Christine Laffer

Tapestry is a medium which has a life and vitality beneath the surface, an energy which is contained in the yarns themselves as they twist and turn inside the cloth. Even the dyed color of fiber is penetrative, not superficial. The expressive qualities of these materials, of this way of working up layer upon layer of woven yarn, have possibilities that will still take lifetimes to explore. In my own work, I hope to make obvious the force and the mystery which can be created in no other way.


Background of the artist

Born: 1953, Columbus, Ohio

Residing: in San José, California since 1978


See also, full résumé and Christine Laffer: Tapestry and Transformation by Carole Greene.


Christine Laffer began her studies in architecture in 1969 at the University of Illinois in Chicago. After discovering textiles she moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where she studied tapestry under Jean Pierre Larochette and Yael Lurie. In 1982 she began weaving images of cloth and architecture, and in the following years finished several large commissions. To gain a deeper understanding of tapestry she studied for six months (1984-85) at the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins in Paris, receiving a letter of high recommendation from director Gérard Dehais. She has since completed her MFA at San Jose State University (1995).

Laffer has shown her work nationally, spoken at professional symposia, and published articles. Tapestry continues to be her medium of choice, as she develops a conceptual meld of bas-relief sculptural form and mute image. Occasionally she combines these forms with cloth, found objects, drawing, or prints.

Recently completing 2-1/2 years as Gallery Coordinator at WORKS/San José, an alternative art and performance space, she works full-time in her studio. She has acts as Editor of (detail), a journal of art criticism published by the South Bay Area Women's Caucus for Art. She also was Guest Editor for the June 1998 issue of Switch (an on-line publication of The CADRE Institute, with graduate students in computer art at SJSU).


© 2013 Christine Laffer