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Guest artist - 2023 - Mako Artigas
Guest artist – 2023 – Mako Artigas

Mako Artigas (Tokyo, 1937) is one of those women who discreetly hide lives that are rich with stories, art and culture. She was an outstanding textile designer in Paris in the seventies and eighties, when her impressive creative power seduced internationally renowned firms producing both prêt-a-porter and haute couture, from Paco Rabanne to Nina Ricci or André Courrèges.
Here in this exhibition, the Caterina Roma Studio & Gallery is delighted to be showing a wide selection of her textile designs, and to pay homage to the work of the first great Japanese artist settled in Catalonia.

Many of Mako Artigas’s designs, especially those for haute couture, echo the aesthetic of the ancient Japanese katagami stencil textiles that the artist managed to rescue, along with other ancient family treasures. There are drawings using gouache, wax reserves, coloured inks and pastels on paper, and some of them have been transferred using traditional printing techniques such as katazome. The Japanese paper sheets contain delicate designs of original, geometric and abstract shapes that are widely inspired by nature, art, culture and architecture. As she has said in an interview: nous suivons notre inspiration et l’air du temps.

Mako Artigas has lived and breathed the world of textile design and printing from a very young age, since both her father’s family and her mother’s family have been in the textile industry for generations.
These roots and the artistic environment in which she developed allowed her to create a work full of nuances, steeped in tradition but also in step with the main avant-garde trends.
In parallel to this personal journey, Mako was introduced by Gardy Artigas to the world of Miró and other great avant-garde artists, from Chagall to Calder, by way of Giacometti and Hamada. And her stays in Gallifa, with its wood-fired kilns, also led Mako Artigas to become involved in the world of ceramics. That relationship brings us to the present day, and to the setting of this exhibition Tokyo – Paris – Barcelona.

It is clear that the delicate and evocative work of Mako Artigas has made a significant mark on textile design, but in this exhibition we are showing her original pieces on paper so that they can be viewed as true works of art: they are compositions that reflect a search for excellence in artisanal and artistic work. This show is also a homage to Mako Artigas, giving recognition to her as an artist, something that has been overshadowed by her work in the industry.
Caterina Roma

Mako Artigas per Ricard Bru (in Catalan)
Curator and texts: Ricard Bru
Design: Balbina Sardà
Staging: Marta Rastrollo
Archive images: Fundació Artigas
Photos: Iris Mir / Caterina Roma
Caterina Roma © 2024