Power of Pattern: Central Asian Ikats from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection
The exhibition showcases more than 60 examples of visually dynamic Central Asian ikat robes and wall hangings. Organized by motif, Power of Pattern examines how the region's textile designers, dyers and weavers used improvisation and abstraction to create textiles unique to Central Asia. Central Asian ikat textiles are a testament to the power of pattern and are influenced by the various cultures along the historic Silk Road. Employing creative use of scale, proportion and orientation, with hues that are compelling in their purposeful contrast, these luxury fabrics functioned as beacons of kaleidoscopic color that reflected the wealth and sophistication of its patrons. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the region experienced a renaissance in ikat, a technique where silk threads were bound and resist-dyed with a design before weaving into cloth. The result were vivid patterns with blurred, cloud-like juxtapositions of color, known locally as abrbandi (literally "cloud binding"). When worn on the body or decorating the home, these textiles resonated against the Central Asian landscape.