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 aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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