Thursday, 17 December 2015

Textiles at the Tate

An evening event in London meant I either went up to town just for a couple of hours in the evening or I used my train fare wisely and looked for something to visit on the way.  I decided to catch one of the free daily tours at Tate Modern - in particular I was interested to see if there were any textile art works to be found. 

The tour I joined was to look at the Energy and Process Gallery on the fourth floor.

One of the works we looked at was by an artist Georgio Griffo (b.1936) and called Segni Orizzontali (1975). The title translates as "horizontal signs".  I picked this work out because its textile qualities are so obvious.  The canvas is not fixed on a stretcher and the folds in the fabric not only make the qualities of the medium very obvious but are very much a feature of the work - a line not in paint but in memory.  

The canvas looks quite coarse - I did not look closely enough to see if it was in its natural state or artificially coloured.  The painted dashes of colour are very evenly and regularly painted - a line of blue, green, a pinky mauve and then a deeper pinky mauve.  Then a line of blue starts again but runs out half way.

What our guide told us was that here the artist expects the audience to "finish" the work - first by mentally "painting" the rest of the blue dashes.  We might then imagine the next line - and most likely follow the pattern in the same recurring colours.

What this piece seems to reference is our human instinct for order.  The textile artists amongst us might also wish the creases were ironed out.  I expect some of us might also wish to see it framed and ordered.  

During the guided tour, which took about 45 minutes (they run daily at 11am, 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm), we looked at about eight art works and I am not certain if the same tour by a different guide would include other works.  Certainly these tours make you look much more closely at works that you might otherwise have walked past.  

When I came out to go to my next destination I walked back through the Christmas Market situated in front of the gallery (it is there until 23 December) and across the bridge towards St Paul's.  The twinkling lights made for a very festive atmosphere and put me in just right mood to go on to a Christmas party where I could catch up with friends, old and new.

No comments:

Post a comment