Add to, Take Away: Artistry and Innovation in African Textiles

November 8, 2014 to November 29, 2015 | Level 3

“Add to” and “take away” refer to basic techniques African textile artists use to decorate cloth. “Add to” techniques include embroidery and appliqué. “Take away” refers to the removal of threads from cloth to create intricate patterns. Decorated cloth is often a powerful expressive medium in African life, a kind of visual language that can be read by those familiar with it. This installation of cloths drawn primarily from the DMA’s collection explores these techniques as they have been—and still are—practiced in Mali, Republic of Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. “Add to” and “take away” refer to basic techniques African textile artists use to decorate cloth. “Add to” techniques include embroidery and appliqué. “Take away” refers to the removal of threads from cloth to create intricate patterns. Decorated cloth is often a powerful expressive medium in African life, a kind of visual language that can be read by those familiar with it. This installation of cloths, drawn primarily from the DMA’s acclaimed collection of African art, explores these techniques as they have been—and still are—practiced in Mali, Republic of Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. 

Admission is FREE

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Hali Magazine
Architectural Digest