Artist Textiles Picasso to Warhol

An exhbition at the Fashion and Textile Museum
31 January - 17 May 2014

As a textile designer, and a long time lover of 1950s-60s textiles, I tend to know and admire the 'designers' who created them.  This exhibition is specifically related to artists work on textiles of that period and a bit beyond. My art college years were spent looking at paintings by artists including Picasso, Leger and Miro so it was a nostalgic experience and a pleasurable one, discovering some new artists too.

The exhibition notes start with, 'many artists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries tried to make their work less elitist and more relevant to the lives of ordinary people.....through industrially manufactured textiles for the mass market'.  Most are screenprinted, they're bold and colourful. They feel optomistic and fresh -  look at 'Harvest Time' below -  a sunny utopian view of town and country.
The exhibition is an international journey through Fauvist, Futurist, Constructivist, Surrealist, Pop Art, illustrative.....

Here are a few of my personal highlights - enjoy!

Detail of 'Deer Season' cotton furnishing textile by Rockwell Kent
Charles Bloom Inc New York   1950

Detail of 'Harvest Time'  cotton furnishing textile by Rockwell Kent
Charles Bloom Inc New York   1950

'A Fish is a Fish is a Fish' by Ken Scott  1951
Cotton border print
This textile by the New York company W.B. Quaintence was subsequently marketed in the UK through Sanderson & Son Ltd.

Fashion textile for cotton summer dress by Alastair Morton  c1949

'Full Measure' by Kenneth Rowntree 1957
Cotton crepe furnishing fabric, Edinburgh Weavers

Eduardo Paolozzi textile 1953

'Notes' cotton fashion textile by Pablo Picasso 1955

'Whithorn' linen furnishing textile by William Scott 1961

Dress made from Joan Miro's textile 'Farmers Dinner' c1955

Skirt made from Fernand Leger's textile 'Acrobats' 1955
D.B. Fuller & Co NY 

'Mr Man and All Over Neon No 2'  by Zandra Rhodes

'Arab Town' by Saul Steinberg 1952
Coset of California

'Frontispiece' by Pablo Picasso 1963
Bloomcraft Fabric, NY 

Sonia Delauney  
block printed silk c1925

 What's suddenly struck me is that there are only two women here amongst about ten men - that's the 'art' world for you?  This led me onto thinking about recent artist's collaborations.  The two which spring to mind are the incredible Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama - not only a woman, but an 84 year old woman! who was invited by Louis Vuitton to create fashion textiles and window displays - I blogged about it here.  Plus the fabulous Grayson Perry who has collaborated with Liberty on a number of projects.

If you're visiting, do pop into the museum shop where there are lots of books and goodies.....including some of my scarves!  All proceeds go to the museum.