Monumental ‘Sunburst” by renowned Detroit fiber Artist Jane Knight. The Sunburst is comprised of sixty-nine elements of hand twined in multicolored wool fibers and is and was commissioned for the Brownstone building in Chicago, 1970s.
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 at the epicenter of the modernism movement and was personal friends of Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard and George Nelson to name a few.
Jane was an avid traveller 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 need to create art and a constant conviction that ones home should be a continual environmental stimulus. Her wall hangings, which are considered to be her most important works, are comprised 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. We currently have several of these three-dimensional textile works available. A few were acquired directly from her personal collection but a number of them 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.