Metal Bras, Aluminum Panties

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know. Craft is sexy again. Punk girls are knitting. Ceramics has crept back into modern art museums, reinventing itself as legit avant garde spectacle. Hell, even graffiti has gone grandmotherly, with our own HOTTEA stringing his “yarn bombs” all over town—and, apparently, New York’s Lower East Side.

But damn, we didn’t know that craft was sexy. Like, Victoria Secret sexy.

Tonight, the Textile Center, that seldom-thought-of little gem on east University Avenue, gives us a sharp reminder of craft’s capacity for the visceral with the opening of its undergarment-themed show Underneath it All. Ten female artists from around the country have created lingerie-inspired work—and, in some instances, lingerie itself—with edgy, decidedly non-delicate materials: aluminum cans, discarded dryer parts, rivets. The show is less cotton and lace as it is hardware store industrial. Just check out Ingrid Goldbloom Boch’s pun-titled “Trashy Lingerie” series.

We could say something clever here about gender, or about the radical repurposing of the totems of domestic oppression. But all that craft-is-edgy stuff is facile, self-evident, pat—a sign, perhaps, of how legit craft has actually become. And it would undercut the vivid intelligence of this show. You’ll get some politics, all right. Some deeply complex emotion. But you’ll also get body image, sexuality, power, personal history, privacy, technology—all the maddening stuff that daring art promises.

So…color us intrigued. And see you tonight.

Underneath it All
Opening reception Friday, July 20, 7–9 p.m.
Textile Center, 3000 University Ave., Mpls.