Artist Textiles @ Fashion & Textile Museum


It is no secret that I am OBSESSED with art. However, this obsession is always in close contest with my infatuation with fashion. The Fashion and Textiles Museum opened a show devoted to famous artists who have lent their work to fabric in February, and I have been DYING to go. This saturday, I FINALLY made it down to see the show, and I wasn’t disappointed!

The exhibition moves chronologically through Fauvism, Surrealism, Cubism, Constructivism, Abstraction and Pop art in a spread cover two floors of the museum. Among fabric samplings, scarves and dresses are over 200 textile designs on display, beginning with Raoul Dufy up to Andy Warhol and Picasso. Many pieces had never been on display before and show that it has not only been artists like William Morris who have been interested in creating objects that the everyday man or woman can use in their homes or wardrobes.

The show starts with 1920’s prints from Raoul Dufy followed by Salvador Dali, including a tie adorned with one of his signature melted clocks. On display here are also furnishing options from Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Alastair Morton and Graham Sutherland. There are also fabric designs from Pablo Picasso, however he believed that his art could be worn and not sat on, so did not collaborate with furniture materials. However, other artists, such as Joan Miro, Fernand Leger and March Chagall have been a little more generous.

As we move in time upstairs we move into the world of pop. A generous section of the exhibition is devoted to the prints and illustrations on fabric of Andy Warhol, who shows us a little more than soup cans and repeated celebrity faces. Also here are designs from the museum’s founder, Zandra Rhodes, who provides lovely prints made up of lips and cosmetics. My personal favourite textiles on display come from American artist Saul Steinberg, most famous for his cartoons and illustrations, whose designs feature circuses and weddings.

The show left me envious of all the clothes which have quite literally been given the all-over artistic treatment. Now all I need to do is to source myself some of the artistic fabric myself so I can adorn myself with my own work of art!

Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol is on display at Fashion and Textile Museum until 18 may

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer with a special interest in contemporary Middle Eastern Art. She has a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She runs the Gallery Girl blog and has written for After Nyne, Arteviste, Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, ReOrient and Suitcase Magazine. Lizzy is also curator of Arab Women Artists Now - AWAN 2018 (London).

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