London Life Exhibitions

Artist Textiles at the Fashion and Textile Museum

June 5, 2014

A few weeks ago I managed to see the amazing artist textiles exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, which has now sadly finished. I always really enjoy visiting the museum, as without fail I come away feeling I’ve seen a well curated exhibition. This one was another gem. Bravo!

The exhibition showcased some wonderful collaborations between 20th century artists and fabric producers during the 1950s and 1960s. Wanting to make their work less elitist and more relevant to ordinary people, the artists collaborated with textile manufacturers to produce affordable ranges of fashion and furnishing fabrics. Some of the artists work displayed were Picasso, Andy Warhol, Matisse, Miro, Zandra Rhodes and many more.

My highlight was the work by the Romanian-born artist and illustrator Saul Steinberg.     The corner where his work was displayed was rather dark so forgive the quality and colour references of some of the photographs. However, I think it’s more important to show you the exquisite mark-making here, would you agree?

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Saul Steinberg

In the 1950s a witty, sharp and ironic school of satirical illustration evolved in New York. Steinberg started collaborating with an upmarket textile and wallpaper manufacturer. He translated a number of his designs into a series of coordinated textiles and wallpapers for the quality interior decorator market. Additionally they produced a series of textile designs for the mass-market summer clothing.

Take a look at some of Steinberg’s wonderful work.

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Saul Steinberg | Paddington Station | Detail 1
Roller-printed cotton border print fashion textile, New York, c. 1952

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Saul Steinberg | Paddington Station | Detail 2

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Saul Steinberg | Tin Horn Holiday | Detail 1
Roller-printed cotton border print fashion textile, New York, c. 1952

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Saul Steinberg | Tin Horn Holiday | Detail 2
Roller-printed cotton border print fashion textile, New York, c. 1952

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 1
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 2
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 3
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 4
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 5
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 6
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Arab Town
Roller-printed cotton border print fashion textile, New York, c. 1952

I don’t know about you, but to me Steinberg’s designs have not dated one bit! Do you like the work?

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16 Comments

  • Reply Igor June 5, 2014 at 10:09 am

    What a great exhibit, Tina! I am in general fascinated by the fact that textile design inspires and influences so many other creative disciplines and vice versa. For example, a wonderful handmade ceramics vase that I bought last time at the Ceramics Art Show in London (which is made by a little French pottery studio) was influenced by textile patterns and colours – I love this transfer of materials and haptic surfaces while transforming designs into something new and exciting.

    • Reply tina June 9, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      It was really amazing Igor!

      Yes, I agree… cross-referencing in design disciplines and materials can lead to fantastic results!

  • Reply Catherine@farmhousehome June 6, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I like his work very much, looks like a fabulous exhibition. So great the wider market could be exposed to his work through wallpaper and clothing design. I love the Arab Town outfit but wouldn’t wear it in brown. It would be a fabulous design for a shift dress these days. xx

    • Reply tina June 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      I’ve not heard about his work before but now am obsessed and hunting down his book!
      I loved the Arab Town outfit. Thanks Catherine x

  • Reply gudy June 6, 2014 at 9:18 am

    In a different context but similar to your thoughts here, Josef Frank designed for Svenskt Tenn 1000’s of patterns beginning in the 30ies. Many of these are still in the collection today and not dated at all. Yours is a nice find, Tina and your pictures are absolutely fine! xx

    • Reply tina June 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Oh, Josef Frank is a genius!! I LOVE all his designs. Can’t wait to visit Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm . Thanks Gudy. The pics aren’t great but I felt it was important to show the work xx

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily June 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    So sorry to have missed the exhibition, so really great to see your pics lovely. Thanks for sharing! xx

    • Reply tina June 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      Oh Caroline, you would have absolutely loved this exhibition…
      Happy to have shared here xx

  • Reply Mel June 12, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Oh to spend time lingering in a museum or gallery. These days I’m running behind kids ensuring they don’t touch anything and it’s mostly to culture them young. This looked like a fab exhibition and I agree that the illustrations could easily be from now. M xx

    • Reply tina June 16, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Haha. There’ll be museum days for you again….:-)

      It was a stunning exhibition. Great design never dates, right? xx

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey June 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

    That picture of Saul Steinberg – brilliant! Glad you enjoyed the exhibit. And it’s on one of my favourite streets in London 🙂 xx

    • Reply tina June 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I LOVE the street too… so vibrant with great food. xx

  • Reply alisonsye June 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Tina, I absolutely loved this exhibition. My favourite piece of all was Steinberg’s train station, so lovely to see it again here. A great photo of him, too.

    • Reply tina June 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Oh, am so glad that you went to see it Alison. Wasn’t it just the best???

      Ha, Paddington Station was my favourite piece too. It literally made me stop in my tracks xx

  • Reply Doris June 18, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Tina, the pictures you took do not reflect how dark it was in that gallery at all and I loved the picture you found of Steinberg! His portrait really reflects his beautiful work! xD

    • Reply tina June 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Yes, glad you were witness to it. Rather impossible task and although I don’t love my images, at least they reflect the incredible mark making of Steinberg.
      xx

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