Time is an essential ingredient in Anna Von Mertens’ hand-stitched quilts. Whether following a night sky’s star-trail or depicting scientific images of poles of energy in her quilts, Von Mertens explores ideas and relationships through visible images of time and perspective. The final works, meticulously stitched quilts, also become time-intensive relics of her process.
Von Mertens hand-stitched and dyed cotton works seem the fusion of Minimalism and American folk craft. And despite their analog presentation, their making is dependent on two technologies. It is through mapping dates and times in computer programs that Von Mertens is able to capture the image of the various night skies. And the visual history of star trail photography proves Von Mertens’ stitch— a fait accompli —a perfect merging of the vast and the intimate. Using the handmade quilt with all of its cultural associations as her medium, the artist hints at the essential intimacy of her quest. Ultimately, in the tradition of the craft, the quilts transmit her story to generations to come.
Anna von Mertens, Jupiter Rising, January 7, 1610, Padua, Italy, 2008
hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton
54 x 100 inches
Courtesy of Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR
Photograph by Don Tuttle Photography
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
51 Sandy Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773