Power of Pattern:

Central Asian Ikats from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection

February 3, 2019 – August 11, 2019

Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Over sixty Central Asian ikat robes and wall hangings from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection will be exhibited at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Curated by Clarissa M. Esguerra, Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles, the textiles on show will be organised by motif, and the exhibition examines how the region’s designers, dyers and weavers used improvisation and abstraction to create textiles unique to Central Asia.

Influenced by the various cultures along the historic Silk Road, the Central Asian ikat technique uses silk threads that are bound and resist-dyed with a design, before being woven into cloth. The resulting vivid patterns have blurred, cloud-like juxtapositions of colour, known locally as abrbandi (“cloud binding”). Whether worn on the body or used to decorate the home, these textiles resonated against the Central Asian landscape. Though ikat is an ancient textile tradition, during the 19th and early 20th centuries there was an ikat renaissance in Central Asia, as artisans from oasis towns experimented with motifs traditionally found on decorative objects produced locally.


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