June 29, 2021

‘Kay Sekimachi: Geometries’ Exhibition Bows at BAMPFA

Fiber art by Kay Sekimachi, shown card-weaving in her studio in 1974, is at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive from May 28 to October 24. Photography courtesy of Kay Sekimachi.

It is a big year for Kay Sekimachi. In September, the fiber artist, whose pieces are in the permanent collections of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, turns 95. Before that, “Kay Sekimachi: Geometries” bows at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, her first solo exhibition in the city she’s called home since 1930. A first-generation child of Japanese immigrants who was forcibly resettled in internment camps during World War II, Sekimachi’s art incorporates origami, rice paper, and chopsticks, but what initially put her on the map in the 1960s were her complex three-dimensional nylon-monofilament hangings. Her more recent pieces—she still actively weaves in her Berkeley studio—are small-scale minimalist weavings created in homage to the paintings of Paul Klee and Agnes Martin. A selection of 53 of her works have been chosen for the exhibition, which launches the reopening of BAMPFA to the public since the pandemic shutdown last year. 

Takarabako VI and Takarabako VII, her linen, acrylic paint, and boning pieces from 1999. Photography by Lee Fatheree.
Kiri IV, 1993, in Kiriwood paper, silk tissue, and chop­stick. Photography by Lee Fatheree.
100 Views of Mt. Fuji, 1981, in linen and transfer dye. Photography by Lee Fatheree.
Amiyose III, 1965/2004, in nylon monofilament. Photography courtesy of Kay Sekimachi.

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