From Tapestry to Fiber Art: The Lausanne Biennals 1962 to 1995
The historical and artistic development of the Lausanne Biennials illustrated with more than a hundred works and views of rooms, most of them unpublished. At the end of World War II, the art of tapestry experienced a new boom and throughout Europe national workshops and factories lived a renewal. By organizing the International Tapestry Biennials in 1962, the city of Lausanne (Switzerland) became the international showcase of contemporary textile creation. Held in the halls of the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, the Lausanne Biennials gradually became more than just an exhibition. They had become a not-to-be-missed event that bore witness to the extraordinary evolution of an artistic expression that had graduated from the status of a decorative art to that of a truly independent art. And thus, for thirty years, thanks to the Tapestry Biennials, Lausanne came to be recognised as the capital of contemporary textile art and the laboratory of the New Tapestry movement. Illustrated with more than a hundred works and views of rooms, most of them unpublished, it testifies to the impact and vitality of these exhibitions – 16 editions, more than 600 artists from all over the world, 911 works exhibited – and their impact abroad. The historical research carried out by the Toms Pauli Foundation, heir to the International Center for Ancient and Modern Tapestry, is enriched in by the essays of specialists from four countries with a textile tradition: France, Poland, the United States and Japan.