Meredith Strauss, Revolution, 2021 Ikat dyed nylon cord stitched through grip mat (Detail)


Meredith studied textile arts with Jim Bassler, a professor in the Department of Design/Media Arts at UCLA. There she learned traditional weaving from Bassler—whose textiles are also in this exhibition. Her recent work references weaving but is an innovative twist on the process. Although these pieces may look like complex loom-woven structures, they are stitched into a rectilinear grid (a carpet underlay stitched with hand-dyed yarns). On close observation, the direction of the stitches is revealed to contradict the vertical and horizontal axis of weaving. Bold color combinations, in monochromatic or prismatic palettes, are achieved through ikat dyeing—a method of resist dyeing in which the intended thread is tie-dyed before the actual fabric is woven.

Meredith Strauss began her love of textiles as a young child learning to knit and crochet from her grandmother. After years of exploring on her own, she earned an undergraduate degree in Fiber Art from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1978. Additionally, she spent one year weaving in San Miguel Allende, Mexico and her junior year abroad at a weaving school in Stockholm, Sweden. Upon graduation, Meredith moved to Los Angeles and began work on her Masters Degree at the University of California at Los Angeles. Further research during this time took her to Peru and Bolivia on a Travel and Research Grant. Upon completion of her MFA degree in 1983, Meredith pursued exhibiting large scale weavings both nationally and internationally, including Japan, Switzerland, the Philippines, Turkey and Korea.  Meredith has completed many private and public corporate art commissions and are included in the collections of AT&T, Hilton Hotels, Hallmark Cards, Chevron’s Corporate Headquarter, Stanford University and the Rhode Island School of Design.  In the 1980’s, Meredith began teaching part time, first at the American College, later the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise, Woodbury University and El Camino College. A highlight in her career has been leading “Cloth and Culture” travel abroad tours to Italy, Turkey, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

Meredith’s current fiber artwork combines her knowledge of dyeing and weaving techniques with her love of ethnic textiles. She has developed a unique hand-stitching style which appears simultaneously complex in structure yet is simple in execution. The overlay of surface painting combined with ikat dyeing and various stitching techniques, always produces surprising and unexpected results.

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