Painting With Thread: Collaboration with Tapis Rouge

16 September - 29 October 2019



Lisa Norris Gallery is delighted to host an exhibition in collaboration with Tapis Rouge, a fine rug company based in Milan. Tapis Rouge produce their rugs (which are handwoven in Nepal) using artisanal methods specific to ancient Tibetan techniques. Considerable time and effort go into making them using the finest quality New Zealand wool and Chinese silk.


Rugs are an under exhibited medium, partly because of their size, but partly because they are hard to categorise.  The most recent exhibitions to feature weaving and textiles as an art form include the Anni Albers exhibition at the Tate Modern and an exhibition on carpets at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.  

In this exhibition we explore them alongside a selection of contemporary paintings. Some of these artists like Gwenyth Fugard incorporate fabric into their work. She has an early background in fashion and textiles and uses materials such as fine copper wire, gauze or netting to construct her paintings. An artist like Eberhard Ross subconsciously emulates the movement and intricacy of woven thread, His painting practice has an almost meditative quality. His intricate, threadlike brushwork is built up over many hours while the oil paint is still wet. While Sonja Weber, who has a degree in painting, photography and textiles incorporates all these disciplines into her finely woven jacquards. 


As with painting, we can approach rugs using a similar vocabulary of style, technique and palette. Their inspiration coming from a passion for the avant garde, Modernist influence of geometric shapes and abstract compositions. Some of these rugs build up transparent layers of colour.  Other designers use different approaches to line and colour, some being organic, while others are more geometric and architectural.

The simplistic graphics and primitive lines of the collection, and in particular the Bub rug exhibited at the gallery, designed by Olga Malyeva, are reminiscent of the Russian avant-garde movement and are skillfully transferred onto visually arresting rugs of the highest quality and craftsmanship.


Composition X rug designed by Olga Mayleva and the atelier Tapis Rouge team is inspired by the abstract forms, cubist volumes and geometric figures of twentieth century art movements.


Mike Shilov when designing the Napoli Smeraldo rug, was inspired by the architectural shapes and finishes of Italian staircases. Fine lines are juxtaposed with the colour depth of the background, the rug’s natural softness and its high percentage of silk, creating a luxurious and captivating design.


A rug like a painting unifies a living space. It creates harmony in a room. It can bring all the elements in a room together. Just as a painting harnesses the wall, a rug can anchor a floor. With this exhibition we encourage you to reframe the relationship of floor and wall, rug and painting, and take a moment to consider their creative links to the visual language of painting. Looking at composition, colour, form and line and how traditional boundaries blur and disciplines interconnect.


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