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.
Sonia Delaunay (French, 1885-1979)
In the 1920s, Delaunay echoed the geometric designs of her paintings in silk fabrics.
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 (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: