James Bassler

1jb Weaving with Coyuchi, James Bassler
wedge weave; linen warp; weft of natural brown cotton from Oaxaca (coyuchi), black embroidery floss, silk
33.5” x 42”, 2015, $20,000

James Bassler

8jb Shop, James Bassler
made of brown paper Trader Joe’s shopping bags, cut and twisted and with yellow and red waxed linen thread
16” X 10” , 2009, $8,000

James Bassler

3jb Cumbe, James Bassler, linen, balance plain weave; discontinuous warp, synthetic and natural dye (indigo)
40 ½” X 40 ½” including natural color linen binding around entire perimeter, 2009 signed back lower left , $12,000

James Bassler Long Lines Detail

Selected collections and exhibitions venues:
The Textile Museum, The George Washington University Museum, Washington, D.C. (The Box Project: Uncommon Threads, permanent collection; Sourcing the Museum, Curated by Jack Lenor Larsen); Pasadena Art Museum, California; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, NJ; US Embassy, Poland (solo exhibition); Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, NY; The Lowe Museum of Art, Miami, Florida; American Craft Museum, New York, NY (Craft Today: The Poetry of the Physical, traveling exhibition, permanent collection); North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND (Frontiers in Fiber/The Americas, traveling exhibition, permanent collection); Art Institute of Chicago, IL (permanent collection); Oakland Museum, California (permanent collection); Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland (7th International Triennial of Tapestry); Museum of Kyoto, Japan (4th International Textile Competition); Cleveland Art Museum (permanent collection); The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota (permanent collection); LongHouse Reserve, New York, NY (permanent collection). Recipient: National Endowment of the Arts Grant; Fellow: American Craft Council.

James Bassler Food Chain Detail

I was introduced to the textile traditions at a very early age. I entered UCLA in the early 1950s. In 1953, I was drafted into the U.S. Army with a tour of duty in Europe, followed by a civilian job in England. In 1960, I returned home via a cargo ship to China and Japan. It was on this journey that I witnessed the importance of world crafts, and their essential role in cultures. Since 1980, my work has conversed with the wedge-weave structure of the Navajo, the shibori and scaffold weave of pre-Columbian cultures. For over 30 years I taught at UCLA, in the departments of Art/Design/Art History, and in World Arts and Cultures. For 12 of those years I taught textile history at the UCLA Fowler Museum. Perhaps my studio work will inspire some to become a part of this noble craft, which can include a life that does not have to be loud or fast or annoying.

Publications featuring this artist