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TO JANUARY 7
You probably think that hole in the center of your poncho is just there to put your head through. But curator Gerhardt Knodel calls it a “mysterious void,” akin to a patch of sky framed by solid skyscrapers. In the exhibition “Mysterious Voids at the Heart of Historic Textiles: A Search for Meaning,” 23 fiber pieces with conspicuous areas of negative space are juxtaposed with photos of architectural forms. A skirt from Laos is displayed so that the elastic waistband forms a round window in the center of the fabric’s wide circle; a see-through strip of off-white cloth, embroidered with delicate gold thread, suggests frosted glass; a rectangular North African cloak, which hangs open from neck to knees, is compared to a door. Textiles from Turkey, India, Mexico, Bolivia, and Indonesia perpetuate the theme, which draws parallels between building construction and textile design. “Mysterious Voids” adjusts its viewer’s perspective, whether of lederhosen or knotted rugs. At the Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. (202) 667-0441. (Nathalie op de Beeck)