As an interior design student, I became fascinated with the work of some of the best known mid 20th Century designers, Charles & Ray Eames and Robin & Lucienne Day amongst others. One designer who had escaped my attention was textile designer Tibor Reich, whose centenary exhibition is now showing at The Whitworth Gallery Manchester.
When I visited the exhibition, last week, I was amazed at how prolific and talented a designer Reich was but also how relatively unknown he was? As a Hungarian immigrant, Reich set up his mill in Stratford Upon Avon and began to introduce colour into the homes of post war Britain. Inspired by the colours of his National costume, his designs were produced in yellows, greens and even pink, which was a huge departure from the greys and browns, British homes had previously been decorated in.
As an avid photographer and artist, examples of this work are also on display, he was inspired by shapes and accents of nature. The influence for his most famous carpet design came from a photograph he had taken of the cracks in the dried earth and he went on to design for various important projects including the QE2, Concorde and The festival of Britain.
The exhibition includes textiles and examples of furniture upholstered in his fabrics, short films and photographs as well as personal tools of his trade and pottery he designed initially for his own home, but which became so popular it was later produced by Denby.
If you appreciate any form of mid 20th century design, this is a fantastic exhibition and insight into a truly talented designer.