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Alternative Culture


Luibov Popova Untitled Textile Design on William Morris Wallpaper for HM 2010 by David Mabb

The artist David Mabb has created an artwork especially for Historical Materialism. Titled: Luibov Popova Untitled Textile Design on William Morris wallpaper for HM 2010, the print is issued in a run of 100. Mabb’s picture is made by screen printing a textile design by Luibov Popova in red and black over a section of William Morris wallpapers including: Fruit, Willow Boughs, Trellis, Brier Rabbit, Medway and Daisy. As a consequence of the different wallpapers employed and the registration process each work will be unique. The prints measures 52.5 x 70 cm., and each one is signed and numbered by the artist. To see the image go to:

The artwork is available for purchase at the price of £75 (unframed, postage not included when applicable) and can be ordered by writing to or obtained directly at the 7th London Historical Materialism Conference: ‘Crisis and Critique’ (SOAS, London 11th-14th November).

We hope you will see this as an opportunity to acquire a fascinating artwork and to support HM.

Mabb regularly reworks the artistic imagery of Marxism to produce starting new configurations. In this print he combines William Morris’s hand-made natural imagery, with the abstract machine aesthetics of the Russian Constructivists. In their own time, Morris and Popova were thwarted by economic realities; Morris’s designs proved too expensive for the working people he wished to reach, while the fledgling USSR proved unable to support the transformation of everyday life envisaged by Popova and her fellow Constructivists. Mabb reanimates these remnants of Marxist history fusing the legacies in lively and beautiful images for our time.

David Mabb is a widely exhibited artist and Reader in Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. He regularly exhibits at the Leo Kamen Gallery, Toronto and in 2004 he curated William Morris “ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich” at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. Recent exhibitions include: The Decorating Business, Oakville Galleries, Ontario; The Hall of the Modern, The Economist, London; Morris in Jaipur: The work of Art in the Context of Hand-made Reproduction, Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur, part of Jaipur Heritage International Festival, touring to The British Council Gallery, New Delhi; Art into Everyday Life, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; and A Miniature Retrospective and Rhythm 69, Jugendstilsenteret/Kunstmuseet Kube, Alesund, Norway. He is exhibiting The Morris Kitsch Archive at Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts until December 2010.


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