Untitled by Judith Scott

Judith Scott

USA | 1943–2005

Judith Scott’s fiber sculptures are mysterious and highly tactile. They are made up of layers of carefully selected color and textures, woven, wrapped, or knotted, with objects hidden at their core. Between 1987 and her death in 2005 she worked at Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, where she made over 200 sculptures. Scott did not speak but she communicated vividly through the dense and intricate bundles for which she has become famous worldwide. She began her sculptures with scraps of wood or found objects which she then wrapped in yarn, string, knotted fabric, telephone wire, or other materials. No two were alike, as seen in the examples on display here. They range from her early bundles of bamboo stakes wrapped tightly in yarn, to her later, extravagant cocoons.

Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Collection de l’Art Brut, Switzerland, The American Folk Museum, New York, and The Museum of Everything, London. The first comprehensive Judith Scott retrospective was at The Brooklyn Museum, New York in 2014-2015. Later, she was a featured artist at the renowned Venice Biennale in 2017.

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Untitled

Year: 1992

Medium: Fiber and found objects

Courtesy of Creative Growth Art Center

JS46, by Judith Scott; 1992. Fiber and found objects.

Dimensions in inches, in order of height, width, and depth: 15×38×5

The overall shape of this work of art is that of a harp laid on its side. Every aspect of the object has been wrapped with various colors of yarn and string with red being the most prominent. The main form is a collection of 5-10 unidentified, tube-like objects. These objects are arranged parallel to one another and are held together with string and yarn. The notable exception to this arrangement is at one end of the work where thinner tube-like objects are connected to each other in an arc so as to form a loop rising above the main form.

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Untitled

Year: 1988

Medium: Fiber and found objects

Courtesy of Creative Growth Art Center

JS12, by Judith Scott; 1988. Fiber and found objects.

Dimensions in inches, in order of height, width, and depth: 2×33×3

The work comprises an arrangement of an indeterminable number of skewer-like objects set parallel to each other and wrapped with several colors of string. The primary visible color is black, but beige and red are also present. The skewers appear to have been tied in layers—applying a skewer, wrapping it to the others, applying another, wrapping it, and so on. This is made apparent by the way they interchange with the string as you look from one end of the work to the other. The skewers are tied closely together at one end of the work with a small bunch of black string. At the other end, three of the skewers, this time unwrapped, extend approximately 3 inches beyond the main body of the work.

Untitled

Year: 2004

Medium: Fiber and found objects

Courtesy of Creative Growth Art Center

JS38, by Judith Scott; 2004. Fiber and found objects.

Dimensions in inches, in order of width, height, and depth: 17×10×15

The work comprises an unknown object or objects that are entirely wrapped with string and bits of yarn. It generally resembles a large ball of yarn, save for a 1 - 2” brown wooden handle that can be seen sticking out at a slight angle near the top. The wrapping is intricate—the strings interweave with each other as they envelop the object. The artist used multiple colors of string with the most apparent ones being blue, green, and light gray. Black is also visible, peeking out between the outer wrappings of string.

Audio Description

Untitled

Year: 1997

Medium: Fiber and found objects

Courtesy of Creative Growth Art Center

JS38, by Judith Scott; 1997. Fiber and found objects.

Dimensions in inches, in order of height, width, and depth: 41×20×18

The work is comprised of unknown objects wrapped entirely in string, white ribbon, and a gray, wooly fiber. The work is generally gourd shaped, with a wide bottom and a narrow top. The top portion is perhaps narrower than you’d expect of a gourd. There appears to be a sharp knitting needle or wooden chopstick that sticks out of the top. Below it, the gray fiber can be seen bulging out between wrappings of string. The string acts as the main wrapping around the work, and is of many, various colors. The string colors most apparent from the top of the object to the bottom are dark blue, brown, teal, white, pink, and orange.

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