Rug trade: a new initiative by a duo of art rug champions is full of promise
Because we believe that two heads are better than one, the new joint effort between Equator Production and Henzel Studio – both respected manufacturers of artist-designed carpets – is especially worth celebrating. The initiative, named ‘The Carpet Kartell’, unveiled at New York gallery Tanja Grunert, with a sumptuous display of carpets from both parties on view until the end of the month.
The idea to team up struck Equator Production’s founders Petra and Ranbir Singh, and Henzel Studio curator Joakim Andreasson, when they met during a panel discussion at MOCA Cleveland last December. ‘Aside from our common interest in the making of artist-designed carpets, we clicked on a personal level and decided to collaborate and join forces as an association,’ explains Andreasson.
He adds, ‘We both acknowledged the need to re-affirm art carpets stature but, rather than set parameters, be open to the full potential of the media and work together to navigate across the worlds of art, design and decorative arts.’ To wit, the blockbuster roster of the group exhibition includes Juergen Teller, Douglas Gordon, Nan Goldin, Marilyn Minter, Helmut Lang, and Tom of Finland, among others.
Designed by Assume Video Astro Focus, produced by Henzel Studio
In addition to being equally accomplished and established in the tradition of realising artists’ vision in carpet form, both parties are just as motivated to add to the medium with their own contributions. Henzel Studio’s newest additions include a collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
‘[It’s] based on an unrealised artist’s book by Warhol I found, that had only been exhibited once prior in Pittsburg,’ recalls Andreasson. ‘Consisting of 38 octagonal pages, each page is a die-cut detail from Warhol’s print edition set of Marilyn Monroe, dated 1967, that includes ten variations of the iconic star.’
From there, they translated the pages into hand-knotted silk rugs and pillows. ‘The resulting designs and abstractions provide an unforeseen and detailed view of Warhol’s portrait of Monroe, where each rug serves as magnified close-ups through an octagon shaped lens,’ Andreasson explains. ‘In addition, [studio founder] Calle Henzel applied his signature designs traits to the original portrait of Monroe; freeform organic shapes, punk-like fringes and cut-outs. The idea of juxtaposing a very rare and obscure facet of Warhol’s work – with his most iconic subject – was very intriguing and has provided for a platform to make public a unknown body of work.’
Henzel Studio also presents a design by Wilhelm Sasnal, who created an original drawing for his carpet using pencil outlines on grid paper, and a two-piece carpet work by Douglas Gordon that serves as an homage to Courbet’s famous painting L’Origine du Monde. Equator Production’s works are just as impressive: nine new carpets including designs by Liam Gillick, Joseph Kosuth and Jonathan Monk.