Gray M.C.A, the international leaders in Fine art textiles have opened ‘Styled by Design’ – an outstanding exhibition of framed 20th Century Modernist Textiles. Bringing together a collection of rare and limited edition works by renowned artists Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Elizabeth Frink, Patrick Heron and more.
The historically significant exhibition celebrates Modern Artist Textiles as a vital creative pillar in the story of Modern and Contemporary Art, examining significant textiles designed by the great modern masters of the 20th Century.
Diverse fabrics such as silk, rayon, woven wool, linen and cotton provided a new medium for Modern artists, allowing them to experiment with creating vivid textures and colours that brought both new life and a new audience to their work. Styled by Design invites you to experience these iconic masterpieces reimagined, with the same subtle details as any painterly work. All featured textiles were produced in short runs or limited editions and are much sought after by collectors globally.
Highlights include the vast 1949 Ascher screen print on linen ‘Two Standing Figures’ – an iconic museum quality work by Henry Moore at the height of his fame and global recognition; Ben Nicholson’s 1937 ‘Vertical’ for Edinburgh Weavers; Patrick Heron’s ‘Nude’ silk scarf – drawn whilst Heron worked for his father, Tom Heron at Cresta Silks, which perfectly captures his freestyle early paintings of the late 1940s and early 1950s; and John Piper’s stunning screen print commissions for both Arthur Sanderson and David Whitehead that include ‘Church Monument, Eton’ (1954), ‘Arundel’ (1960) in woven linen and ‘Brittany’ (1969).
From the mid-20th Century onwards, these eminent artists worked with influential textile manufacturers to produce exclusive and limited edition textiles with the aim of transporting Contemporary art into the home as never before. Ascher Ltd and Edinburgh Weavers developed these artistic partnerships to develop their businesses in a new dynamic direction. Textile powerhouses Arthur Sanderson and David Whitehead swiftly followed, capturing the public and media’s attention in an innovative, multi-disciplinary fashion, leaving a legacy that holds vast significance to the fine art and textile industries to this day.
The Styled by Design exhibition of textiles celebrates the modernist view that ‘a good textile was the equal of a good painting’. Post-war, innovative textile firms turned to Modern artists and translated their work into vibrant and exciting textiles that truly democratised Modern Art by making it literally a part of the furniture. Fashion designers in both Britain and the United States also turned to the likes of Chagall, Picasso, Moore and Matisse bringing Modern Art centre stage on the runway. These powerful artist textiles are a vital part of the history of the evolution of Modern Art.Ashley Gray of Gray M.C.A and curator of Styled by Design
Gray M.C.A present Styled by Design – 30th April 2023, Cromwell Place, London SW7 2JE
Persephone Books Talk
Cromwell Place, London, SW7 2JE
Thursday 27th April 2023 at 6.30pm
Nicola Beauman (Founder Persephone Books) & Jo Andrews (Haptic & Hue)