Art Textiles at The Whitworth

December 16, 2015

The current exhibition 'Art_Textiles' at The Whitworth in Manchester examines textiles as an art medium

Magdalena Abakanowicz, 'Abakan Rouge III', 1970-71. Courtesy Toms Pauli Foundation

Abakan Rouge III, 1970-71, Magdalena Abakanowicz. Courtesy Toms Pauli Foundation


Since the 1960s, a growing body of contemporary art demonstrates a new engagement with the materials and craft techniques, particularly textiles. This work raises questions about the role and value of  handmade work in our digital age. The current exhibition ‘Art_Textiles’ at The Whitworth in Manchester examines textiles as an art medium.


Anne Wilson, 'Dispersions (no. 27)', detail. Courtesy Toms Pauli Foundation

Dispersions (no.27), 2014, Anne Wilson. Courtesy the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago


The exhibition features artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Tracey Emin, Grayson Perry, Ghada Amer and Kimsooja, figures who use textiles as a powerful tool for expressing social, political and artistic concepts. Impressive works include Faith Wilding’s web-like Crocheted Environment, otherwise known as ‘The Womb Room’, Abakan Rouge III by Magdalena Abakanowicz and Sophie Velucia and Madame CJ Walker by lesser known artist Mary Sibande, 2009.

‘Art_Textiles’ runs at the newly renovated Whitworth until 31 January 2016 and is free to enter.


Tanning Dorothea (1910-2012). Paris, Centre Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne - Centre de création industrielle. AM1977-574.

De Quel Amour, 1970, Dorothea Tanning. Courtesy Centre Pompidou, Musee d’art Moderne

Ghada Amer, 'Sunset With Words-RFGA', 2013. copy

Sunset With Words, 2013, Ghada Amer. Private Collection

Lawrence Lemaoana, 'I Did Not Join The Struggle to Be Poor', 2015. Courtesy the artist and Afronova

I Did Not Join The Struggle To Be Poor, 2015, Lawrence Lemaoana. Courtesy the artist and Afronova, Johannesburg

Mary Sibande, 'Sophie Velucia' and 'Madame CJ Walker', 2009. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Momo.

Sophie Velucia and Madame CJ Walker, 2009, Mary Sibande. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Momo, Johennesburg

Words by

Related Articles

Luxury is authenticity

Lucy Upward talks to creatives Kavita Parmar and Marcella Echavarria about the brand they helped to found.

Decorex preview

Decorex will take place in early October. COVER provides a preview of the upcoming edition

Related Articles