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GRAEME BLACK (Scottish, b. 1967)

Longwood Study: Yorkshire, 2024

South African mohair and cotton

88" H x 59" W

Edition 1 of 3

Graeme Black designs chameleonic tapestries which transform wooded landscapes into interlocking, abstract surfaces. Entirely woven by hand from mohair and cotton, the fine details of tree bark and entwined branches are presented in captivating hues set off by plain sections of unadorned weave. Black spent much of his career working in fashion, a restless industry of seasons and speed; his attention to material, texture, and pattern garnered from clothing design propels his current practice, while his use of painting and woven textiles echoes the slowed-down tempo and natural cycles of the countryside. He typically begins with painting, outlining a charcoal sketch before employing palette knives to apply impasto dabs of oil paint. Certain compositional details from the paintings become the basis for his intricate tapestries, which are woven from hundreds of dye lots by a team of five or more master weavers. Production takes place at the Stephens Tapestry Studio, a workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, which blends historic Swedish techniques with artist-driven innovations to produce museum-grade pieces. These tapestries, as with all of Black’s works, are rooted in observation and close attention, honing in on incremental shifts in color, composition, and atmospheric conditions.

Black is an internationally-acclaimed fashion designer who has worked for major labels and designers including John Galliano, Zandra Rhodes, Giorgio Armani, and Salvatore Ferragamo. The artist’s works record his observations of the Upper Wensleydale landscape as seen from his studio set in a restored 18th century farmhouse in Yorkshire, U.K. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the U.K., Italy, and the United States. In 1989, Black graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art.

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