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Rosie Lee Tompkins

15 January - 19 February 2021

Rosie Lee Tompkins, Untitled, 2004

Rosie Lee Tompkins

Untitled, 2004

Polyester double knit, wool acrylic blend, cotton broadcloth (backing), wool yarn

24 x 34 inches

61 x 86.4 cm

SOLD

Rosie Lee Tompkins, Untitled, n.d.

Rosie Lee Tompkins

Untitled, n.d.

Cotton sheeting, cotton polyester, acrylic yarn

74 1/8 x 42 inches

188.3 x 106.7 cm

SOLD

Rosie Lee Tompkins, Untitled, n.d.

Rosie Lee Tompkins

Untitled, n.d.

Cotton undergarments with elastic, cotton yarn

22 1/4 x 32 inches

56.5 x 81.3 cm

SOLD

Rosie Lee Tompkins, Untitled, n.d.

Rosie Lee Tompkins

Untitled, n.d.

Cotton khaki sateen (man's shirt), cotton knit, nylon flag, cotton thread. Backed with nylon flag (synthetic)

29 x 55 1/2 inches

73.7 x 141 cm

SOLD

Rosie Lee Tompkins, Untitled, ca. 1974

Rosie Lee Tompkins

Untitled, ca. 1974

Polyester double knit, acrylic yarn, crepe print, synthetic sheer polyester tablecloth, muslin, shot cotton, nylon-spandex kit, acrylic sweater knit, poly-cotton linen blend, polyester crepe, polyester woven cotton Christmas print, cotton thread, backed with cotton advertising print

62 1/4 x 34 3/4 inches

158.1 x 88.3 cm

SOLD

Rosie Lee Tompkins, Untitled, n.d.

Rosie Lee Tompkins

Untitled, n.d.

Wool challis, velvet, velveteen, panné velvet, cotton batik, woven blanket, cotton gingham heavy cotton knit, printed cotton (probably Indian bedspread), rip-stop nylon, plaid cotton flannel, cotton knit garment, gold on black metallic print (synthetic), gold on black metallic woven (synthetic), commercially embroidered cotton. Backed by wool challis with wool yarn and cotton thread. 

33 1/4 x 29 3/4 inches

84.5 x 75.6 cm

SOLD

Rosie Lee Tompkins, Untitled, 2005-2006

Rosie Lee Tompkins

Untitled, 2005-2006

Polyester mens' ties, cotton fabric, denim, Polyester Christmas print, cotton thread

17 x 36 1/2 inches

43.2 x 92.7 cm

SOLD

Press Release

On January 15th, Anthony Meier Fine Arts will present a solo exhibition of never-before-seen works by renowned American artist Rosie Lee Tompkins (1936–2006), considered one of the greatest quiltmakers of all times, and one of the century’s greatest artists.

 

The seven artworks included in the exhibition date from 1974 to 2006, the year of the artist’s death. This significant exhibition coincides with a major retrospective of her work at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and includes a newly commissioned essay by Lawrence Rinder, the longtime champion of Tompkins and former Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

 

Rosie Lee Tompkins is the pseudonym of quilter Effie Mae Howard, who carefully guarded her privacy after her rise to national prominence in the late 1990s. Born on September 6, 1936 to a sharecropping family in southeastern Arkansas, she learned quilting from her mother as a child but did not begin to practice the craft seriously until the 1980s, when she was living in the Bay Area city of Richmond. Tompkins was a devout member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and credited God with her uncanny sense of color. Many of her quilts were made with family members or friends in mind, and can be seen as prayers on their behalf, including her sons.

 

 

Few of Tompkins’ quilts conform to the traditional scale of a bed covering, a byproduct of the conceptual logic inherent in each piece. Her quilts are characterized by the variation in scale of the triangles and squares used in her patterns, creating “asymmetrical forms that pull, crumble, and bend,” says Rinder. Tompkins “transformed everything she touched with her improvisatory piecing and unerring sense of color, composition and scale,” notes critic Roberta Smith. “In the still-unfolding field of African-American quilt-making, she has no equal.”

 

The exhibition is accompanied by Lawrence Rinder’s newly commissioned essay, ‘Rosie Lee Tompkins: Seven Quilts.’ An in-depth catalogue to the artist’s museum survey, ‘ROSIE LEE TOMPKINS: A RETROSPECTIVE’ by Elaine Y. Yau, Lawrence Rinder and Horace Ballard, was recently published by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.