Carpets and Tapestries as Works of Art Parallel to Painting
Some 20th century avant-garde artists such as Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró or the aforementioned Picasso dared to try other disciplines. In this way, in some cases they elevated carpets and tapestries to works of art comparable to paintings.
Avant-garde Art and Textile
Joan Miró ventured with interesting tapestries. Miró modified the function of these tapestries in so far as they became works of art parallel to pictures and paintings. However, they no longer had, as their origin, the crucial function of being insulators from the cold. Léger, Calder, Chagall and Picasso also thought up models designed to be executed in artistic tapestries.
The slow and meticulous technique demanded by a tapestry can hardly be done by a single person. The restlessness and the creative nerve of the avant-garde artists does not usually marry with the ordered discipline that a loom demands. However, the artists did supervise and calibrate the quality of the result and the fidelity with their intentions and original idea.
Artists Specialized in Tapestry
There have also been artists of the twentieth century who, despite occasionally engaging in other arts, have particularly developed their careers by focusing on the world of tapestries. The Frenchman Jean Lurçat clearly shows this and is an example of an artist much more involved in the execution of his own works.
In the second half of the 20th century there was a remarkable display of the art of abstract upholstery and artisans such as Josep Grau-Garriga or Aurèlia Muñoz in Catalonia have personally produced a considerable number of works, some of which can be admired in large museums of the world and others can be acquired in auctions of antique carpets, such as those produced in Balclis.
Invention and Fabrication of Designer Carpets
The carpets have always maintained a decorative function, but even above that, a practical sense of giving and conveying warmth has dominated. Oriental and European rugs could occasionally be made with the same technique as the tapestries, but their typical feature was the effect of fluffy velvet made with wool or silk.
Some contemporary artisans, such as Manolo Valdés, have had the courage to make carpets, adapting their aesthetic ideas to the corresponding format and thinking that the floor should be their final location. However, perhaps it is Nani Marquina, in the Catalan area, who has specialized the most in the invention and design of carpets.