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Exhibition 'ACROSS ART AND FASHION' at the Museo del Tessuto in Prato

from Annalisa Chelli - 18/07/2016

Annalisa Chelli

Tra Arte e Moda ("Across Art and Fashion") is the title of the new exhibition being held at the Museo del Tessuto until February 19th 2017, in collaboration with the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo. Edoardo and I were the specialist correspondents for this piece that we wrote together about the exhibition, which we had a chance to visit since we live in Prato, and which I recommend to all those who love textile design: this was definitely time well spent!

Exhibition: Across Art and Fashion

This travelling exhibition is also present in four other museums, and in each of them there is a different part, focusing on one particular aspect. Indeed, you can also visit this exhibition in the following museums: Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Museo Marino Marini in FlorenceThe Central National Library and Pitti Palace.

Is Fashion a kind of Art? This is the question we are asked at the beginning of the tour, and there are many possible and contrasting answers one could give. Inside the exhibition, we were able to observe many blueprints for textiles and textile artifacts, many of which were drawn on paper while others directly on the fabrics, but at the same time we were in fact looking at works of art.

The exhibition covers a very important period, not only from a cultural point of view, but also from an economic one. In the 1950s, right after World War II, Italians were rolling up their sleeves to rebuild a lost heritage founded on Art and quality. A key role was played by the Milan Triennial, which lasted from 1951 to 1957, an exhibition for art, design and much more, giving artists the opportunity to experiment with their ideas, creating a bridge between the world of Art and that of fashion. The artists who took part were some of the most famous of the time, such as Gio Ponti, Gio Pomodoro and Lucio Fontana. All these names prove that during a period in which a Nation was being rebuilt and the economy was booming, each of them wanted to leave a mark on an artistic as well as conceptual level. Thanks to this fusion between Art and Fashion, all the designs for textiles and fabrics wre ultimately a way in which even regular people can become part of an exclusive world, since the final products of that research end up in the homes of many Italian families.

The pieces we loved the most

Out of all the the works on show at the Museo del Tessuto, there were some that we found more impressive than others. In the first part of the exhibition, one work by Gio Pomodoro, titled “I cirri” definitely stands out. This piece won first prize at the Jsa Triennal Prize in 1957, out over 5000 competitors.

Exhibition: Across Art and Fashion

Also from Manifattura Jsa is a printed fabric armchair which was definitely innovative for its time.

Exhibition: Across Art and Fashion

Exhibition: Across Art and Fashion

Another extremely interesting piece, because of the very peculiar graphic effect, is that by Ettore Sottsass, who presented this design for fabric at the 1954 Milan Triennal. The pattern was drawn on paper and uses. The pattern was drawn on paper and uses color effects to highlight the texture of the fabric. Another noteworty piece was Atanasio Soldati’s silk and canvas tapestry.

Exhibition: Across Art and Fashion Exhibition: Across Art and Fashion

We also had the opportunity to appreciate Lucio Fontana's 1968 work, Concetto spaziale (Spatial Concept), made with water paint on canvas. That opens up a whole new world!

Exhibition: Across Art and Fashion

Another part of the exhibition is devoted to printed silk scarves. The one designe in 1958 by Giuseppe Capogrossi stands out because of its colors and symbols.

Exhibition: Across Art and Fashion

Lastly, we would like to remind you that the Museo del Tessuto hosts a permanent exhibition, which includes some pieces which are really interesting, not only as fabrics or clothes, but also as memories, that is, as a testimony of the methods used in the past centuries to process textile fibers.

Exhibition at Museo del Tessuto

If you liked this post, you may also be interested in the one about  Filippo Lippi, an extraodinary painter.