Unknown, Woman's Robe (munisak), c.1875.
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, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan experienced a renaissance in creating distinctive textiles with the ikattechnique. Silk threads were bound and resist-dyed before weaving into cloth, resulting in cloud-like, blurred juxtapositions of color, called abrband(literally “cloud binding”). 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 40 examples of visually dynamic Central Asian ikatrobes and panels generously donated to LACMA from the Dr. David and Elizabeth ReisbordCollection, and examines how the region’s textile designers, dyers, and weavers used improvisation and abstraction to create textiles unique to this region.
(Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.)