The Fashion + Textile Museum present Kaffe Fassett: The Power of Pattern
If you are a textile lover and embrace pattern, it’s likely that one of your early inspirations has been the American-born artist Kaffe Fassett. Continuing until 12th March 2023, The Power of Pattern explores Fassett’s artistic eye in an immersive experience at the Fashion + Textile Museum, the only museum dedicated to textiles in the UK.
Fassett is one of the most prolific textile artists of our time, and whether you’re a quilter, knitter or maximalist, when his name is mentioned, you’ll have visions of rich colour, pattern and texture. Growing up amongst the creative community of the Big Sur in California, he discovered the spirited freedom of artistic expression, and found inspiration from the surrounding nature. However, he was lured to the UK by the explosion of creativity in 1960s London. He later took up needlepoint and quilting, the latter becoming the main output for the second half of his career.
At the heart of the exhibition, is a curated selection of pieces by artists from around the world, chosen by Kaffe and demonstrating the breadth of his influence. The first floor gallery focuses predominantly on quilts, whilst upstairs on the Mezzanine visitors can discover the technique of applique quilting.
Teresa Collenette, Assistant Curator FTM said ‘Since the late 1960s, Kaffe Fassett has forged his own path as an artist rejecting the distinction often made between art and craft. Whilst elevating ‘making’, Fassett has pursued disciplines that democratise his work. His influence stretches from the fashion industry to artists, makers and home knitters and beyond. Fassett is no artist in an ivory tower – he wants everyone to join in, active participants in his joyous exploration of colour and pattern. This exhibition celebrates some of those passionate makers around the globe who, inspired by Fassett’s infectious enthusiasm, have become part of Kaffe’s creative community, a testament to the artist’s belief in the creative joy of the communal artistic endeavour that he first experienced when he arrived in London in the mid-1960s.’
The exhibition is accompanied by the book Kaffe Fassett: The Artists Eye by Dennis Nothdruft, published by Yale University Press, £30. Available to purchase in the FTM shop or online.
The Power of Pattern will tour to Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh 31 March – 8 July 2023 and Millesgarden Museum, Sweden, September 2023 – February 2024.