TANJA GRUNERT GALLERY (2017)
THE CARPET KARTELL EQUATOR PRODUCTION AND HENZEL STUDIO
Inaugural Exhibition at Tanja Grunert Gallery
April 27th - May 31st, 2017
524 West 19 th Street, New York, NY 10011
Tanja Grunert Gallery is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition of THE CARPET KARTELL, a newly founded association for manufacturers that develop artist designed carpets.
Established by Equator Production and Henzel Studio in December 2016, The Carpet Kartell was created by Equator Production’s founder Petra Singh and Henzel Studio curator Joakim Andreasson when they met at a panel discussion for the exhibition WALL-TO- WALL, CARPETS BY ARTISTS at MOCA Cleveland (curated by Dr. Cornelia Lauf, Sept 23 – Dec 31, 2016).
In a sector that blurs the boundaries between fine art, decorative arts, craft and interior design, both Singh and Andreasson acknowledged the need to collaborate on models for how artist designed rugs resonate and are channeled across these spheres. Their collaboration aims to set parameters that uphold their respective and uncompromising standards, while also laying the groundwork for other organizations to join.
The exhibition at Tanja Grunert provides a review of how these two groundbreaking carpet manufacturers have approached craft, creative process with artists, and artisanal production.
Artist designed carpets have been around for quite some time in various forms, and some of the most prominent artists including Francis Bacon, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Robert Indiana, Mike Kelley, Ellsworth Kelly, Fernand Leger, Roy Lichtenstein, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol have all turned to the media at some point in their oeuvre. However, rather than looking back, both Equator Production and Henzel Studio look to encapsulate facets of contemporary art by working with a curated group of artists that simultaneously express their respective ethos within a broad yet defined scope.
Equator Production, founded by Petra (born in Germany) and Ranbir Singh (born in India) in 1985 in many ways pioneered the sector of artist-designed carpets for today’s market. Petra, an artist, and Ranbir, an avid art collector, both embarked on the journey of utilizing the artisan skills of Indian and Nepalese weaving communities to realize their carpets. Up until 2003, they worked closely with contemporary artists whose work they collected, and immersing themselves in the creative process involved in commissioning designs from these. In 2013, Petra Singh, having held operations for a hiatus over 12 years, decided to revive Equator Production in full. A new series of nine carpets curated by art historian Dr. Cornelia Lauf (born in Germany) of consultancy firm GoldenRuler in Rome marks this new beginning. Equator Production is currently in the process of producing a new carpet with german artist Rosemarie Trockel, continuing their 30-year collaboration and friendship.
Henzel Studio was founded by artist Calle Henzel (born in Sweden), who in the late 90’s started translating his artwork into hand woven carpets. Hooked on the media, he decided to expand on the practice and make it his profession. Together with his wife Asa Henzel (born in Sweden), he has since established Henzel Studio as one of the most progressive carpet manufacturers in the world. Since 2013, and in collaboration with curator Joakim Andreasson (born in Sweden), Henzel Studio has developed two parallel art program; one working with some of the most prolific contemporary artists of today, and the other with artist’s estates.
In an art market that is fiercely protective about its business model, artist designed carpets provide for an open field where artists can express themselves through an alternate media, and disregard its end-use. Hung onto the wall, or displayed on the floor, the chosen context remains as subjective as the question of applied versus fine art - a distinction we encourage and hope will remain.
Exhibition highlights from Henzel Studio include a new collection of carpets designed in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for The Visual Arts that bring to light one of Warhol’s most obscure works, while paying homage to his most iconic subject: Marilyn Monroe. In addition, Henzel Studio will debut carpets designs in collaboration with Douglas Gordon and Wilhelm Sasnal.
Exhibition highlights from Equator Productions will be the New York debut of nine carpets curated by Dr. Cornelia Lauf and designed by artists Alan Belcher, Joseph Kosuth, Juliao Sarmento, Heimo Zobernig, Liam Gillick, Emilia and Ilya Kabakov, Jonathan Monk, Emilio Prini and Ken Lum.
This exhibition marks the launch of THE CARPET KARTELL’s onwards efforts to advance the medium of artist designed carpets while navigating the worlds of art and design to further grow the genre’s potential. THE CARPET KARTELL affiliates are both proud members of GOODWEAVE, the world’s leading international non-profit organization working to end child labor in the carpet industry, while offering educational opportunities in weaving communities.
This exhibition coincides with New York’s Collective Design Fair, Frieze Art Fair and International Contemporary Furniture Fair.