The work of important British artist-designer Enid Marx (19021998) is celebrated with the first monograph on her work, written by Alan Powers, to coincide with a major exhibition he has co-curated at House of Illustration.
Enid Marx (19021998) was a leading artist and designer, collector and writer, who played an important role in British cultural life in the mid twentieth century. Associated with Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden in the outbreak of talent at the Royal College of Art in the 1920s, she excelled as a designer and printer of hand-blocked fabrics before branching into industrial woven patterns for London Underground and the wartime Utility Furniture Scheme.
After making a significant contribution to book illustration, she went on to design postage stamps and patterns for laminates, becoming a Royal Designer for Industry and an advocate for better design training and industrial patronage. In parallel, with her friend the historian Margaret Lambert, she formed a collection of Popular Art, which was bequeathed to Compton Verney in Warwickshire, where it is an increasingly popular attraction.
Enid Marx: Print, Pattern and Popular Art
, the first major exhibition for 40 years of work by Enid Marx is on display at House of Illustration 25 May 2018-23 September 2018. Over 150 works, many previously unseen, show her progression from hand-printed textiles to industrially-produced weaves including her 1930s seating pattern for London Transport. In his beautifully illustrated book, Enid Marx: The Pleasure of Pattern, Alan Powers has selected words and images from Marxs extensive archive to create a rounded picture of her distinctive achievement. High-quality reproductions of a wide variety of designs including textiles, woodcuts and book illustrations, illuminate Marxs versatility, high spirits and reconciliation of modernity and tradition through a rare gift for pattern making.
Alan Powers, who knew Enid Marx in her last decade, is a writer and teacher specialising in twentieth-century British art, architecture and design. His recent books include Curwen: Art and Print (2008), Eric Ravilious: Artist and Designer (Lund Humphries, 2013) and Edward Ardizzone: Artist and Illustrator (Lund Humphries, 2016) and 100 Years of Architecture (2016).