Art has always been part of my life. A native San Franciscan, my first job was in an architectural office in Cambridge, MA but an evening class in weaving at the YMCA set me on a new trajectory.
In NYC, I worked in a studio which had a commission to weave tapestries for a fleet of new Pan Am jumbo jets. Each jet had 6 tapestries and some were shaped to fit the fuselage.
From that point on I have been on my own path, weaving commissions, exhibiting internationally, developing my own body of award winning art.
Tapestry has taken me in many directions and introduced me to weavers all around the world. I have served as the Director of the American Tapestry Alliance and currently, I am on the Executive Board of the Textile Arts Council at the DeYoung Museum, in San Francisco, CA.
I maintain a studio in the ICB in Sausalito and welcome visitors by appointment.
Tapestry weaving has a long tradition as a narrative artform. While that aspect initially drew me to the medium, it was the weaving process that really excited me. I realized the simplicity of the grid and the basic over/under interlock of the warp and weft would allow me to explore many ways of creating more dimension within the basic parameters of traditional tapestry. I was interested in developing the organic, ‘textileness’ of tapestry.
Recent pieces have explored a new direction that involves working with eccentric weaving, extra tension and surface design. The result enhances the notion of traditional tapestry with a rich configuration of slits, bas-relief sections; space dyed yarns and occasional embellished sections and non-rectangular format.
All of these aspects celebrate the organic nature of this timeless art.
480 Gate 5 Road, Studio 205, Sausalito, CA, 94965.
Skidmore College, BA. Art History
University of Greenwich, UK. MA. Heritage Management.
Masterclasses with Archie Brennan, Susan Maffei-Martin, Jean Pierre LaRochette, Joan Baxter, Marcel Marois, Sharon Marcus, and Mary Zicafoose
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2019 'The Woven Line,' Art Works Downtown, San Rafael, CA
2018 ‘WoolWorks,’ Throckmorton Theater, Mill Valley. CA
2017 ‘Woven Treasures,’ 201 California Street Lobby. San Francisco, CA
2014 ‘Warped’ Union Bank Headquarters, San Francisco, CA
2012 ‘Surface Tension,’ Richioli Vineyards, Healdsburg, CA
2011 'In the Wool' Mill Valley Council Chambers, City Hall, Mill Valley, CA
2010 ‘A Show of Hands,’ Marin Cancer Center, Greenbrae, CA
2002 'Travelling Ravelling,' Lewis Elton Gallery, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, England
1998 'The Weaver's Art,' Fleming Gallery, TASIS, Thorpe, Surrey, England (Artist in residence)
SELECTED GROUP SHOWS
'More IMPACT: Climate Change,' San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, CA
Materials Hard + Soft, Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, Denton, TX
'Spinning Yarns,' ACCI Gallery, Berkeley, CA
‘IMPACT Climate Change,’ Belmont Art Gallery, Belmont, MA and Mills Building, San Francisco,CA (juried)
Inaugural International Tapestry Exhibit, Canadian Tapestry and Textile Centre, Oakville, Ont. Canada
‘Points of Departure,’ Fiber Dimensions, Museum of Northern California Art, Chico, CA
Marinwood Spring Art Pop-Up Show, Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael ,CA
‘Fabrications,’ Fiber Dimensions, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
‘From Lausanne to Beijing, 10th International Fiber Art Symposium,’ Tsinghua University Art Museum, Beijing, China
‘International Embroidery and Contemporary Life Exhibit,’ Chaozhou Museum, Chauzhou, Guangdong Province, China
“Embedded Pattern,” Three person show, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, CA
“Crossroads”, Small Tapestry International 5, UNT, Denton TX, Handforth Gallery, Tacoma, WA
“Elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire,” International show comprised of 10 English, 10 Australian and 10 U.S. artists ( 2016-18. Five venues in three countries)
“Beyond the Surface” Surface Design Association, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, CA
“Contemporary International Tapestry” Hunterdon Museum, Clinton, NJ (invitational)
US Embassy, Dili, Timor Leste, ‘Art in Embassies Program,’ (Long term loan)
'The Art is the Cloth,' New Hampshire Institute of Art, Concord, NH (invitational),
George School, Newton, PA and Deerfield Academy, Deerfield MA (3 venues)
