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Unveiling Andy Warhol’s Textile Legacy: Debut Showcase in Scotland

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Andy Warhol’s recently unearthed fabrics will debut in Scotland at the esteemed Dovecot Studios for the first time next year.

The iconic 20th-century artist created and sold his textiles anonymously, leaving them in obscurity until their recent discovery by collectors and curators Richard Chamberlain and Geoff Rayner.  This exciting exhibition is the first exhibition in Scotland exclusively dedicated to Warhol’s textiles and is a rare opportunity for audiences to see the works, with many of them never exhibited in Scotland before.  

Andy Warhol: The Textiles will showcase more than 60 textile works, featuring fabric lengths, garments, prints, film and photography.  Together these pieces demonstrate how textile and fashion design were a crucial element to Warhol’s success as one of the most iconic artists of the last century.  Everyday objects were a key part of the 1950s American textile trade, with prints used for dresses, skirts and more.  This was an important focus for Warhol, who had a knack for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, alongside his fascination with repetition, which became an integral part of his Pop art. 

Happy Bug Day Textile 1955 © 2022 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London

Warhol’s textiles are full of playful food designs from lemons to candy apples to pretzels.  One of the most inventive projects on display will be his designs for the legendary New York café Serenditpity3, to which Warhol was a frequent visitor to.  Inspired by the ice cream desserts at the café, Warhol created a homage of playful food designs that will be displayed in the exhibition.  The Dovecot café will be redesigned in honour of Warhol’s Serendipity3-inspired works, enhancing the exhibition experience. 

Dovecot, a world-leading fine art tapestry studio, will highlight how textiles are a particularly versatile medium for artists such as Warhol.  During the 1950s and early 1960s, Warhol’s main output of work had to meet the demands and deadlines of professional clients; in contrast, working with textiles allowed Warhol to create art for art’s sake.  His textiles were managed by agents working in New York’s garment district who sold them anonymously.  They have been hidden from the mainstream until 2023, when Andy Warhol: The Textiles was on display at The Fashion and Textile Museum in London.  

Dovecot is thrilled to be collaborating with the Fashion and Textile Museum to bring the first exhibition about Andy Warhol’s textile designs to Scotland.  Warhol recognised textile as an artistic medium and, as a globally recognised name, offers Dovecot the opportunity to promote tapestry in the context of this joyful and vivacious work.

Dovecot Director Celia Joicey

This exhibition builds on over a decade of research, several chance encounters and strokes of luck to bring together this previously unknown but important aspect of Warhol’s oeuvre. 

Exhibition curators Richard Chamberlain and Geoff Rayner
Shoes Textile, blouse, Jayson Classics, circa 19571958 © 2022 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London

Alongside the exhibition, Dovecot will host various events inspired by Warhol’s illustrations and designs, from science food events and fashion shows to textile printing workshops. 

Andy Warhol: The Textiles has been co-curated by Dennis Nothdruft, Head of Exhibitions at The Fashion and Textile Museum, and internationally recognised collectors and design historians Richard Chamberlain and Geoff Rayner of Target Gallery. 

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