A genius is a person who is exceptionally intelligent, creative, or insightful. We sometimes hear the term genius associated with IQ tests, but I'm thinking more about the creative and insightful characteristics when viewing this wildly expressive, improvisational quilt. In my opinion, it's pure genius.
Of course, genius is a very subjective term in discussions about art, particularly abstract or non-objective art. There are many people who find this quilt baffling. In certain ways, so do I. The quilt challenges me, and urges me to make sense of it. That's how it draws me in. It seems much more closely related to abstract expressionist painting than quiltmaking. With such an unfamiliar design, you could even call it strange. But I feel it's strange in a good way.
The quilt came from Marjorie Childress in New Mexico. It just arrived yesterday, along with a second quilt. More about that later. I believe this quilt was made around the 1970s. Some of the materials seem earlier, but the combination of colors and some of the trims suggest 70s. It has some unusual attributes, too. The quilt is mostly wools, it has a large section of embroidered flowers, and shapes are outlined in applied bias tape and rickrack. Reminds me of a favorite Pat Sloan quote, "Rickrack. It's not tacky anymore."
So, tell me what you think. Is this quilt the craziest thing you've ever seen? Or is it pure genius?