Thursday, 14 July 2011

Mid-century textile art

Recently I saw this hanging on an office wall in a local synagogue when I was interviewing someone for a story. So I went about mixing business with my interest in textiles and asked to take a photo to share with you.
Daniel in the Lion's Den
by Kopel Gurwin, 1923-1990

I like the simple border of leaves and circles.

Here's what I found out about the artist:

Prominent Israeli artist, was born and educated in Vilna, Poland. Survived the Holocaust and imprisonment in concentration camps and later immigrated to Israel. Studied art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem. Felt tapestries were his creative medium of expression. He derived inspiration from the rich source of the bible, illustrating the many themes in warm and vivid colours incorporating the Hebrew script as an integral ornamental element.

Whether or not you like the subject matter, the colours are great and the shapes are so 1960s, right down to the stylized Hebrew letters. I like how the artist uses analagous colours in the lions (reds, oranges, even purple) and blues and grees in the central figure. The shapes are all made from felt -- it didn't feel like wool felt, but I didn't want to be too bold, and all the shapes are stitched on with a blanket stitch.

Here's a close up of the stitching and all the colours in the central figure.
Seeing this piece, which is about 60 by 60 inches, really made my day. there's so much to look at here. Google Kopel Gurwin to find a few more tapestries and some listings on eBay.


Kucki68 said...


Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

That is stunning!

Cheryl Lynch said...

Brenda - Thank you for introdusing me to the late Kopel Gurwin. I did some more research and wrote a blog too.

Brenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abby and Stephanie said...

Fabulous. The colors and shapes remind me of the zodiac signs.

PrairiePeasant said...

The work involved is just amazing! Thanks for sharing this.

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