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Form Through Colour at Somerset House

June 9, 2014 by Kay

5 June – 31 August 2014
East Wing Galleries, East Wing, Somerset House

Contemporary rug and fabric company Christopher Farr has collaborated with The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Gary Hume to create new, limited-edition collections around each of the artists’ signature series. Over 20 hand-crafted rugs, tapestries and fabric installationsare on show for the first time offering visitors the chance to see textile art based on the original designs of three complementary colourists from the Bauhaus to Britart eras alongside each other.

The exhibition has been conceived to showcase the innovative and imaginative use of colour in art, inspired by Josef Albers’ Interaction of Colour. Each of the series in the exhibition will show a simple but staggering use of colour and reveal how Josef Albers’ design principles work across a range of mediums.

Gary Hume’s breakthrough series of door paintings, which were first shown at Damien Hirst’s Freeze exhibition in 1988 and snapped up by Charles Saatchi, features on 13 one of a kind hand knotted rugs. The rugs are exhibited alongside the first door painting Hume ever completed at college.

Josef Albers is represented through a group of tapestries based on his Homage to the Square series, hundreds of paintings produced over 26 years that put his colour theory into practice. A group of four tapestries will be displayed which use Homage to the Square as source material. Visitors will also be able to experiment with Albers’ theories and teachings by exploring the Interaction of Colour iPad App, recently launched by Yale University Press, with innovative interactive features that allow users to test their own colour perceptions.

One of the best known textile artists of the 20th century, Anni Albers’ works are a statement of textiles as art and the new Christopher Farr collection will again inspire a reconsideration of the form by building a large-scale fabric installation that features five of her most iconic designs from the Meander series to Movement. The fabric installation are joined by six limited-edition hand knotted rugs based on original Anni Albers designs.

In addition, materials from the extensive archives of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation are exhibited. These include textile samples, photographs and documents which have rarely been shown in public.

The collections are being launched at Somerset House, offering the first opportunity for order. Each of the rugs are hand-tufted, made of 100% wool and are produced in limited editions of ten. A selection of small hand-tufted rugs in much larger editions, cushions, fabrics and other soft furnishings featuring the designs exhibited are also available for purchase.