Cotton, bark cloth, and dye (indigo or kola nut)
Overall: 89.5 x 125.7 cm (35 1/4 x 49 1/2 in.)
Gift of Robert and Elizabeth Soppelsa, in memory of the artist Gérard Santoni 2018.307
© Gérard Santoni
A painting by Santoni with a similar color palette of white, blue, and red appears on a 1987 stamp from Côte d'Ivoire.
Gérard Santoni drew inspiration from the strip-woven Baule textiles he grew up around in Côte d’Ivoire. Meant for wearing, these textiles were woven on narrow-band heddle looms. In contrast, Santoni used a wide Gobelin-style (French tapestry) loom to make this wall hanging, reflecting his art school training in Paris and Nice. He handcrafted some threads from bark cloth, and dyed cotton ones with indigo. In this serene abstract landscape, those latter threads recall Baule textiles and Ivorian waterways. The diagonal red dash echoes similar markings on Baule textiles, highlighting Santoni’s interest in color rather than symbolic or cultural meanings. He once said that “I break down the traditional weavings, ‘decompose’ them, and find something personal in their decomposition.”
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