Minimalist Focus: Lenore Tawney


"I want to be under the leaf, to be quiet until I find my true self."


A common thread in Lenore Tawney’s works could be protection — a series dedicated to woven soft “shields” or the ambient intentionality of her transformed studios impart this kind of serene safe-keeping. Shields and shelters — “you first have to be in touch with yourself inside very deeply in order to do something, to discover this place is our aim".

Though here she referred to artists, Tawney would arrive at this place through schools of yoga and zen meditation too, a distinction she felt unnecessary — “I sometimes think of my work as breath,” she wrote. The artist would come to weave on a breathtaking scale for textiles (one has to look up as much as one would in a cathedral — or in nature); equally sublime and subdued.

1. Waters Above the Firament (1976)

2. Written in Water (1979)

3. Vespers in the South Street Studio (1961)

4. The King (1962)

5. In Poetry and Silence (2019)

6. Wholly Unlooked For (n.d.)

7. 115 Spring Street (1966)

8. Yousuf Karsh (1959)

9. Life Magazine (1960s)