Abstraction and colour. Those are the buzzwords designating the salient charactistics of Amish quilts, which remind anyone looking at them of modern painting, be it Josef Albers, Barnett Newman or Frank Stella. Diamonds and bars - lozenges, squares, elongated rectangles - fiery red, vivid green, smokey blue, purple...With their stringent geometry, broad colour fields and astringent composition, Amish quilts are startlingly close to Concrete art, Hard-Edge painting and Minimalism. However, the modern appearance of these patchwork quilts stemmed from the design intention of an 18th-century Anabaptist Christian denomination that has chosen to live without the benefit of modern technology in relative isolation. Although the Amish quilts in the collection date from the reign of Queen Victoria and the Jugendstil/Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, they represent the diametric opposite of synchronous European-inspired American art yet prefigure the design principles of Modernism. Europeans began to discover Amish quilts in the 1960s when Minimal art and Concrete art were in their heyday. Maria Schlumberger - inspired by the high-profile FER collection amassed by her partner Friedrich E.
Rentschler - has consistently and with a passionate commitment to quality built up one of the best Amish quilt collections worldwide in the space of the past fifteen years. Between 30 March and June 2007 the Neue Sammlung in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, is showing a selection of these objects. The exhibition then moves to the ZKM in Karlsruhe.
Buy Diamonds and Bars book by Florian Hufnagl from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(305mm x 295mm x 24mm)
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