Finalist in Kate Derum Award Exhibition, Australian Tapestry Workshop (Kay Lawrence, juror)
‘Fantastic Fibers,’ Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY (international Juried show)
‘Shining Brightly,’ Tapestry Weavers West 25 years, Petaluma Art Center
‘Art of Fine Craft’ National Juried exhibition, Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE
‘Land,’ Textiles Workshop, Australia National University, Canberra, Australia
CraftForms 2007, Wayne Art Center, Philadelphia, PA. National craft show (juried by Mark Richard Leach of the Mint Museum of Design + Craft, Charlotte, NC)
“Textile Arts Today” Synopsis Inc. Mountain View, California (invitation)
First American Tapestry Alliance Biennial (juried) Traveling to 4 venues
CRAFTS '95, Silvermine Gallery, New Canaan, CT (national Juried show
'White Nights,' Marble Palace, St Petersburg, Russia (with Textile Design Symposium
‘ITNET 2’ Textile Museum, Washington, D.C. (juried)
New England Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Show, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston,
Massachusetts (4 Fellows)
'American Tapestry Today,' Syntex Gallery, Palo Alto, CA (juried)
'A Fine Line,' Oregon school for the Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR and the Center for Tapestry Art, New York City, NY (juried)
CATALOGS AND PUBLICATIONS
2020 Patchwork Professional Magazine, Stuttgart, Germany, April Issue, pp
The Art Is the Cloth: How to Look at and Understand Tapestries, by Micala Sidore,
Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Atglen, PA
2019 Interview with ArteMorbida, https://www.artemorbida.com/2019/07/25/interview-with-alex-friedman/?lang=en
Vimeo Interview by Mary Rentzel for Marin Stories, part of Marin Arts and Culture https://youtu.be/29D2mRae2lY
2018 Interviewed by Rita Parks, Tapestry Weavers West Newsletter, Vol.33, No.2,
March issue, pp 12-14
2017 Artistry in Fiber: Wall Art, Volume 1, by Ann Lee and E Ashley Rooney, Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Atglen, PA
2015 International Contemporary Tapestry, by Carol Russell, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, Atglen, PA. “Art in Embassies Exhibition” US Embassy, Dili, (Timor Leste), Catalog. U.S. State Dept., Washington, DC
2014 Alex Friedman Interview, http://zoneonearts.com.au/alex-friedman/ Deborah Blakeley, Sydney, Australia
“The Art is the Cloth,” catalog, curated and written by Micala Sidore
2013 Textiles, Mary Scheuer, Thames and Hudson, London, UK
2011 “A Show of Hands: Alex Friedman” by Marianne Haller, Tapestry Topics, V37, no 2, pp 18-21
Download a PDF of the magazine issue.
2010 “Profile: Alex Friedman: Tapestry with a Twist” by Hollis Walker, Fiberarts Magazine, April/May issue
1994 "International Tapestry in the 1990's" Fiberarts Magazine, June/July issue, by Carol Russell, (illustration p.43)
1992 Textilforum," summer issue, Hannover, Germany (cover photo)
ITNET 2, Sponsored by ITNET and the Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK
1990 American Tapestry Today, sponsored by the American Tapestry Alliance and the Syntex Corporation.
1988 "Corporate Art Collections" sponsored by Corporate Curators, Inc., Hartford, CT
“Journey Along the Warp,” Textile Arts Council Lecture Series, de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA, May 2018
“Rhythm & Hues: A Closer Look at Woven Patterns and Elements,” San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles,
“My Warped Journey,” Carmel Handweavers Guild, Monterey, CA April, 2014
“25 Years along the Warp” TWW 25 Year Exhibition, Petaluma Art Center, Petaluma, CA, January 2010
“Metamorphoses, Contemporary Tapestry,” Oakland Cultural Art Center, Oakland, CA, August 2008
“Contemporary American Tapestry” Textile Design Symposium, St Petersburg, Russia, June 1993
"Fabulous Fibers Series,” Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, May 1994
“ITNET 2,” Docent talk, Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY, August 1992
COMMISSIONS AND COLLECTIONS
Aetna Life and Casualty Company, Hartford, Connecticut
Connecticut Business and Industry Associates, Hartford, Connecticut
Congregation Ahavath Achim, Colchester, Connecticut
St. Francis Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Hale and Dorr, Attorneys, Boston, Massachusetts
…and numerous private and liturgical clients