It’s Alive! Interweave Knits Spring 2019
The Impressionist art movement took place at a time of political change and unrest. It was mid-nineteenth century France, a war was in progress, and the Académie des Beaux-Arts was adhering to the standard of religious themes, portraits, and historical subjects. That is, until a handful of art students shook up everything by painting still lifes, landscapes, and everyday objects in a totally new, looser style. This new approach caused all sorts of strong reactions, both positive and negative, and eventually became one of the most significant art movements to date.
That’s generally the way art goes, no? Things are done the same way for a long time, shifting slowly as people learn from the great masters while trying to develop their own style, and then, unexpectedly, something comes along that turns everything that is familiar on its head. These sharp twists and turns in convention and standard would not happen without the slow shifting that happens in the interim, or without the attempts to replicate the greats in order to develop individual distinct styles. This process shapes our world so strongly, yet happen constantly in all areas of life, so it’s not obvious in the moment.
Art is a reaction to our world around us, and so, when our world seems to be in general chaos, we create art in order to make sense of it. This Spring 2019 issue of Interweave Knits was initially based on the art of the Impressionists, but the parallels seem to go much deeper than just appearance. Are we not in a time of political and cultural unrest in this moment? Are these not the times when we knitters reach for our needles and yarn? When most confused, seek out the guidance provided by our art.
The art of the Impressionists inspired 16 knitwear designers to create pieces that bring this style of art into the twenty-first century in a different medium: fiber. The speckled yarns and floral lace echo the colors and scenery of the Impressionists. The designs reflect our slowly shifting industry, with familiar silhouettes placed in new fabric contexts, incorporating both the classic and the trends of right now. And so, in the midst of all this craziness that doesn’t seem to make any sense, take the classics, add your own angle, and create some art.
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