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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)



late 20th century

Repetition is taken for a ride on these cloths. Each pattern starts off with small designs placed side by side, duplicated over and over. Along the way, however, interruptions keep leading the designs astray. Cubes start to pile up on each other, dots collide and lines refuse to stay straight. This unpredictable visual pattern is considered by many to be a major element of the African aesthetic-a flair for accents that offer a percussive rhythm to visual and musical traditions. Here, a definite attraction to breaking routine is explored in cloths that were worn as skirts in West Africa.
Resist-dyed cotton
41 5/8 in. (105.8 cm)
L.: 61 1/8 in.
Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company
Not currently on view

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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