Margaret Howell Talks Bernat Klein, The Subject Of Her New Wigmore Street Exhibition

Margaret Howell knows good design. Her own, of course, but other people’s too – as evidenced by this, an exhibition of the work of Bernat Klein that the British designer will host in her Wigmore Street store. Originally born in Serbia and studying in both Jerusalem’s Bezalel School of Art and Britain’s Leeds University, Klein is perhaps best known for his work with fabric – introducing his woven cloth and knitting yarns made in the Scottish Borders to the design world, forging close links with fashion houses Chanel and Dior.

This exhibition, though, will concentrate on Klein’s paintings – bold slashes of colour and modernist shapes on canvas, inspired by the Scottish landscape that surrounded his Peter Womersley-designed home and studio. We asked Margaret why she chose to host the designer’s work – here’s what she said:

“I didn’t know about Bernat Klein and his work until we drove past his home on route to our knitting factories in Hawick. First the Brutalist concrete and glass studio, slightly derelict yet beautiful in its woodland setting. Then hidden behind, in contrast, a modernist linear house with its glass and brightly coloured panels. A striking sight in the rural Borders.”

“Bernat Klein was a colourist, a designer and a painter. He had a different take on some things that inspire me – Scottish landscape, light, tweed and wool – but I can sense his delight in the natural textures and tones that surrounded him here, and how he interpreted and heightened them, bringing a vibrancy and freshness to his fabric designs and traditional woollen tweeds.”

Paintings by Bernat Klein 1963 – 2013, will run until November 19th at  Margaret Howell, 34 Wigmore Street. The paintings displayed will be available for purchase at the Margaret Howell shop for the duration of the exhibition. 

Photograph courtesy of The Modern House

www.margarethowell.co.uk