Minnie McLeish printed cotton panel, c.1920-1925
Rare 20th century textiles, like those from Fortuny, Charles Rennie McIntosh, and Minnie McLeish, have been soaring in value. Collectors of textile art realize these treasures cannot be reproduced because the old printing techniques require more hand work than is possible today.
The English freelance textile designer Minnie McLeish is best known for bold, painterly designs she produced in the early 20th century. Her innovative style remains fresh and relevant. The panel was produced for the firm of W. Foxton, Ltd., famous for interior design textiles by avant garde artists.
The panel is printed with exotic birds nestled in large-scale flowering branches. The vibrant color scheme includes shades of red, orange, yellow, purple, and green on a mottled blue ground. The inspired two- and three-hued coloring of birds and flowers recalls Claude Monet's technique of using short, "broken" brush strokes of pure color, not smoothly blended (as was customary), in order to achieve the effect of intense color vibration.
The exuberant Deco design is a celebration of color and graphic design. This masterwork from McLeish shows the influence of Fauvism (1905-1907), where vivid colors and simple flattened shapes were the dominant motifs. Fauvists ("wild beasts") like Henri Matisse and André Derain emphasized painterly qualities and strong color over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism.
The condition is excellent.
It measures 74" long by 34" wide.