Tapestries from Picasso and Le Corbusier to Louise Bourgeois
March 28, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021 at de Kunsthal in Rotterdam
For the first time in the Netherlands, Kunsthal Rotterdam is presenting a large-scale retrospective of imposing tapestries based on designs by renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Le Corbusier, Miró, Vasarely and Louise Bourgeois.
The exhibition ‘Extra Large’ focuses on a period of a hundred years, with tapestries made directly after the First World War up until now, and reveals a virtually unknown aspect in the bodies of work of many modern and contemporary artists. They have been using the age-old weaving technique as the point of departure for their textile art while constantly reinterpreting it.
Most of the sixty works were produced at the historical institute ‘Manufacture des Gobelins’ in Paris. With their combination of artistic finesse and extraordinary craftsmanship, these metres-high, handwoven tapestries are of an unrivalled quality and a joy to behold, and show how surprisingly modern the traditional craft of weaving still is.
In ten chapters, ‘Extra Large’ shows the development of the tapestry. The colourful, figurative and occasionally very abstract works reveal the endless possibilities of the craft. The brightly coloured ‘Une carte du Japon’ – made between 2012 and 2017 after a design by the French artist Alain Séchas – shows how weavers are able to imitate the expressive brushstrokes used in painting.
Also surprising are the handcrafted optical illusions of Victor Vasarely and the Israeli artist Yaacov Agam. Their often square-shaped tapestries look as if they are three-dimensional and almost appear to be moving.
Since the beginning of this century, technical aspects of the digital age also started to make an appearance in the designs. With a computer-manipulated self-portrait, the French artist ORLAN is for instance challenging conventional ideals of beauty. And with extremely enlarged pixels in his work ‘Jardins des Gobelins’, Christophe Cuzin, another French artist, emphasises the similarities between digital imaging techniques and the woven grid structure of the tapestry.
Pillow case Picasso – Portrait de Dora Maar 1937€80,00
Cushion cover Joan Miró – Femme Oiseau Etoile Extrait no.2€80,00
Cushion cover Picasso – Buste de femme€80,00
Tapestry Hokusai The Great Wave off Kanagawa – 1831€315,00
Tapestry of Picasso – Grande Nature Morte au Guéridon – 1931€1.355,00