Patterns & Geometry

The fundamental geometries of Gee's Bend quilts shine in works made with single repeating patches: triangles, squares, diamonds, and hexagons. These forms, like the work-clothes quilt genre, offer metaphors for existence in the Bend, where art discovered ways to sprout from the ordinariness of daily life. As a category, quilts dominated by a single shape express themselves almost magically, repeating, revising, and rearranging an element in a dizzying number of mutations and variations on themes. Whether arranged into "Housetop" configurations, spotlighted as center medallions with multiple surrounding borders, channeled into lines and stripes of visual energy, or laid out as a "One Patch," the single-form quilts illustrated here conform to compositions traditionally favored throughout the Gee's Bend area.

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