Conjured Webs :: Rachel Duvall, Molly Haynes, Omar Chávez Santiago and Mia Weiner

October 28 - December 16, 2023
Press Release

la Beast gallery invites you to immerse yourself in the intricate realm of ‘Conjured Webs.’ This exhibition unveils the artistry and mastery of weaving, where four distinguished artists converge in their exploration of fiber, structure, color, and story. These forward-thinking weavers have taken warp and weft to produce a web envisioned in their thoughts and brought to light. 

About the Artists and the Exhibition

Much like when two colors overlap to create a third hue, these four artists weave dynamic forms that challenge typical perception. Through tension and release, atmosphere and light, these woven works find resolution in the celebration of negative space. What is not present is now seen. These stable forms question the weight of gravity, using ghostly threads to construct infinite plains.

Rachel DuVall harnesses geometric shapes against open lace patterns in her weavings. The artist emphasizes the delicate dance between the rigid and the flexible. Her compositions, filled with a spectrum of nuance, invite onlookers to find beauty in repetition and variance. DuVall employs subtle shifts in pattern and coloration to create complex overlapping systems. Optical illusions collide with the viewer.

Molly Haynes distinguishes herself through her innovative approach to materiality, skillfully incorporating elements such as raw plant fiber and salvaged materials, cholla cactus, or marine ropes. Haynes’ malleable tapestries offer a thought-provoking commentary on the interplay between nature and human-made constructs. Breathing life into her creations, the works are both whimsically animated and ever-changing.

Omar Chávez Santiago is a fourth-generation Zapotec weaver from Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. While he has spent many years crafting traditional Zapotec motifs, Santiago has shifted his practice, embracing techniques outside of his original training. Drawing inspiration from his deep heritage, expertise in natural dyeing, and his background in Industrial Engineering, Santiago creates wall hangings that are both architecturally satisfying and culturally relevant. Notable inspirations include the meandering Rio Grande, natural wonders like Hierve el Agua, the mountainous terrains of Oaxaca, and the nearby Monte Albán to name a few. Santiago skillfully merges age-old traditions with modern perspectives, ensuring that the essence of the Zapotec community remains vibrant.

Mia Weiner’s artworks are a blurred yet careful orchestration of hyper-reality. With a nod to pastoral antiquity, Weiner injects intimate everyday moments into multi-dimensional, new-heirloom tapestries. Carefully setting the stage and documenting these intimate scenes, Weiner manipulates the pixels that are fed into a digital jacquard loom. She then paints the warp, varies the weft with both fiber and color, and intentionally adds moments of elemental surprise during the weaving process. Combining modern technologies with age-old weaving techniques, Weiner masterfully highlights the evolving relationship between humans and machines, our idealized perceptions of nature, and the soft physical sensations of skin.

These four artists enable us, with a tangible mindset, to go beyond the boundaries of the surface. Their individual constructions reveal intricacies in structure and narrative that can only be spun into existence.

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