Masters Of The 20th Century


On exhibit will be about 50 masterworks of tapestry based on works by major artists of the 20th century (Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Corneille, Stuart Davis, Sonia Delaunay, Max Ernst, Maurice Estève, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, Jean Lurçat, Roberto Matta, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso), an exhibition especially arranged for KunstHausWien, curated by Jacob Baal-Teshuva.

This show is a tribute to an outstanding artist, the master weaver Yvette Cauquil-Prince. In additon, 24 Aubusson tapestries originating from the famed Atelier Pinton will be on display from the Jane Kahan Collection, New York.

Madame Cauquil-Prince started weaving tapestries in 1959, working with the CoBrA artist Asger Jorn, and for Pierre Wemaere - she worked for them until 1961. Since 1961, she worked as a master weaver for Alexander Calder, Emile Hecq, Xavier Lalane, Roberto Matta, Jean Piaubert, Nicki de Saint Phalle and Michel Seuphor.

Since 1967, she produced tapestries for the greatest artists of the 20th century, such as Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Roberto Matta, Henry Miller and Pablo Picasso. She had a special relation with Marc Chagall, and produced monumental tapestries for him. In all, she produced about 80 tapestries, of those about 25 for Marc Chagall, ten for Max Ernst, and seven for Fernand Léger. She had scores of exhibitions all over the world and participated in many group shows. Her tapestries can be found in the Picasso Museum in Antibes, France, in the Textilmuseum Max Berk in Heidelberg, Germany, in collections in Japan, in the United States and other countries. We are proud to present for the first time in Austria some of the masterpieces of 20th century artists, produced by master weaver Yvette Cauquil-Prince.

The Pinton Atelier at Felletin is a workshop established in the 16th century. In 1867, Olivier Pinton founded the atelier in its present form. When he died in 1914, Jean Pinton succeeded him, followed by Olivier Pinton and then François Pinton. Jean Pinton was responsible for weaving the original works of Léger, Miró, Calder, Delaunay and others, starting in the 1950‘s.

Tapestry, the art form of weaving textiles producing pictures and images for decoration purposes of the affluent homes and societies, as well as public places, is one of the oldest forms of art. They go back to Babylon, Persia, Egypt and India, as well as to Ancient Greece and beyond, where they could be found on the walls of the Parthenon.

With their great skill, beauty and so many techniques, tapestries were an integral part of history and accompany it through the ages, and the many cultures, as a means of decoration and enhancing its quality of life, in public and private places. The weavers of those tapestries were considered great artists and innovators of their time. They carried the art of the artist from paper and canvas a step further into permanent textiles, with rich colors, textures and new techniques of achieving it. Tapestries became permanently woven pictures and images.

Tapestries were woven and produced not only for royalty and the nobility, but beyond that for the general public, adding to their quality of life. Tapestries can be found in some of the oldest cultures and tribes, such as the ancient Peruvian, the Indians, and the Navaho Tribes. Producing them was a lengthy process requiring skill, technique and patience. They were used to cover and decorate walls, floors and even as clothing, which had nothing to do with embroidery.

Some of the earliest and most beautiful tapestries were produced by the Copts in Egypt in the 5th and 6th centuries, A.D. They were using very simple equipment, namely a frame with a roller at each end, which formed the loom. Later in the Middle Ages, when weaving tapestries became an important and popular industry, new techniques were developed to create illusions of light and shade in the tapestries. During the Renaissance, weavers produced every brush stroke and nuance of the image in the tapestry by mixing colors. Color was always a central element in tapestry weaving, and the dye master was a very skilled person. Before the chemical dyes, colors were made from insects, plants, flowers, seashells, onion skins, lemon peel and saffron.

In tapestry, wool is mostly used, however, other fibers, such as, cotton, silk, and linen are frequently found. Peruvians used fine camel hair and silky vicuna hair for weaving, while the Copts in Egypt used linen, and the Chinese used silk. The subjects and motifs of the tapestries, during the ages, came from religious paintings, legends, myths and symbols.

The art of weaving tapestries continued through the centuries, and into the 20th century. In the 1930‘s, the French Madame Marie Cuttoli (She worked a lot with the Atelier Pinton) was very active in reviving the art of tapestry by convincing major contemporary artists of the time to create works for tapestries. Among the artists were Picasso, Braque, Derain, Rouault, Miró, Dufy, Le Corbusier and others. Tapestry weaving in the second half of the century became quite active with new approaches to tapestry weaving, and new techniques. One of the leading women in that field is Madame Yvette Cauquil-Prince, Maître d‘œuvre, who produced exciting tapestries for the leading artists of this century. Among the artists were Picasso, Léger, Chagall, Braque, Kandinsky, Klee, Ernst, Calder, and Matta, to mention a few.