Zigzag stitch: Karim Noureldin presents his wavey wonders at von Bartha
Inside a century-old converted patrician house ensconced in the epic Engadin Mountains, near St Moritz, Switzerland, von Bartha’s S-chanf space – its second location – is not your typical art gallery. In response to the bucolic setting, S-chanf’s programme is also a bit different, offering the space to selected artists on their roster to organise special projects throughout the year. Up next is Karim Noureldin, who is known for his extensive work with pattern and shape, from early mark making, hatches and crosses to modern abstraction. His latest exhibition reveals his more recent forays into textiles and the applied arts.
The Swiss artist worked in close collaboration with Bharat carpet manufacturers in Panipat, India, to produce a special, bespoke edition of two textile objects, based on designs inspired by Middle Eastern patterns and abstract design, conceived by the artist, but with room for the unexpected. ’I wanted the weavers to also interpret my work, free to find solutions and adapt the basic design to their needs,’ Noureldin explains as he prepares to unveil the work to the public.
The title of the hand-woven carpet, Dhurrie, refers to the technique used to create it: first, the cotton is dyed using traditional methods before it is woven, employing historic Indian handlooms. ’Textiles are culturally such fascinating objects; flat pictures that, similarly to my own images, are often made with abstract motifs and still handmade. I like their details, colours, different possibilities of fabrication and the beauty fabric can offer.’
Installed on the gallery floor, Dhurrie is the centerpiece of Noureldin’s exhibition. It communicates with the compelling colours and bold, geometric lines of Play, a series of large-scale pencil drawings on paper hanging on the walls. ’Like an echo,’ as Noureldin puts it.