Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol at the Fashion and Textile Museum

By Richard Moss | 19 March 2014

The Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey has a beguiling new exhibition revealing the ways in which 20th century artists designed for textiles

Click on the picture below to launch a gallery of pictures from the exhibition:

Fauvism, Cubism, Constructivism, Abstraction, Surrealism, Neo-Romanticism and Pop Art; the range of art movements that played an important part in the history of the twentieth century textile art is staggering.

And as this illuminating exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum reveals, the list of artists drawn to the egalitarian possibilities of fusing fine art and mass produced art is also impressive.

Pablo Picasso, Raoul Dufy, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Sonia Delaunay, Henry Moore, John Piper Fernand Léger, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Joan Miró, Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder are just a few of the names on show.

Henry Moore regarded the colourful scarves and curtains he developed for his fabric printer Zika Ascher as “a bit of a holiday” from his sculptural - and largely monochrome - appreciation of form. In the 1950s Salvador Dali was similarly taken with the possibilities of surreal clock ties and Miro’s designs were, for a time, de rigueur as prints on cocktail dresses.

By the 1960s Picasso was allowing his pictures to be printed on almost any fabric, but he drew the line at upholstery. “Picassos may be leaned against, not sat on” he noted as the swatches rolled.

Curators Geoff Rayner and Richard Chamberlain, say the exhibition is a “remarkable glimpse of how ordinary people were once able to directly engage in a personal and intimate way with high modern art through their everyday clothing and the furnishings of their homes.”

With over 200 textile designs, many of which have never been on public display before, this comprehensive survey of textile art in Britain and America Anyone will delight those with a love of mid-twentieth century art - and surprise many more.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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