Fashion and textile museum is dedicating its next exhibition to Kaffe Fassett



The Fashion and Textile Museum in London is to open an exhibition dedicated to American-born, British-based artist Kaffe Fassett, one of the most prolific textile artists of our time known for his visions of colour, pattern and texture.

‘Kaffe Fassett: The Power of Pattern’ opens on September 23 and will run until March 12, 2023. The exhibition will explore Fassett’s artistic eye through an immersive visual experience and showcase more than 70 original pieces.

Fassett, who has collaborated with the likes of Missoni and the Designers Guild, has devoted the last 50 years of his life to knitting, needlepoint and patchwork. This exhibition is not a retrospective of his career, explains the museum, but rather a demonstration of his influence in the world of textiles. At the heart of the exhibition will be a curated selection of pieces by artists around the world, chosen by Kaffe, which will greet visitors with “a vibrant fusion of colour and texture”.

The exhibition will start in the small gallery, thanks to FreeSpirit Fabrics, where it will be transformed into a tented oasis of Kaffe Fassett fabric showing a video of the artist discussing textile design. While the ground floor gallery will focus predominantly on quilts created by Kaffe Fassett, Liza Prior Lucy and other artists.

Kaffe Fassett to be the focus of a new exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.

Upon entering the main gallery through the kaleidoscopic vision of Kaffe’s ‘Shot Stripes’, the floor will become “a riot of colour and tumbling blocks,” with highlights including Taiwanese quilter Danny Amazonas’ cosmic masterpiece ‘Levitate,’ which at over six foot high will appear to float off the wall.

Other pieces will include the fabric collage, inspired by sci-fi television made up of Kaffe’s fabrics, and award-winning artist Victoria Finlay Wolfe’s American classic ‘Big Box Stars: Red’ that demonstrates the traditional 8-pointed star quilt with a Kaffe Fassett spin.

Upstairs on the mezzanine gallery, visitors will embark on a pastel-coloured journey over a patchwork floor to discover the technique of appliqué quilting. Work on display will showcase award-winning Australian artist Kim McLean’s ‘The Lollipop Tree’, which draws inspiration from an antique quilt created in modern colours and the pictorial textile art ‘Tusker Bull’ by British-born artist Sophie Standing, inspired by the artist’s time in Africa.

As visitors continue through the gallery, clothes lines adorned with garments constructed from Kaffe Fassett fabrics will be displayed in cases leading to a striking wall of intricate needlepoint cushions by Brandon Mably and Kaffe Fassett.

The exhibition will conclude in the Fashion Studio, dedicated to the artist’s eye. It will be covered in vast graphic reproductions of some of the many Kaffe Fassett Collective’s original painted artworks and will highlight the creative process of designing the fabric used in the quilts seen throughout the exhibition.

Dennis Nothdruft, head of exhibitions at the Fashion and Textile Museum, said in a statement, “The Fashion and Textile Museum has a long relationship with Kaffe Fassett, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Kaffe once more. We wanted to do this exhibition now, as Kaffe remains as one of the most prolific and influential textile artists alive today.

“Throughout his long-standing career Kaffe has encouraged people all over the world to make, and experience colour and pattern in exciting and new ways. The exhibition is designed to embody that quality about Kaffe and to inspire its visitors to look around, engage and create. As well as being an be a manifestation of Kaffe’s vision, the exhibition celebrates the inspiration and influence the artist has on makers around the world.”

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