Who? Since 1999, Swedish painter and collage artist Calle Henzel has been translating his artistic knowledge into the practice of rug making. His luxury handmade rug brand Henzel Studio has now teamed up with some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists to create a collection of unique rugs and pillows. Produced in collaboration with leading creative figures including Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Scott Campbell, Juergen Teller, Robert Knoke, Helmut Lang, Richard Phillips, Anselm Reyle and Tom of Finland, the project is the result of a groundbreaking mixture of extraordinary artisan practices and cutting-edge fine art.
What? Launched to coincide with Art Paris, Henzel Studio Collaborations’ new exhibition of limited edition art rugs and pillows is now being showcased at Colette Gallery in Paris. Created using a variety of media – from hand-knotted wool to digitally printed canvas and photo montage – the collection of bespoke pieces made by hand in Nepal is a marriage between breakthrough technologies, fine artisanal production, top-quality materials and exclusive designs. Among the artwork on display are Himalayan wool and silk rugs inspired by Tom of Finland's iconic 1978 portrait of a policeman and Juergen Teller’s famous nude shot of Vivienne Westwood, as well as a series of butt pillows designed by artist duo Assume Vivid Astro Focus.
Why? Henzel Studio’s new initiative is a cross-discipline collaboration that surpasses the boundaries between craftsmanship, art and interior designs. Although art rugs have been popular in the past – Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse have all used the medium at some point in their work – as curator Joakim Andreasson explains, “rather than look back, the collection looks to encapsulate facets of contemporary art and work with a curated group of artists that simultaneously express their ethos within a broad yet defined scope, and having twelve leading contemporary artists collaborate in this capacity makes Henzel Studio Collaborations an unprecedented program.”