Cover was created for the exhibition Indexical Makers, which also included the sculpture Happiness (Fraternal Triplets) and The Knitting Chair, a participatory performance installation.

curatorial statement for indexical makers

The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, California, will present INDEXICAL MAKERS, featuring Modesto Covarrubias, Ali Naschke-Messing, and Angie Wilson, emerging artists whose work dynamically integrates form and content. The exhibition title, a play on the term “Indexical Marker,” refers to 2 key aspects of the work. The artwork is “indexical” in that it points to something else—it directs the viewer's attention to and often becomes a trace of another occurrence or physical object. “Makers” refers to the ways the artists employ craft-based tactics in their artistic practice. To refer to these artists as “makers” acknowledges the historical divide between the creation of so-called “fine” art, and the craft traditions of “making” objects, of “making do” with everyday materials often degraded by art institutions.

Modesto Covarrubias utilizes knitting in his performance and installation pieces as a way to investigate psychological and emotional connections to physical environments. His knitting performances produce objects that serve as a trace of the actions of the performer, and his installations often engage the decor and design of a room, bringing attention to aspects of the space otherwise unnoticed by the viewer.

Ali Naschke-Messing describes her method as one of extreme “site-responsivity.” Her thread-based installations poetically echo existing architectural forms or subtly chart the daily movement of light and shadow across the wall, ceiling, or floor. Her work is as much about the act of viewing as it is about the intricate form of her installations, as they require a form of patient looking akin to listening to a whisper. While they are definitely a striking beautification of commonness, they also hint at the infinite.

Angie Wilson's primary medium is used work shirts, physical traces of anonymous laborers, woven into Persian carpet motifs or other craft objects. Wilson's artwork simultaneously weaves together questions of outsourced craft production, the mass production of the handmade, and the growing importance of re-usable materials.

INDEXICAL MAKERS are artists whose conscientious use of materials encourages us to patiently re-view our immediate physical environment, and to be mindful of the makers behind the seemingly simple, everyday objects within that environment.


-Dr. Heather Murray curator & Director of the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art

March 2012

Cover, 2012.  Marin MOCA.  View facing north, northwest.

Cover Project Information

Cover.  A site-specific / site-responsive installation.

(Approximately 19 miles of) Acrylic yarn, polyfiber, natural and artificial light.

20 x 235 x 196 inches.

Created for the exhibition Indexical Makers: 3 Bay Area Contemporary Craft Artists.

Marin Museum of Contemporary Art

500 Palm Drive, Novato, CA.

Curated by Dr. Heather Murray.

Exhibition dates:  March 10 to April 15, 2012.