Woven Histories | Looming Large

On view now at LACMA

Written by

Cerys Davies

Photographed by

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Installation photo of the exhibition Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sep 17, 2023 - Jan 21, 2024, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.

This week marks the opening of Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction at LACMA. Across 150 works, the exhibition explores the connection between textiles and abstraction in the 20th and 21st century as well as the the stylistic, socioeconomic, and political context in which the featured work was created and represents.

Woven Histories highlights a diverse range of transnational and intergenerational artists who have shaped the field including: Anni Albers, Jeffrey Gibson, Hannah Hoch, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Ulrike Mueller, Liubov Popova, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Rosemarie Trockel, and Andrea Zittel. Together, this body of work highlights the role of textiles in shaping identity and community.

Sheila Hicks, Peluca verde, 1960–61, collection of the artist, photo courtesy Fundación Amparo - Museo Amparo.

The exhibition is arranged across seven sections, which mark moments of impact and interchange between textiles and abstractionism from Self-Fashioning and Life Wear to Materialist Abstraction, Design, and Utopian Social Visions. The show dives into a wealth of mediums and materials including painting, basketry, and photography, presenting an interconnected art history.

“The centrality of textiles in our everyday lives is often ignored or taken for granted whether in the guise of dress, interior furnishings, and decor, or in the form of metaphors, idioms, and sayings that permeate our speech and govern thought,” explains curator Lynne Cooke. “While often unmarked, these material and immaterial textile choices signal how we want to represent ourselves, and the values we embrace.”

Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction is on view now through January 21, 2024.

Ed Rossbach, Textile, 'Ripples on the Pond', 1970, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Costume and Textiles Acquisitions Fund, © Ed Rossbach, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.
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LACMA, Woven Histories, Wove Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction