Giacometti 1

Alexander Calder, Glacier with Coloured Petals, 1971, wool on linen and cotton. © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Nomadic Murals: Tapestries of the Modern Era

Location: Fourth-Floor Gallery Time Period: April 5, 2019 - December 1, 2019

In the spring of 2019, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, North Carolina will present Nomadic Murals: Tapestries of the Modern Era, an exploration and presentation of tapestries and rugs designed by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture. Examples of the more familiar media will be installed alongside the textiles. 

Textiles, a centuries-old tradition, found renewed attention and invention over the last century. A traditional medium in Europe and Asia, the tapestry was revived by 20th century artists who tackled a venerated practice with avant-garde zeal. Some artists adapted existing images into commercial rug production, giving the 20th-century medium of the multiple a high design twist. Others became intrigued by the tapestry revival initiated in France by the artist and scholar Jean Lurçat and the tapestry producer Marie Cuttoli, both of whom who worked closely with their contemporaries to develop an appreciation for the tradition while incorporating the new visual languages of abstraction, cubism, and surrealism.   

The Bechtler holds excellent examples of textiles by Alexander Calder, Le Corbusier, Diego Giacometti, Fernand Léger, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. Many artists worked in this medium over the last century and through the present day and we will solicit loans to represent the broad interest and diverse practices that developed internationally. Possible additional artists include Agam, Anni Albers, Karel Appel, Louise Bourgeois, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dalí, Sonia Delaunay, Erika Diamond, Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Jean Lurçat, Alfred Manessier, Henri Matisse, Alicia Penalba, Victor Vasarely, Maria Hélèna Vieira da Silva, Kara Walker, and June Wayne. The textile works will be hung alongside more familiar examples of the artist’s work to show the consistency of style and the unique contributions textile production brought to the artist’s work.

Click here to view the official Press Release of Nomadic Murals: Tapestries of the Modern Era. 

Funding for the conservation of this artwork was generously provided through a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

Additional conservation work supported by generous donations from Yvonne and Richard McCracken, Janice and Gilbert Patrick, Lee Rocamora and John Thompson, and Cassandra and David Wagner.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to the celebration and analysis of the strongest aspects of mid- century modernism as reflected in the holdings of the Bechtler collection.

The collection comprises more than 1,400 works by 20th-century modern artists. Some works are accompanied by books, photographs and letters illustrating personal connections to the Bechtler family. 


An Individual Membership with unlimited access to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is $50.

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