Magazine article The Spectator

Arts

Magazine article The Spectator

Arts

Article excerpt

Traditionally, tapestries chronicled great moments in history in a wildly luxurious form, which helped warm chilly castles. They were also used to display the colours of trade unions and, of course, for hiding Polonius. As far as I know, nobody since William Morris, Picasso, Matisse and Chagall has taken tapestry seriously. Now comes Demons, Yarns and Tales at The Dairy, 7 Wakefield Street, London WC1 (from 10 to 22 November), an exhibition of 14 tapestries by international artists, including several YBAs. Each tapestry is hand-made in a limited edition of five (the weaving was done in Shanghai). How do contemporary artists respond to a medium that naturally lends itself to narrative, graphic shapes, colour and carefully worked texture? Peter Blake has done a characteristic 'Alphabet', which translates well into a Pop art tapestry sampler. Paul Noble's pencil drawing, 'Villa Joe', took a year to weave into a vast cloth in 50 shades of grey. …

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