For the first time in the Netherlands, the Kunsthal presents ‘Extra Large’, an exhibition featuring metres-high, handwoven tapestries designed by acclaimed artists such as Picasso, Le Corbusier, Miro, Vasarely and Louise Bourgeois. This unique exhibit focuses on sixty works commissioned after the First World War up until today and sheds light on the artistry involved in the creation of these gargantuan tapestries.
The majority of these works were produced by the world-famous Parisian Manufacture des Gobelins. Established in Paris, along the bank of the Bievre River, this historical tapestry factory traces its origins back to the 15th century. The Manufacture des Gobelins became the official commissioner of tapestries to the court of French monarchs beginning with King Louis XIV. Traditional weaving and knotting techniques have endured throughout the centuries. It takes thousands of hours to create each tapestry. While these tapestries consist of nothing more than thread and dye, the expert weavers are able to emulate every brushstroke and minuscule detail used in the original design. Victor Vasarely (1906-1921) and Yaacov Agam (1928) trick the eye with their colourful handwoven works, justly comparable to optical illusions. The technological era also makes itself known in the tapestries in the form of pixels, a true testament to the detail and virtuosity that goes into these incredible works of art.
‘Extra Large’: Tapestries from Picasso, Le Corbusier, Vasarely and more on now until 3 January at the Kunsthal, Museumpark, Westzeedijk 341.
Open Tue-Sun, 10 AM – 5 PM.