Josef Frank’s, life could be wonderfully characterized as on always in motion. Moving with ease from architecture and furniture design to glassware, lighting and metalwork–his was an eclecticism fueled by curiosity. and nothing captures this roaming imagination better than his textiles…celebratory and vibrant, they redefined Swedish modernism.
Producing over 200 patterns between 1909 and 1950, Franks’s designs defied contemporary sensibilities by offering a welcome contrast to the linear, grid-like restrictions that defined modernism, the Bauhaus and others. “Every human needs a certain degree of sentimentality to feel free,” Frank said… “Away with the universal styles, away with the equalization of industry and art.” And therein lies his magic–patterns that are almost architectural in their generous scale, that show an affection for craft and reconcile seemingly disparate historic traditions and modern invention.
Culled from the archives at Stockholm’s Svenskt Tenn, the creative “home” of Frank from 1933 almost continually until his death in 1967, the 9 patterns Brunschwig brings to America capture the Frank vision at its brightest. The shaded lines and dots of Dixieland vibrate and move…the almost unrecognizable repeat of Hawaii leaves us with a wonderful freeform aesthetic. All invite emotion, inspire comfort and a freedom of use Frank described best: “The home does not have to be planned out in detail, just put together by pieces its inhabitants love.”