Monday - 28 July 2014

Textile bias

26 March 2003Written by ATG Reporter

For the rest of this month and until April 11, New Bond Street’s Fine Art Society is awash with large brightly-coloured graphically-designed panels of furnishing fabric, printed headsquares, colourful dresses and even a swimsuit for their latest selling exhibition.

They are celebrating Artists’ Textiles in Britain 1945-1970, a new ground-breaking assessment mounted in association with London’s Target Gallery, a contribution made by a broad mix of artists to British textile production in the post-war era via some innovative manufacturers like Edinburgh Weavers, Horrockses and David Whitehead. The selection ranges from household names like Picasso, Matisse, Victor Vasarely, Henry Moore and John Piper, to a host of less well-known artists whose prints, paintings and designs were used on furnishing fabrics.

The range broadly follows chronological artistic influences from the graphically inspired works of the immediate post-war era and the 1950s, like the Full Measure design by Kenneth Rowntree pictured here, through the op art inspiration of the 1960s to the colourful eclecticism of the 1970s. Because the exhibition focuses on designs produced by artists rather than professional textile designers, the overall effect is very much a pictorial display, one of pictures printed on fabric, and the show emphasises just how much these pieces work today as wall hangings or what the Target Gallery’s Richard Chamberlain describes as “retired textiles”.

There is a broad range of sizes from curtain-length 1950s swathes of Heals furnishing fabric designed by Paule Vézelay to a whole series of 3ft square headscarves produced by a long list of prominent artists as part of Lida and Zika Ascher 1946 artists’ squares project.

As an extra bonus the exhibition coincides with the launch of a new and highly informative book of the same title published by the Antique Collector’s Club which will be reviewed in a future issue of the Antiques Trade Gazette.

Further information from The Fine Art Society at 148 New Bond Street, W1S 2JT Tel: 020 7629 5116.

Pictured right: a 3ft 9 in (1.14m) wide cotton fabric from Edinburgh Weavers Ltd screen printed with
Full Measure, a 22in (56cm) repeat pattern by Kenneth Rowntree c.1956, one of the colourful artist designed textiles on show and for sale at the Fine Art Society.

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ATG Reporter

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