Gunila Axén – Fashion, patterns and water hoses @ Rian designmuseum

Gunila Axén – Fashion, patterns and water hoses
25 May– 25 August 2024

To describe Gunila Axén as a piece of Swedish design history is no exaggeration. For over 60 years, she has been active both as an illustrator, textile designer, clothing designer and entrepreneur. Among other things, she helped start the design collective 10-gruppen and had a key role in the establishment of Polarn O. Pyret in the 1970s.

Many of Gunila Axén’s designs have achieved almost iconic status. With her own company Axén & Co, Gunila Axén created clothes for women in her career before eventually becoming a professor of textile design at Konstfack 1995–2004. In the exhibition Gunila Axén – Between patterns and water hoses, we get to take part in Gunila Axén’s multifaceted career.

From the catalog for Polarn & Pyret from 1976. At the top left, Gunila Axén herself can be seen, who between the years 1974–84 was involved in developing the company’s basic collections and developed the stripe that today has become synonymous with the company.

Gunila Axén, Clouds, fabric pattern for KF Interiör, 1966: Clouds were first printed for KF Interiör in 1967 to be reprinted by Färg & Form 2000.

Gunila Axén, Creation, fabric pattern for Röhsska museum, 2007: The pattern Creation is about the first summer on Gotland when Gunila goes around watering her garden so much that it starts to grow out of the hose.

Illustration depicting a blue checked suit from Dior by Gunila Axén for Dagens Nyheter, 1967. For Dagens Nyheter she was a fashion illustrator 1966–1974.

From a catalog from 1988 for Axén & Co who made clothes for women in their career between 1984–1999. In the picture, Gunila Axén and Anna Karin During select fabrics for the upcoming collection.



Top image: Gunila Axén, photo Karin Björkquist


Skepparesträtet 2, 311 74 Falkenberg
0346-88 61 25

Rian’s opening hours
29 April – 24 May 2024
Closed due to change of exhibitions.

25 May – 30 June
Wednesday–Sunday at 12.00–16.00
Closed June 21–22 (midsummer)
Open June 6 at 11 a.m.–3 p.m

1 – 31 July
Tuesday–Sunday at 11.00–16.00
Open 3/7, 17/7 and 31/7 at 11 a.m.–7 p.m

1 – 25 August
Wednesday–Sunday at 12.00–16.00