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Lenore Tawney 1907-2007

On 24 September 2007, Lenore Tawney died at her home in

Manhattan, aged 100. The seminal artist leaves a body of work

that remains critical to our understanding of fibre art today.

Born in Lorain, Ohio, in 1927 she moved to Chicago where

she was briefly married to George Tawney. After his death she

studied sculpture, drawing and weaving at the Institute of

Design and then decamped in 1957 to New York. “It was an

inner feeling that I wanted a higher work is from that;

the whole thing comes out through some kind of feeling”, she

reflected years later. In New York she felt immediately free to

pursue her creative vision.

From her major creative breakthrough with the invention of

an open reed for her loom, which allowed her to create her

sculptural Woven Forms in 1962 to her Staten Island

Museum exhibition, cited by Mildred Constantine and Jack

Lenor Larsen as being “the point at which Art Fabric was

healthfully and joyously launched in America”, Tawney

described her work as ‘the truest thing in (her) life’. A similar

epiphany came with her discovery of the Jacquard loom at the

First World Conference of Craftsmen in New York. Obsessively

fascinated with its complex harness which she learned to make

at the Textile Institute in Philadelphia, she began her series of

inspired graph paper drawings, ‘meditations’ which formed the

basis of her later forms. “I am following the path of the heart,”

she said. “I don’t know where it’s going.”

To celebrate her life and achievements, browngotta who rep

resent Tawney’s work have published a new monograph ••• KK

Lenore Tawney, Drawings in Air, browngrotta arts, ISBN 1-930230

35-4, $25,

Alfie Barn es

Imperial wardrobe

To celebrate her 30th year in the business, Linda

Wrigglesworth has placed her exquisite collection of

Chinese costume and textiles with Christie’s New

York including pieces she purchased before

starting her business. Coinciding with Asian Art

Week the sale includes everything from purses

to imperial robes and will be preceded by a

one day symposium.

You Are What You Wear – Style, Society and

Ethnicity in Qing China: Symposium, 15

March. Auction: The Imperial Wardrobe,

Fine Chinese Costume and Textiles From

the Linda Wrigglesworth Collection, 19

March 10am, Christie’s New York, NY, For Chinese textile

consultancy contact T: +44(0)20 7486


Japanese artist Michihiro Sato, who exhibitedat Collect 2008, is an artist exploring the versatile medium of paper. His delicate, sculptural pendants, brooches and rings are inspired by Buddha’s teachings and the concept of ‘seed’ which, Sato explains,

implies “cool courage and warm mercy”. Prices from £225

Even Thread Had a Speech,ca.1966,Lenore Tawney

Raymond Honeyman is a painter perfectly in

tune with textiles. Born in Perth, Scotland he

grew up dreaming of becoming an artist. He

went to art college in Dundee to pursue

painting but once there found himself torn

between illustration and printed textile

design. Fortunately he found a way to

balance both ambitions.

From his first sale to Susan Collier for

Liberty to his appointment at Viyella, his

fashion and furnishing fabrics are renowned

throughout the world. And for over a decade Honeyman has contributed designs to the

Ehrman Tapestry company whose needlepoint kits are sold globally. Perhaps most

remarkable is the fact that, as carefully constructed as his designs appear, they are not

pre-sketched, instead they begin with an idea and grow spontaneously as he paints. A Passion for Painting Pattern: the textile designs of Raymond Honeyman, Unipress, ISBN 1869979230, £10. Raymond Honeyman will be appearing at this year’s Knitting and Stitching Show, T: 020 8692 2299,

Seed,2007, M ichihiro Sato

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