2D fragment / coptic tapestry panel with 4 images of warriors (?) and a central image of a centaur
Collection of Seth Siegelaub

Raven Row’s exhibition
of textiles collected by
Seth Siegelaub

March 20 2012
1:55 PM

Everyone is more or less familiar with Seth Siegelaub’s input into shaping the New York conceptual art scene during the 1960s and ’70s. As a gallerist, private dealer and exhibitions organiser, Siegelaub strongly contributed to defining the ethos of the era through collaborations with artists such as Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner. What is, perhaps, less known, is what Siegelaub did thereafter. In 1972, he quit the art world and New York, and moved to Paris, where he published books on communication and culture. Fourteen years later, he founded the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles and devoted himself to the study of the social history of hand-woven fabrics. If this transition from art to textiles sounds random, then Raven Row‘s thorough exhibition on Siegelaub’s research of the industry is sure to unveil many unknown facts and political implications behind his shift of practice. The exhibition‘s location could not be more fitting: the premises used to house two silk shops in the eighteenth century. The show also benefits from good timing. “The Stuff That Matters. Textiles collected by Seth Siegelaub for the CSROT“ is a sensible progression to a recent exhibition, “Social Fabric,“ at the nearby Iniva art space, that addressed the political and social conflicts intrinsic to the textile industry of the Spitalfields area.  (Lorena Muñoz-Alonso)

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