Kenneth Baker
April 12, 2003

NEW THREADS at LIND: Laura Richard Janku, recently appointed editor at Artweek, pulled together a group of sewn contemporary art for the Gregory Lind Gallery.

The feminism centrally associated with stitchcraft (did he want to say witchcraft) a generation ago now seems incidental to it.

To those who missed "Close Calls" at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Lind's "Sewn Together" offers a second chance to see outstanding textile pieces by Tucker Schwarz and Anna Von Mertens. Schwarz uses the sewing machine as a drawing tool, stitching skeletal views of suburban rooftops, trees and telephone wires.

She leaves threads tangled and drooping after runs of sewn "drawing" in "...And that was the Last Time I saw Her" (2003). The loose ends have a double aspect, disillusioning as traces of process and expressionistic as hints of something or someone coming unstrung.

Von Mertens turns in a characteristic politically charged stitched bedspread. Its title holds the key to the odd irregular pattern, with itscurious modernist formal echoes: "Allied Bombing of German Town/Scale Model of Germania" (2002).

Ulrike Palmbach adds a slouching radiator of loosely stuffed felt that looks as forlorn as a discarded teddy bear.