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Bolts of Color: Printed Textiles after WWII

February 4, 2025 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

With a focus on Britain, Italy and the U.S., Bolts of Color highlights the Saint Louis Art Museum’s recent acquisitions of post-WWII textiles, all made during the height of the experimental screen-printing era of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Featuring works by well-known artists such as Rockwell Kent and Lucio Fontana and trailblazing designers such as Althea McNish and Joel Robinson, this exhibition considers the surprising role of the textile industry in whetting the public’s appetite for contemporary art.

From the late 1940s, textile designers explored abstraction from a number of vantage points. Responding to contemporary art, architecture and science, painterly interpretations of nature and playful tessellations dominated textile patterns for nearly two decades.

In the 1960s, huge, graphic designs influenced by Pop and Op Art movements reigned. Throughout, advances in screen printing allowed designers to realize patterned fabrics with an unparalleled depth of color, texture and precision.

Whether hand-printed in small studios or mass manufactured, textiles of this era bubble with a creative energy shared by a growing consumer base who embraced bold interiors and fashions.

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