The Phaidon Folio

The 'Vitamin T' List: 113 Artists on the Cutting-Edge of Textile Art

The 'Vitamin T' List: 113 Artists on the Cutting-Edge of Textile Art
Mona Hatoum via New York Times

The latest iteration of Phaidon ’s iconic Vitamin series, Vitamin T: Threads and Textiles in Contemporary Art , takes up the very best of today’s work in fiber, a relatively recent inductee to the discursive pantheon. Textiles exist at the intersection of new and old world, bearing the twin distinctions of ancient history and untread, radical potential. Because of their long-entrenched association with craft, they have also been too often excluded from critical discussion and coverage, an oversight that inspired Phaidon’s multifarious, comprehensive approach to this list.

Vitamin T, published by Phaidon, is available on Artspace for $75 Vitamin T , published by Phaidon, is available on Artspace for $75

Over 100 preeminent art world insiders were tapped to nominate artists for this Vitamin compendium, including a variety of well-respected curators, writers, museum directors, and academics from all over the world. The result is a panoramic index of talent both emerging and established, a breadth that honors textile art’s relationship to the cultural forces that put it on the map in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Fiber carries in its substantive properties the revolutionary imprint of feminist, civil rights, and anti-war movements, a brand of tumultuous, experimental pliability that both defines and de-centralizes the legacy of textiles in fine art spaces. In her landmark essay “Grids,” critic Rosalind Krauss argues that the grid’s integral role in modern art is based in its ability to serve “not only as an emblem, but a myth,” one that can contain visual and conceptual contradictions simultaneously. It follows, then, that such a spatially expansive, manifold medium begins in the grid of warp and weft, the necessary skeletal structure of edgeless artistic expression.

Artist and writer Irene Waller dubbed textile art “sympathetic” in the late '70s, pointing out that “extremely abstract ideas find a smooth channel of communication” through materials “natural to man." The artistic ductility of yarn, string, and fabric is inextricable from their place in labor, specifically the labor expected of female, non-white, and non-western bodies, so that transmission of sympathy stems not from self-conscious institutional glamour, but a deeply human spirit of recognition. The Western concept of fiber art was heavily shaped by students of the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Germany, many of whom fled war-torn Europe for the United States and Great Britain, bringing with them a distinctly interdisciplinary, non-hierarchical philosophy. This context casts fiber art not as a point of arrival, but a tool for the dissemination of larger ideas, emotions, and social messaging.

Vitamin T, published by Phaidon, is available on Artspace for $7 Vitamin T , published by Phaidon, is available on Artspace for $7

Order the book now , keep an eye out for upcoming excerpts, and in the meantime, peak an exclusive first look at the 113 fiber artists included in the latest Vitamin edition.

Caroline Achaintre

Igshaan Adams

Nevin Aladağ

Olga de Amaral

Ghada Amer

El Anatsui

Evgeny Antufiev

Leonor Antunes

Polly Apfelbaum

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir


Tonico Lemos Auad

Lisa Anne Auerbach

Jonathan Baldock

Phyllida Barlow

Yto Barrada

Kevin Beasley

Mary Lee Bendolph

Sanford Biggers

Josh Blackwell

Cosima von Bonin

Paloma Bosquê

Geta Bratescu

Huguette Caland

Pia Camil

Barbara Chase-Riboud

Chiachio & Giannone

Sarah crow

Alexandre da Cunha

N. Dash

Cristiana de Marchi

Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel

Tracey Emin

Josh Faught

Christina Forrer

Terri Friedman

Orly Genger

Yann Gerstberger

Sam Gilliam

Nury González

Sheela Gowda

Kyungah Ham

Harmony Hammond

Channing Hansen

Mona Hatoum

Tamara Henderson

Nicholas Hlobo

Jim Hodges

Zon Ito

Takahiro Iwasaki

Sergej Jensen

Reena Saini

Kallat Kimsooja

Adrian Kiss

Abdoulaye Konaté

Teresa Lanceta

Ruth Laskey

Sarah Lucas

Eric N. Mack

Goshka Macuga

Turiya Magadlela

Ibrahim Mahama

Lavanya Mani

Britta Marakatt-Labba

Teresa Margolles

Annette Messager

Hana Miletić

Kazuko Miyamoto

Oscar Murillo

Senga Nengudi

Maria Nepomuceno

Ernesto Neto

Rivane Neuenschwander

Otobong Nkanga

Eko Nugroho

Katherine Nuñez & Issay Rodriguez

Füsun Onur

Sara Ouhaddou

Rosana Palazyan

Hardeep Pandhal

Zoë Paul

Sheila Pepe

Grayson Perry

Michael Raedecker

Jessica Rankin

Elaine Reichek

Faith Ringgold

Lara Schnitger

Tschabalala Self

Indre Šerpytyte

Yinka Shonibare MBE

Jakkai Siributr

Kiki Smith

Shinique Smith

Renee So

Valeska Soares

Do Ho Suh

Güneş Terkol

Aiko Tezuka

Rosemarie Trockel

Richard Tuttle

Cecilia Vicuña

Brent Wadden

Franz Erhard Walther

Pae White

Anne Wilson

Haegue Yang

Yin Xiuzhen

Paul Yore

Billie Zangewa

Andrea Zittel


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