The Fashion and Textile Museum in London is due to open their latest exhibition, Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol on 31 January 2014, and runs till 17 May 2014. The exhibition surveys textiles as a popular art form in 20th century Britain and America.
Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol traces the history of 20th century art in textiles with leading art movements including Fauvism, Cubism, Constructivism, Abstraction, Surrealism and Pop Art. Major artists featured include Pablo Picasso, Raoul Dufy, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Sonia Delaunay, Henry Moore, Fernand Léger, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Joan Miró, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder as well as the work of leading fashion designers and manufacturers. There are approximately 200 textile designs, many of which have never been on public display before. This sheds light on how ordinary people were able to engage intimately with modern art through their everyday clothing and home furnishings.
Head of the Fashion and Textile Museum, Celia Joicey says ‘This exhibition of rare fashion and furnishing fabrics by artists highlights the quality of textiles as a medium for combining art and mass production. With recently discovered works by Dufy, Dali, Miró and Picasso, we hope to shed new light on artistic practice in the mid-twentieth century.”
Cover of American Fabrics Spring 1950, using Steinberg’s ‘Trains’ textile for Patterson Fabrics. Like many of his designs this fabric was also available as a wallpaper printed by Piazza Prints.
A silk square, designed by Sonia Delaunay, and produced in a limited edition by Liberty of London, 1969.
Screen-printed velvet furnishing textile, designed by Duncan Grant and intended for use on the P & O liner ‘Queen Mary’, produced by Allan Walton 1936.
Lucian Freud’s winning design for furnishing fabric, shown at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing and published in Art & Industry, October 1942.
‘White Trellis’, an artist’s square designed by Graham Sutherland for Ascher Ltd, 1946. Screen –printed rayon. A version of this scarf and a companion design were exhibited by Ascher at ‘Britain Can Make It’, 1946, alongside Henry Moore’s ‘Standing Figures’ and yardage by Gerald Wilde.
‘Family Group’, an artist’s square designed by Henry Moore for Ascher, was exhibited both at ‘Britain Can Make It’, 1946, and the Lefevre Gallery, 1947, as well as being used for the cover of Grace Lovat Fraser’s book, Textiles by Britain, 1948. The original sketches for the square date from circa 1944.
Henri Matisse’s first design for Ascher, ‘Echarpe No. 1’, was exhibited at the Lefevre Gallery, 1947. One of the two coral-based designs, it was intended to be produced in a limited edition of 275.
Detail of ‘Flower Ballet’ a textile designed by Salvador Dali, circa 1947, printed by Wesley Simpson on their ‘Pebble Crêpe’ rayon, giving this design a further surreal aspect.
One from the group of four screen-printed rayon headsquares designed by Marcel Vertes for Wesley Simpson Custom Fabrics Inc., circa 1944.
‘Number, Please?’ a silk scarf designed by Dali for Wesley Simpson circa 1947. The design is derived from a sequence in Dali’s animation for Disney of 1946, Destino.
‘Ballerina’, a screen-printed silk scarf designed by Salvador Dali for Wesley Simpson circa 1947.
‘Foliate Head’, designed by John Piper and produced by David Whitehead Ltd in 1954. Piper’s original painting for this textile was exhibited in ‘Painting into Textiles’ in 1953. Foliate Heads were a favoured theme for Piper, who used them in scarf, rug and tapestry design throughout his career.
‘A Fish is a Fish is a Fish’, designed by the painter and designer Ken Scott and illustrated in Interiors magazine, September 1951. Shown here is a border printed version for dresses and skirts. It was also printed as a furnishing textile by W.B. Quaintence of New York and was marketed in the United Kingdom through Sanderson & Son Ltd.
‘Sun God’ by Pádraig Macmiadhacháin for David Whitehead’s ‘Living Art’ collection, 1969.
‘Parade’, by Rombola for Patterson Fabrics, 1957, was also printed as a wallpaper by Piazza Prints.