Art: Deconstruction

The challenge was issued: use reproduction fabrics in a contemporary way for a quilt. After giving the idea some time to percolate, I decided to use artistic principles to help guide the challenge. Then of course I had a difficult time deciding which artistic principal to use first! So, this will be the first in a non-sequential series of articles using different artistic principles with reproduction fabrics to create a contemporary take. I hope these artistic principles will inspire you on your next quilt, whatever fabric you choose to use.

Deconstruction (also known as deconstructivism) came to the forefront in a 1982 architecture competition, with credit given to the entry by Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman. In 1988 the Museum of Modern Art New York exhibition of “Deconstructivist Architecture” solidified the movement against postmodernism ideal of “form follows function” etc. Instead the artist uses a unique way of combining minimalism and cubism.

I translate that in the quilt world to breaking it down to the simplest form, or changing the use of the form. For my deconstruction theory on reproduction fabric, I choose to break the fabric down into a more limited image. “Fussy cutting” the fabric to deconstruct it. I then chose to assemble the single images in unique ways, some on point, other images across.  If interested in purchasing this specific fabric simply follow this link.

If I was deconstructing a traditional block, such as the schoolhouse block, the door might go on the roof or the schoolhouse upside down (neither of which is functional). It focuses the eye on the single oddity, instead of seeing a schoolhouse, you see the door. Or it might mean the single image is exploded apart like this Deconstructed Lone Star by Amy Struckmeyer.

It could also be that the block is done correctly 11 out of 12 times, but the one block has a piece of fabric out of place. (Some call this a “humility block” if done accidently.) Another way to use the idea, is to alter all 12 of the blocks in some unique way. So don’t hesitate to get inspired by the theory of deconstruction for your next quilt!