The Tapestries of Morris David Dorenfeld: Paintings in Fiber

From the publisher:

Among the few practitioners of weaving as an art form, Morris David (Morrie) Dorenfeld found his medium at the age of 43. Now 85, he continues to follow his passion, creating dramatic paintings in fiber on his treasured vertical loom in his coastal Maine home. Determined to continue making the art that has brought him joy and fulfillment, he explores the limits of a medium that has been an important form of artistic expression since medieval times.

Morrie’s story is a fascinating saga of hardship, commitment, joy and creativity. The narrative, divided into three distinct chapters, introduces and provides context for the stunning tapestries that make up the fourth and largest portion of the book. The tapestries reveal his passion for color and composition, nurtured by his early fascination with abstract expressionism. They are grouped into sections based on changes Morrie made in his compositions over time. Each section includes a brief explanation of Morrie’s approach, his evolving thought processes and suggestions for how to “read” some of the compositions.

While Morrie insists that he wants to retain the mystery of his process and provide expansive opportunities for viewer interpretations, he has provided author Chris Williamson with revealing insights into his technique and craft. This retrospective not only captures the luminous art and engaging, humble, humorous qualities that endear Morrie to all who meet him, but it is also an essential contribution to an understanding of how tapestry art fits within the scope of art history.