When describing works of art, the word form can have different meanings. It can signify the nature of the work itself – e.g., a painting, a dance, a concerto, a poem, or a quilt. Each of these is a form of expression. In visual art it can also refer to the formal elements of a work: such components as color, line, shape and space, the devices that the artist orchestrates and manipulates to arrive at an expressive statement. Form is sometimes used as a substitute for the word shape, as in “a square or a rectangular form.” In fact, the word form itself, and its meanings, are highly nuanced.
The form that quilts take both physically and conceptually developed out of the functional imperative that dictated how the historical object came to be. A quilt had to provide warmth, and the sandwiching of a filler layer satisfied this need. Over time, the functional gave ground to the decorative.
Click images below to view larger and read more information about some of the quilts included in the exhibit.