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Painting and textiles. Textile illustration and printing.

Bilbaoarte. October 2014.

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"Can artists create textiles?" This is the title used by art and architecture historian Nikolaus Pevsner in an article written in 1946 that opened the debate on whether painters and sculptors could develop a career within the field of applied arts without damaging their artistic integrity and without lowering the quality of their work to a mere superficial level.

In fact, textiles created by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Sonia Delaunay and Andy Warhol among others, have been widely disseminated. However, other artists whose textile work, despite its high creative value, is less known or even unknown also deserve the same attention. Among them, we shall mention figures such as Joseph Albers, Alexander Calder, Pablo Palazuelo, or Richard Tuttle. The same thing should be said about the trajectory of a great number of female artists whose presence in the history of art —and of the applied arts— has run silently.

Reality is an unlimited source of visual resources: objects, landscapes, geometry, structures, textures, colours and nuances are elements used by artists indistinctly in both painting and textile design.

In fact, in the work of many painters and sculptors, disciplines such as painting or applied arts are not separate but interchangeable categories, in which the same graphic elements, aesthetic, conceptual or chromatic elements participate in the final piece.

In this workshop we will try to show the connection between both creative experiences, and we will discuss how the distinction between genres or artistic disciplines can be blurred and generate feedback between different processes.

From this field of knowledge and experimental mind-set, we will tackle both the technical and practical elements, so that each artist creates their own design project from the initial idea to its preparation for reproduction on textile.

At the end of the workshop, and as the last stage of the process, each participant will obtain a sample of one linear meter of their design printed on fabric.

The workshop is structured in three parts:
  • A theoretical part in which we will analyse the work of many painters and sculptors of the 20th and 21st centuries who also created textiles.
  • A technical part, complemented and widely supported by visual examples and sample materials, which will deal with the processes currently available to produce printed textiles.
  • A practical part, with the objective of enabling each participant to transfer and adapt the plastic elements present in their pre-existing work to a new material (fabric) using both manual and digital tools.

In this section we will welcome Julia Vergara as the guest artist, who will discuss different manual practices in the process of generating a repeating pattern for textiles.

Work in progress.