” and it is comprised of seventy-seven elements of hand-twined multicolored wool fiber over raw strands of jute. This artwork was acquired from the original owners in Rancho Mirage California who had commissioned it in the 1970s. It has been extraordinarily well preserved and is in excellent condition. The textile is signed with an embossed copper plate on the lower part of the far right element. Jane Knight (1928-2013) was born in Grosse Pointe and received her BFA from the University of Michigan in 1951. After graduation, she worked as the Art Director for the Detroit-based luxury department store JL Hudsons and designed for the Cranbrook Theater School.
Due to her husband’s employment at Eero Saarinen and Associates, she was embraced by a community of cutting-edge designers and architects who were at the epicenter of the modernism movement. She was a personal friend of Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, and George Nelson to name a few.
Jane was an avid traveler who always viewed the world magically with her creative eye. As an art collector herself, she highly regarded the work of Alexander Calder and Henri Matisse. Throughout her career, she created numerous freestanding, wall-mounted, and suspended fiber art sculptures for countless interior environments. Her artwork has been featured in books on fiber design, exhibited in galleries in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, and is included in several corporate collections including Borge Warner and Chrysler. Jane’s body of work is a product of her perpetual drive to create art and a constant conviction that one’s home should be a continual environmental stimulus.
Her wall hangings, which are considered to be her most important works, are of brightly colored woolen strands encapsulating heavy lengths of jute fibers. These captivating works epitomize the vibrancy and textural exuberance that was so characteristic of the fiber art movement of the 1960s and 70s. 20cdesign currently has a number of these three-dimensional textile works available. A handful were acquired directly from her personal collection and a few were recently discovered packaged in storage and have not been displayed since they were originally presented at the San Francisco Galleria Design Center Exposition “Art Fabric ’77: The Contemporary American Tapestry”. Much like her contemporaries, Sheila Hicks and Olga de Amaral, Jane Knight was one of the few female artists of this important era who were able to push the boundaries of a medium usually considered to be a craft into the realm of Fine Art.