Gesture on canvas,” opined art historian Harold Rosenberg in a 1952 essay in ArtNews magazine, “was a gesture of liberation.” Rosenberg was marvelling at a new breed of artists bubbling up in bowels of Manhattan at the time, whose work was the product of movement and force: the action painters. In downtown studios and factory lofts, they were discovering an entirely new language of expression; one of drips and slashes, violence and gravity. It was a different way of seeing art, less concerned with form and composition, more so act of making itself.
For their latest collection, cc-tapis explores gesture as the root of artistic expression. From small domestic tasks to naive scrawling, each action is considered with a similar weight. A smear of frothy soap swiped across a windowpane is seen with the same wonder as paint splashed across canvas and the furtive childlike scribbles of crayon on pristine walls could very well be the making of a masterpiece. Five designers — Patricia Urquiola, Sabine Marcelis, Philippe Malouin, Mae Engelgeer and Yuri Himuro – meditate on gesture’s meaning and investigate how the simple movement of hands and tools can lead their creative process.
The results range from delicate gradients inspired by brushstrokes to the imperfect assemblage of spontaneous collages, to the simple act of cutting into woven cloth. In response to the designers’ creativity, cc-tapis, led by art director Daniele Lora, have developed new techniques that bring these gestures to life. Ways of shaping and dying wool, previously unexplored methods of weaving and the introduction of novel materials within the hand-knotted rugs — capturing in wool, linen and silk the artists' inimitable gesture.