David Mabb, ‘Construct 29 Morris, Medway / Stepanova, Untitled textile design’, 2006, Nature Morte

About David Mabb

David Mabb’s paintings, photographs, textiles, and videos reflect on the ideological basis of the 19th-century designer and socialist William Morris’s wallpaper and fabric designs, contrasting them with the works of major modernist artists. Mabb paints formalist grids in which Morris’s schematized representations of nature are manipulated and spliced together with other decorative motifs and elements of artworks from Soviet-era artists such as Malevich, Rodchenko, and El Lissitzky, pointing to once-radical utopian experiments in design. Mabb’s Morris Kitsch Archive is composed of hundreds of photographs of domestic products imprinted with Morris’s designs, such as tea towels and rubber boots, suggesting the gulf that exists between Morris’s ideals and the capitalist appropriation of his work.

British, b. 1959, based in London, United Kingdom