We Make Carpets, Umbrella Carpet 2 (detail), 6000 paper cocktail umbrellas. Photo: Ewout Huibers
June 9 - September 08, 2018
Central Gallery
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The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University is commissioning Dutch collective We Make Carpets to create a site-specific installation for its Central Gallery. This exhibition is the first time that Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten, and Bob Waardenburg, the artists of We Make Carpets, will show their colorful and surprising work in the U.S. Eschewing a preconceived plan, the artists decide only the location, size, and material prior to the intuitive, labor-intensive marathon by which they create their artworks. They call these pieces “carpets” in light of the works’ rectangular shapes and frequently symmetrical and intricate designs.

We Make Carpets often celebrates local materials in its works. For their Moody installation, the artists were inspired to use vibrantly dyed crêpe paper after a visit to Houston and seeing the bright colors and handmade production of piñatas. Crêpe Paper Carpet will be constructed over a multi-week period in the Central Gallery where floor-to-ceiling windows will allow it to be seen by viewers both in and outside the building. The public is invited to the free opening celebration on Saturday, June 9 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and the artists will give a gallery talk at 11:00 am.

The simplicity and accessibility of material that characterizes We Make Carpets’ work began with the artists’ first collaboration in 2009. For the Dutch Design Week exhibition, Instant Nature, they created Forest Carpet from collected pinecones and needles. Since then, they have continued to create works using unexpected materials including coffee stirrers, mussels, and cocktail umbrellas.

We Make Carpets’ Crêpe Paper Carpet will be on view June 9 – September 8, 2018.

This project is supported by the generosity of the Moody’s Founders Circle and other patrons, and a grant from the Netherland-America Foundation.