Threads of Art

Textile art

  • 12.9.2020 - 31.1.2021, Listasafn Íslands

The centenary of the birth of textile artist Ásgerður Búadóttir provides a welcome opportunity to explore weaving and textile art in contemporary Icelandic art, and how artists have used the versatile medium of fibres: spinning, dyeing, weaving and shaping them in countless ways. Textile is an extensive art form with a long history, and a multitude of specialised techniques that generally demand great skill and expertise. Today textile art is a flourishing field both in Iceland and elsewhere, and younger generations of artists have taken a keen interest in the medium of fibre and yarn, partly reflecting the blurring of boundaries between different artistic media in recent decades. The work of many contemporary artists also displays experimental approaches and subverts the conventional methods of textile art, showing us how long-standing artistic tradition can attain new dimensions.

The National Gallery of Iceland collection includes a number of works which are made by working with fibre and yarn in a variety of ways. Works were also selected for the exhibition from other collections, both public and private. The works on display reflect the artists‘ diverse methods: textile in its traditional form, alongside unexpected and innovative methods which highlight the thread as such.