Vanishing Point (detail), 2005
Hand-stitched cotton
17 x 60 x 80 inches
Courtesy of Anna Von Mertens, Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, and Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles
Photo credit: Don Tuttle Photography

Burned Out by the Rising Sun: works by Anna Von Mertens

February 1 – April 8, 2007

Anna Von Mertens’ work considers our oblique relationship to moments in time and our attempts to form an understanding of this shifting idea. Her latest body of work, As the Stars Go By, examines the star rotation patterns above violent moments in American history. Using hand stitching as a marking of time, these fabric works have the proportions of a movie screen; some over 8’. The series selects historical events where a psychological shift occurs, and the pieces act on many levels: as a memorial, as an actual viewpoint or landscape from a specific moment in history, as a study of astrological forces, but ultimately it simply documents a natural cycle that is oblivious and impassive to the violence below. Two quilt works separate from this series, Vanishing Point and Tank Shrapnel, use the site of the bed as an intimate lens to examine the overlapping phenomena of the finite and the infinite. Vanishing Point, including hundreds of converging white stitched lines, references cosmological phenomenon and typical depictions of the Holy Ghost; Tank Shrapnel’s stitch pattern freezes the moment of an explosion when an object is transformed from something recognizable to something unknown.

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