4th March 2012

Howard Hodgkin for Designers Guild

Howard Hodgkin for Designers Guild

A collection of unique Howard Hodgkin designs have been re-released by Designers Guild, including one brand new design. Abstract, textural and vibrantly coloured these painted patterns have been cleverly printed on soft linen and crisp cotton fabrics to delightful effect.

Text from Designers Guild, including Howard Hodgkin speaking about the relationship between textile and art:

‘Howard Hodgkin is widely regarded as one of the most significant painters at work in Britain today and is renowned for his mastery of colour. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1984, was awarded the Turner Prize in 1965 and was Knighted in 1992. He was also the subiect of a maior retrospective at The Tate in London in 2006.

His first collection for Designers Guild in 1986 was an acclaimed success and now twenty five years later we are delighted and proud to announce a new incarnation of those incredible designs as well as a stunning new design, Brush. His distinctive, lavish colours and expansive brushstrokes are printed on fine linen and heavy cotton to produce a truly remarkable collection of fabrics.

I am not a fabric designer but I’ve always been fascinated by the dangerous interaction of textiles and art. In the house I grew up in, my mother hung transparent beige linen in summer, and heavy red linen in winter. Other relatives favoured fabrics from the Omega Workshops. Margery Fry had the patterns repainted regularly, to keep them fresh. The Bloomsbury Group weren’t great artists, but they had wonderful decorative instincts. It’s a dangerous liaison, between textile and art, if either partner is compromised. l don’t like the idea of fragments of Picasso’s paintings appearing on cushions, for example, yet Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Alexander Calder and Nicholas de Stael all dared to design fabrics. In 1986 I seized the opportunity, when Tricia Guild asked me to work on fabrics for Designers Guild. Shortly afterwards, when I was designing Pulcinella for Ballet Bambert I was happy to be able to use the fabrics for dancers’ costumes.

Twenty-five years after that first venture, Tricia and her team came to my studio for a photo shoot. They hung lengths of fabric from the stanchions just below the ceiling and installed furniture upholstered in other fabrics from the series. lt was reassuring to discover that the original designs, Flower, Leaf and Moss didn’t look dated: they have been reborn, not just remade, thanks to an excellent British printer. And the new design, Brush, seemed to hold its own.

Howard Hodgkin, London, September 2011′

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