Giacometti 1

Alexander Calder, Glacier with Coloured Petals, 1971, wool on linen and cotton. © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Nomadic Murals: Tapestries of the Modern Era

Location: Fourth-Floor Gallery Time Period: April 5, 2019 - December 1, 2019

The exhibition was an exploration and presentation of more than 40 tapestries created by artists usually associated with painting, sculpture, and architecture, including Alexander Calder, Le Corbusier, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso among many others. Nomadic Murals highlighted the museum’s collection of tapestries from the mid-20th century, as well as sheded light on a unique medium that has been important to many great Modern and contemporary artists. This was the first time that the museum’s entire tapestries collection was on view. The tapestries were hung alongside the artists’ work in more familiar media to demonstrate both the stylistic consistency and the unique contributions textile production brought to their oeuvre. The title of the exhibition stemed from Le Corbusier’s essay “Tapestries: Nomadic Murals.”

The exhibition featured important tapestries by Modern masters from Marc Chagall and René Magritte to Robert Motherwell and Frank Stella among many others. Five newly conserved tapestries by Alexander Calder, Diego Giacometti, Fernand Léger, Roy Lichtenstein, and Pablo Picasso in the museum’s collection —made possible by the Bank of America Art Conservation Project grant—were on view together for the first time, and five exceptional tapestries by Le Corbusier between 1948 and 1965 will travel from the Le Corbusier Foundation in Paris. Other highlights with strong connections to Charlotte and the Bechtler included two works by Charlotte-born African-American artist Romare Bearden, and two tapestries by Mario Botta, the Swiss architect of the museum’s building. These modern masterpieces were presented in the context of several contemporary works by artists such as Fred Tomaselli, Kiki Smith, Ebony G. Patterson, April Gornik, Peter Blake, and others

Click here to view the official Press Release of Nomadic Murals: Tapestries of the Modern Era. 

Funding for the conservation of this artwork was generously provided through a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

Additional conservation work supported by generous donations from Yvonne and Richard McCracken, Janice and Gilbert Patrick, Lee Rocamora and John Thompson, and Cassandra and David Wagner.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to the celebration and analysis of the strongest aspects of mid- century modernism as reflected in the holdings of the Bechtler collection.

The collection comprises more than 1,400 works by 20th-century modern artists. Some works are accompanied by books, photographs and letters illustrating personal connections to the Bechtler family. 

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