Archie Brennan: Tapestry Goes Pop!

Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT

  • Fri, 26 March 2021 - Sat, 26 June 2021
  • 10-5
  • £9.50
  • Save to calendar 2021-03-26 00:00:00 2021-06-26 00:00:00 Europe/London Archie Brennan: Tapestry Goes Pop! Pop artist, weaver, bodybuilder and former Mr Scotland, Archie Brennan changed the course of modern weaving and is considered one of the greatest unrecognised pop artists of the twentieth century.  Unrecognised because he chose to work in tapestry.Archie Brennan: Tapestry Goes Pop! tells the story of Edinburgh native Archie Brennan (1931-2019) in the first-ever major retrospective of his work. Bringing together over 80 tapestries and works, in a thematic exhibition exploring 60 years of pro... Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT Chloe Nelkin
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Pop artist, weaver, bodybuilder and former Mr Scotland,
Archie Brennan changed the course of modern weaving and is considered one of
the greatest unrecognised pop artists of the twentieth century.  Unrecognised because he chose to work in
tapestry.

Archie Brennan: Tapestry Goes Pop! tells the story of Edinburgh native
Archie Brennan (1931-2019) in the first-ever major retrospective of his work.
Bringing together over 80 tapestries and works, in a thematic exhibition
exploring 60 years of prolific tapestry making, as well as archive material,
this is a chance to delve into the world of a master of modern tapestry.  A number of the works in the exhibition have
never been on public display.

Sharp, witty, and immensely talented, Brennan began his
60-year weaving career as an apprentice at Dovecot, before becoming Artistic
Director in 1963.  He was an innovator
and iconoclast who inspired weavers all over the world from Papua New Guinea to
Australia. He dedicated his life to teaching and his influence on weaving can
still be felt to this day.

What many don’t realise is that while Brennan was a leading
force in twentieth century tapestry, he was also a central, and largely
overlooked force in the development of Pop Art in Britain.  Through tapestry, an output more often
associated with stately homes, the court and monumental ecclesiastical works,
he explored the key concerns of pop - ephemera, popular imagery and culture,
and questions of value.  A fascinating
component of Brennan’s engagement with Pop Art is his interest in celebrity
culture and media representations of individuals.  Throughout his career he was drawn to public
figures such as Princess Diana, and boxer and activist Muhammad Ali. Often
Brennan used small images cut from newspapers and magazines or sketched from
the TV to translate pop culture imagery to tapestry.

One of the keystones of Brennan’s practice is the tension
between high and low art, throwaway culture and the time intensive process of
tapestry weaving.  Tapestry Goes Pop!
gives a unique insight into this undisputed master of modern tapestry
 

Exhibition co-curated with National Museums Scotland.


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