THE REVIVAL OF WARP N’ WEFT
From artisan to art; the lost craft of tapestry is making a comeback
by KOD Staff
If you have had your ear to the ground lately, or should I say Carpet; then you will have no doubt come across a number of contemporary artists who have been seduced by the ancient art of tapestry.
From Grayson’s Perry satirical “national picnic blankets” to Erin Riley’s tinder tapestries starring bongs and g-strings; the traditional art of ‘warp and weft’ is taking on a new contemporary direction. And for those who believe that carpet art is just a furry fad, galleries are beginning to pay attention too. To coincide with Art Paris, Colette Paris will be showcasing an exhibition of Henzel Studio Collaboration’s artist rugs; featuring work by Jurgen Teller, Linder Sterling and Jeremy Scott. And later this year New York’s Museum of Arts and Design has plans to stage a large-scale exhibition of contemporary artist tapestries.
Widely considered an artisan craft rather than an art form, the art rug is still relatively rare, partly because the market can’t make up its mind as to whether the rug is a real work of art or just an expensive novelty. But as more artists return to traditional craft, in search of something new, the art of tapestry is enjoying a colourful revival. As the artist, Chuck Close recently commented, “This old-time system has a history, and it’s not used up yet. It’s something to breathe new life into.”