UNTITLED (Pink Standing Figure and White Nest)
Judith Scott
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  • UNTITLED (Pink Standing Figure and White Nest)
  • Judith Scott (1943–2005)
  • Oakland, California
  • c. 1990s
  • Yarn and mixed media
  • 51 1/2 x 10 x 6 1/2 in.; 12 x 18 x 28 in.
  • American Folk Art Museum, gift of Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, California, 2002.21.1, 3
  • Working at Creative Growth Art Center, a workshop in Oakland, California, that promotes artistic activity for people with disabilities, Judith Scott (1943–2005) made carefully crafted large-scale sculpture by wrapping yarn and fabric strips around cast-off objects. Scott’s physical and mental realities (she had Down syndrome and was deaf) did not prevent her from building formidable fiber arts with mysterious emotional and expressive power that are absolutely distinctive in form.

    Most of Scott’s sculptures have an understructure composed of miscellaneous objects, such as electric fans, foam packaging, and yarn cones. Her commitment to her main material—yarn—and her process—wrapping—was long-standing: she worked in this manner for nearly twenty years. Scott enlisted a wide range of binding techniques—wrapping, stitching, knitting, knotting, tying, lacing, and crocheting—to hide and disguise the core until it developed into an anthropomorphic bundle. Scott declared her materials and process early in her career, but scale, color, and texture varied over the years. Her sculptures are often compared to the figure; however, her penchant for obliterating form rendered them abstract.
  • Photo by Gavin Ashworth