Michael Radyk


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Michael Radyk
About the author

Michael Radyk is a recipient of a Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant. He received his MFA in 2008 from the Rhode Island School of Design and his BFA from Tyler School of Art. He is a recipient of residencies from the Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, Georgia and the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon. Recent exhibitions include: Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture then and now at Brown Grotta Arts, Wilton, Connecticut, Fibremen International, Kherson, Ukraine, FOCUS: Fiber 2014, Erie Art Museum, Small Expressions, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts, International TECHstyle Art Biennial, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Outside/Inside the Box at the Crane Arts Building, Ice Box Project Space, which was part of the international art biennial Fiber Philadelphia. His hand woven and embroidered work was exhibited at the Common Wealth Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, in the exhibition New Weave: Five Contemporary Weavers and the Joan Mondale Gallery at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the exhibition Art: Healing Lives. Michael’s digitally designed and woven textiles were exhibited in a show called Binary Fiction: Digital Weaving at Eisentrager-Howard Gallery, University of Nebraska in Lincoln at the Textile Society of America Symposia. His most recent solo exhibition was held at the McLanahan Gallery, Penn State University. Michael has taught Textiles/Fibers at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and The University of Georgia in Athens. Currently he is Professor of Textiles and Chair of Crafts at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Artist Statement My series of work Corduroys, Migrations and Featherworks, brings together and enlarges some of the concepts I have been working on in the last 5 years. The making of woven cloth is at the core of my artistic practice. My investigation into making cloth stems from those dualities inherent in its value, structure, meaning, production, visual impact, craft and history. These new mixed media investigations are my attempt at working in a place free of doubt, working with woven structures, forms and materials that embody concepts developed in a series of Jacquard textiles created to be manipulated cut and re imagined after they have been cut off the loom, bringing the artist hand into an industrial textile. Those pieces explored places both fictionalized and real. Examples include Swan Point cemetery in Providence, Rhode Island and the novel, Visions of Gerard by Jack Kerouac which uses Lowell, Massachusetts as its backdrop. My recent work is exploring the introduction of stiffened, reflective and transformable materials into a woven textile. This work draws open three source elements for inspiration and vocabulary culled from the featherworks from Peru and Africa, the second being cut corduroy structures from Peter Collingwood’s encyclopedic text “The Techniques of Rug Weaving” and the third layer is the concept of migration. Migration of materials, pushed and pulled, cut and manipulated into a final dimensional form. The use of migration as metaphor and context compelled me to look at my journeys to and from the objects, museums, places and material resources that inspire my work. In the textiles I produce there is a consistency of influences. Using a multilayered or mosaic-like approach to research is how I work. Weaving together a sort of atlas of influence and memory, my aim is to demonstrate the evocative power of images which occur/recur, to expose their impact, their nature, to explain how they function, how they infect one another. Hunting, gathering and migrating to my resources and the use of industrial man made materials is where I find inspiration. The ubiquitous natures of the materials I use are interesting to me because they usually defy desire and beauty. The machine made quality of them is contrasted with the woven structure and final form of the pieces. Vinyl coated recycled polyester, industrial dyed goose feathers that are sewn together onto a polyester ribbon, plastic palettes, fique, retro-reflective safety tape, phosphorescent and holographic tape are collaged and manipulated into a kind of out of control disco environment. The migration of the woven materials becomes movement and the color and placement of the dyed feathers create a sort of rush to the senses.