The textile will be featured in the exhibition The Art of Living: Textile Furnishings from the Permanent Collection, on view at The Textile Museum February 12, 2010 through January 9, 2011. The exhibit highlights the historical and cultural breadth of the museum’s collection through the display of 17 furnishing fabrics, including rugs, chair covers, cushions, wall hangings, and other textiles used in domestic interiors. The Art of Living provides a historical context for the museum’s major spring/summer exhibition, Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-Century Britain, which focuses on the careers of three 20th-century British designers and the socio-historical circumstances that informed their design choices.
Arizona Sky illustrates the collaborative effort between Noland (1924-2010), Navajo weaver Mary Lee Begay (1941- ), and tapestry producer Gloria F. Ross (1923-1998), who was also a trustee at The Textile Museum. Ross endeavored to heighten public appreciation of tapestry as an art form, bringing painters and weavers together to create outstanding works of textile art. In 1979, Ross began to work with Navajo weavers to create tapestries based on designs by Noland, whose bold geometric paintings she saw as well suited for Navajo looms and colors. Navajo weavers typically visualize their designs mentally, rarely committing them to paper, but for this unusual collaboration six Navajo weavers agreed to work from Noland’s painted designs.
“The art world has lost an influential and inspiring figure with the passing of Kenneth Noland,” says Lee Talbot, The Textile Museum’s Associate Curator for Eastern Hemisphere Collections and exhibition curator for The Art of Living: Textile Furnishings from the Permanent Collection. “We are proud to honor his legacy by showcasing his design in this exhibition.”