Originally exhibited at Ralph Pucci International, NYC, January — September 2010
In these spare and evocative designs, Denyse explores a modern interpretation of traditional close stitching, in delicate, wobbly striations that recall enlarged fingerprints or wood-grain. Her designs reference 19th century whole-cloth quilts and cold-weather petticoats in which closely placed stitching served a purpose in holding together the top and bottom fabric, and the loose fill sandwiched in between. Denyse draws her lines by eye not measure, to be hand-stitched by women of an Amish community in Minnesota who have collaborated with the designer for 14 years.
On a 2007 pilgrimage to the Mount Lebanon Shaker Village in New York State, Denyse saw accidental, raw beauty in empty, decaying interiors awaiting renovation. Knocked out doorjambs, random linear gashes in walls that exposed ribbons of lath, and cream-on-cream layers of patches in the plaster, would visually translate into the minimal piecing design of these quilts.
Here's what Wendy Goodman of New York Magazine has to say about the quilts: "She is giving the grandmotherly art of quilts a whole new spin with her subtle, spare aesthetic. As wall art of furniture dressing, I think they are sublime." Read more and watch the slideshow here.