Work That Spreads Like a Doily Virus Across Lawndale's Walls

Putting it mildly, fiber is a big source of inspiration for Laura Nicole Kante. The artist, who's based out of McKinney, Texas, has three distinct works all involving and experimenting widely with woven forms currently up at Lawndale Art Center's Cecily E. Horton Gallery.

The most prominent piece spreads through the upstairs gallery like a doily virus. Crochet lace takes over the walls, bending around corners and stretching above typically off-limits areas, like the elevator, where you don't usually expect to see work. It's an organic piece not unlike what the artist displayed recently on a major wall in the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's "CraftTexas 2012" show. But I like how this technique works in a smaller space; the woven piece is able to interact with the architecture of the room and really encompass you.

In another work, Kante's wall pieces take on more of a hard, sculptural form, as handwoven copper, linen and silk interact to form alternately pointy and slithery beings. These are projected from the wall like horizontal stalactites, or creep up it like snakes. They're pretty creepy, to say the least, which is not a feeling you usually associate with cloth.

Lastly, Kante has created multiple wall slabs comprised of drywall, wood, nails, and crocheted linen and doilies -- beautiful and harsh at the same time. They hang on the wall as if cut and pasted from a previous exhibition of her crochet installations. Combined, these are all subtle, quiet works. There isn't a lot of color, which doesn't have a big impact at first. But once you spend some time with it, they all take on a life of their own.

"Laura Nicole Kante: Fibers of Being" at Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main Street, runs now through January 12. For more information, call 713-528-5858 or visit www.lawndaleartcenter.org.

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