The Textile Artworks Of The Years Have Entered The Chat

AB Märta Måås-Fjetterström, Marie-Louise Ekman, Untitled, 2002, 202 x 158 cm, selling as lot 325A on 24 Apr 2024 at Bukowski’s Stockholm

In 2001, textilemakers to the King, AB Märta Måås-Fjetterström inaugurated an Art Council to select an artist who would be invited to make the Textile Artwork of The Year. Between 2002 and 2014 (sorry, 2011 and 2013!) MMF managed to make eleven Textile Artworks of The Year . Though some years, as we will soon see, also have an artist’s proof, most of the Textile Artworks of The Year seem to be unique.

The inaugural TAwOTY in 2002, above, was made by provocative Swedish painter, filmmaker, and theater artist Marie Louise Ekman. Her textile depicts a female-coded figure breastfeeding a hovering infant through a full-body costume not unlike those Ekman designed for a 1987 ballet. As it happens, this TAwOTY is being sold at Bukowski’s, which is now the Swedish node in the Bonham’s network. The listing for Ekman’s textile includes all of the artists invited to create a TAwOTY, and notes that most of them are in prestigious public, institutional, and private collections.

In 2009, the 90th anniversary of the MMF studio, the TAwOTY was created by HM Artist/Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, whose artistic practice has been discussed here previously. Titled Kustlandskap [Coastal Landscape], it appears to be an aerial view, perhaps invented, or perhaps of a beloved fjord. 2009 was around the time Margrethe was also working on her film adaptation of De Wilde Svaner, so perhaps this is a prince-turned-swan’s-eye view. This textile’s dimensions and present whereabouts are unknown, but tbh it looks about as big as a doormat.

Olafur Eliasson & AB MMF, The Green Glass Carpet, 2010 Ed. 1+1AP, 200 x 300 cm, being sold as Lot 8 on 25 Apr 2024 at Bonham’s London

The next artist after Her Majesty was Olafur Eliasson. The Green Glass Carpet was produced as Ed. 1 + 1 AP. This is the Ed. 1/1, and it hung in the London outpost of Aquavit until that restaurant closed last fall. The New York connection goes deeper, though. The Green Glass Carpet is based on a photo of The Inner Kaleidoscope (2000) as it was installed in 2000 at Bonakdar Jancou (now Tanya Bonakdar Gallery) in Chelsea.

Olafur Eliasson, The Inner Kaleidoscope, 2000, installed at Bonakdar Jancou in 2000, photo: Oren Slor via olafureliasson.net

The Green Glass Carpet has dislodged Fog Couch (2018) as one of my top three faorite textile works Olafur has made so far, after the geometric lap blanket he made for NetJets Europe and the multidimensional prayer mats of waffle-knitted grey Icelandic sheep wool he made for Grace Farms in Connecticut. Amazingly it, too, is being sold next week by the Bonham’s network. I am not sure whether I will be bidding.

[update: both Textile Artworks of The Years have gone unsold.]