Kaffe Fassett: 50 Years in Colour

Kaffe Fassett (amusingly, Wikipedia says it rhymes with ‘safe asset’) is a designer and artist well known for his work with textiles, and exuberant use of colour. I’ve come across his designs mostly for Rowan Yarns, but I didn’t realise what a diverse and prolific artist he is. This weekend I managed to catch the exhibition of his work at Aberdeen Art Gallery.

The opening exhibits included some of his earliest pieces.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Very First Cardigan, late 1960s, knit.

There’s just so much detail in his tapestries and needlepoint, and I love this idea of the same design in different formats.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Pink Ginger Jar, tapestry.
Ginger Jar, painting.

A classic Kaffe Fassett design.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Tumbling Blocks Bedcover, 1993, knit.

And the typical Kaffe Fassett jumper shape. I love the vibrant stripes on the right – they almost glow!
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Bright Diagonal Box Stripe Sweater, 1989, knit.
Ombre Stripe Sweater, knit.

The pieces were all organised by design theme, such as plants, flowers, animals, and various shapes.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition

The Squares section talks about how a basic shape becomes far more exciting when used in a complex way.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Overlapping Squares Cushion (Brown), 2005, needlepoint.
Overlapping Squares Cushion (Pastel), needlepoint.

My favourite section was Fruit & Foliage.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition

What a chair!
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Duck Egg Needlepoint Armchair, 1998, needlepoint.

And I just love these cushions – perfect for a garden bench!
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Cushion selection: Lettuce, Pak Choi, Beetroot, Artichoke, Aubergine, Leek, all needlepoint.

Over in the Faces & Animals section I was highly amused by this pre-Lolcats cushion.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Cat in a Ruff Cushion, 1995, needlepoint.

In the middle there were some samples that could be handled. I always find it interesting to see the back of knitting and embroidery.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition

Most of the exhibition was full of colour and warmth, so the Blue & White room was noticeably cooler and calmer. I really liked this display with painted and real ceramic together.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Pot Painted Screen, 1999, paint on canvas.
Cabbages Stoneware Vase, ceramic.
Bowl Cushion, 1987, needlepoint.

And this was one of my favourite quilts.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Shirt Stripe Boxes Quilt, 2001, patchwork.

Here are a few more of my favourites:

2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Circle of Stars Patchwork Quilt, 2010, patchwork.

I imagine this coat to be Gandalf’s casual wear.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Long Leaf Coat (Autumn), 1992, knit.
Swiss Chard Cushion, needlepoint.
Night Tree Cushion, 1987, needlepoint.

2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Ricebowls Quilt, patchwork.

2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition
Rosita Zigzag Quilt, 2013, patchwork.

A simple but effective exhibition – I really enjoyed it.
2014-09-27 Kaffe Fassett exhibition

The Aberdeen exhibition is over now, but there is a similar, bigger one in Bath, at the American Museum in Britain, which runs until 2nd November. Do visit if you get the chance!

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3 thoughts on “Kaffe Fassett: 50 Years in Colour

  1. What a wonderful review of the Aberdeen exhibition! I’m so glad you made it, and I will put a link to this post in the post I wrote that just mentioned it. Yes, he really has an amazing range of work, hasn’t he? Very inspiring, and freeing.

  2. Pingback: Aberdeen in September | Writing from Scotland

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