4 Aug

Lately people have inquired why, as a painter, I am pursuing textile design. This is surprisingly common. Twentieth century painters and contemporary artists alike have dabbled in textile and surface design. This post is dedicated to a selection of artists who have worked outside the boundaries of a singular medium, many of whom have transcended the schism between art and industry.

Takashi Murakami (born in Tokyo, 1963)

In 2007, Murakami placed a boutique inside his retrospective entitled “Copyright Murakami” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The boutique sold commodities that resulted from Murakami’s collaboration with the French Design House, Louis Vuitton.

Prismes Électriques, 1914, oil on canvas, 250 x 250 cm.

Sonia Delaunay (French, 1885-1979)

In the 1920s, Delaunay echoed the geometric designs of her paintings in silk fabrics.

Owl (Clips), 2009, Household gloss paint on canvas, 84.25 x 84.25 inches

Sarah Morris (born in Britain in 1967)

Painter Sarah Morris is one of many contemporary artists whose work has been translated into fabric with the help of the textile firm, Maharam. Other contemporary artists affiliated with Maharam include Fred Tomaselli and Beatriz Milhazes. (See examples of these textiles in this article.)

Barnaby Furnas, Tapestry, 2005, 305 x 231 cm

Barnaby Furnas (born in America, 1973)

Known primarily as a painter, Furnas depicts a rock band in this tapestry, drawing a parallel between a modern spectacle and mythological or religious subject matter present in traditional tapestries of yore. This tapestry was constructed with the a computer program that has been used by many other artists including Chuck Close, Grayson Perry and Dana Schutz.

Modernist architects (including Finland’s Alvar Aalto) interested in the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk also created textiles:


2 Responses to “textilemania”

  1. Kanerva February 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Hi, thank you for other wise interesting post, but you have wrongly credited one of fabrics. The pattern combined with the Eames’ is actually a very famous and historically important design called Calyx by Lucienne Day. I highly recommend getting aquinted with her work, if you’re looking into textile design.

    • hellosinki February 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      Hello and thank you for your comment and for the correction. I will edit this post accordingly! Thanks for the recommendation–I will look into Lucienne Day!

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