Power of Pattern: Central Asian Ikats from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection

Resnick Pavilion
February 3, 2019–July 28, 2019
 Woman’s Ensemble, Central Asia, late 19th - early 20th century, Gift of David and Elizabeth Reisbord, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Central Asia’s textiles are rich with patterns influenced by the various cultures that traveled through or settled along the historic Silk Road. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the region experienced a renaissance in ikat, a technique where silk threads were bound and resist-dyed before weaving into cloth. The result were vivid textile patterns comprising blurred, cloud-like juxtapositions of color, called abrbandi (literally “cloud binding”). To create these distinctive textiles, artisans experimented with prevalent motifs in daily life and nature and distilled these shapes into compositions where color and contrast were emphasized. 

Power of Pattern showcases over 60 examples of visually dynamic Central Asian ikat robes and panels, generous gifts from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection. Organized by motif, the exhibition examines how the region’s textile designers, dyers, and weavers used improvisation and abstraction to create textiles truly unique to this region.

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This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

This exhibition is supported by The Jacqueline and Hoyt B. Leisure Costume and Textiles Fund.

All exhibitions at LACMA are underwritten by the LACMA Exhibition Fund. Major annual support is provided by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony and Lee Shaw, Kitzia and Richard Goodman, and Meredith and David Kaplan, with generous annual funding from Jerry and Kathleen Grundhofer, the Judy and Bernard Briskin Family Foundation, Louise and Brad Edgerton, Edgerton Foundation, Emily and Teddy Greenspan, Marilyn B. and Calvin B. Gross, Mary and Daniel James, David Lloyd and Kimberly Steward, Kelsey Lee Offield, David Schwartz Foundation, Inc., Andy Song, Lenore and Richard Wayne, and The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.

Image: Woman’s Ensemble, Central Asia, late 19th–early 20th century, gift of David and Elizabeth Reisbord, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA