Braided Strokes

Alexandra Mocanu weaves tapestries like paintings

N37, wool woven on cotton canvas, 63 x 87 inches (Courtesy the Artist)

At first glance, one might perceive Alexandra Mocanu‘s broad brushstrokes as mere brazen, single gesture applications of paint. But on closer inspection, these expansive pieces reveal themselves as woven tapestries; interpretative impressions of gouache croquis, the French Romanian-born artist paints as prompts for the highly complex works she eventually creates. Rather than boasting themselves as loud, one-note assertions of skill or trompe l’oeil gimmicks—a trend far too prevalent these days—the intricate tapestries satisfy the haptic and visceral desires of an image-saturated, art-savvy audience.

On view till January 24th at New York’s Twenty First Gallery, the Tapisseries exhibition brings together 10 of Mocanu’s latest oeuvres.

Capturing the painterly qualities and effects of such an ethereal medium in a coarse, fibrous application is no small feat. Mocanu has tirelessly mastered a bespoke technique that is as contingent on visual perceptibility as it is on manual expertise. Developed over time, this approach has allowed her to meticulously perfect certain graphical nuances in the tapestries; the elucidation of rough edges, the resignation towards unexpected drips, the control of quick gestural movements, and the contrast between opaque and translucent layering.

Read the full profile on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.

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