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Ulla von Brandenburg: Wagon Wheel

Spring 2015

 

Wagon Wheel is the first major museum exhibition in the Midwest of Paris-based German artist Ulla von Brandenburg as well as the US premiere of her seven-part quilt series. The presentation comprises the individual works Wagon Wheel, Bear Paw, Drunkard’s Path, Flying Geese, Log Cabin, Monkey Wrench, and Tumbling Blocks (all 2009), suspended in CAM's lobby so that visitors may walk among them. Von Brandenburg created the quilts following an extended research-based stay in Memphis, Tennessee, where she studied the traditions of predominantly female collectives in the American South (such as in Gee’s Bend) as well as the quilt patterns, symbols, and signs used by slaves to communicate coded messages plotting escape through the Underground Railroad in nineteenth-century America.Wagon Wheel demonstrates the singular power of folk vernacular to provide incisive sociopolitical commentary on a landmark episode in American history.