Four Petaled Flower II
Woven linen and steel rods
Overall: 87 1/2 × 85 1/4 × 1 1/4in. (222.3 × 216.5 × 3.2 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation
Rights and reproductions
© Lenore G. Tawney Foundation
Four Petaled Flower II is a large, thin, geometric woven textile, about 7 feet tall by 7 feet wide. It appears to hover nearly a foot in front of the wall, hanging from steel rods, which are barely visible when the work is viewed straight on. The entire work is dark grey and woven from linen, which gives it a fine nubby texture. The weaving has a delicate linear structure produced by the warp and weft, the perpendicular threads that intertwine to form solid cloth. The textile has a stubby cruciform shape, as if two rectangular panels cross at their middles. The title suggests the form might be an abstracted flower with four short petals. The horizontal weaving is wider than the vertical one, so it is not symmetrical.
At the center, where the two panels overlap, the textile is not solid; there are many closely spaced, long, vertical slits, produced during the weaving process, which creates thin gaps in the otherwise solid composition. Like the shape of the work, the placement of the slashed section is not symmetrical; it’s positioned closer to the top of the overlapped area than to the bottom. The border of solid weaving along the top and sides is nearly even, about 4 inches wide. But along the bottom it nearly triples in width, creating a larger solid section.
The top and bottom edges of both woven panels have short fringe about an inch or two long, which hangs down. Where the two textile panels overlap, there are ridged lines that delineate the work’s rectangular center.