MID-CENTURY ARTISTS’ TEXTILES—FINE ARTISTS GETTING DOWN TO PATTERNS WITH POP!

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Pop artist, Andy Warhol, was always about the pregnant vignette. Near the beginning of his career he availed himself of a windfall showcase in the form of a marketing angle conceived before the Second World War but only hitting its stride in the years immediately following, namely, textiles for various occasions crowned by original designs.

The pattern shown above, from 1955 and based on a proposal for a Christmas card in 1951, benefits from the repetition to capture the fabulous energies of the circus. Also, as with many other entries to this popular career blessing, the marriage of mass, practical objects and design inspiration, captures, in a very special way, the glorious energies of modern life itself. The epigraph–consisting of a Ruth Reeves statement in 1946–of the catalogue for the Toronto show of these largely hidden and forgotten gems (brought forward by Target Gallery, London) is remarkable: “It is my personal opinion that fabric design rightfully belongs in the category of the Fine Arts… as an art it is just as important as good architecture, and certainly is more closely associated with our everyday living than are paintings.”    

 

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Perusing these objects takes on more than meditative discernment and instead comes to kinetic life from out of the motions of the wearer. Warhol was thereby launched toward fertile appreciation of an all-important extra-aesthetic dimension of art production.

 

 

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The English Designer Zandra Rhodes creates the Perfect Storm in the most quietly elegant way! Her lipstick ensembles skirt the region of cigarettes, a witty and jaw-dropping decadence.

 

 

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Picasso doing his stuff in conjunction with Claire McCardell for Townleys. Provencal blues and yellows neatly contained by deft and surprising American restraint.

 

 

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Picasso and Dan Fuller, President of Fuller Fabrics, comparing Picasso’s painting of fighting gamecocks with the textile design. Our juxtaposition with the dresses points up the ranges of invention and culture being spanned by this metier!

 

 

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Bullfight motifs and party apparel: the range of this production is stunning, the potential for circulation even moreso!

 

 

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From another angle of engagement, here Picasso has a scarf of many and contradictory initiatives. It was designed for the Berlin Peace Festival of 1951. The intention was to give the multiples as a gift to students and young people attending the festival.

 

 

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