textile by Stellen Mörner, Swedish surrealist

A curtain originally designed for the city theater (stadsteater) in Halmstad, Sweden.

Morner curtain
Stadsteater Curtain

This design is called “Comedin Går” (or, “The Show Goes On”). Like Sven Markeliius’ textile, Pythagoras, from 1952, this one plays with the dynamic graphic qualities of the triangle. The original textile seems to be finding new appreciation: here is a new sofa, upholstered in a reprinted version of this fabric, shown below:

http://bemz.com/inspiration/bemz-design-partners/stellan-morner/

Morner fabric from BemzCropped Morner triangles copy

It is unclear if the new fabric has been recolored, or if the old curtain has faded, (or if this is just different color rendering) but the updated fabric certainly appears to have stronger blues and purples. It is interesting to compare the two.

The description of the pattern given here, “different colors of angular prisms which intersect and interlock in one stunning abstract dream,” is very apt. The designer was Stellen Mörner, a Swedish surrealist painter, who drew on memories of growing up in a local manor house, and who also painted mildly surrealistic evocations of Swedish summers (like this lithograph recently auctioned by the Halmstads Auktionskammare:

hd_item_390038_c2325cad1a

The curtain textile was hand printed on cotton velveteen by Erik Ljundbergs for the NK (Nordiska Kompaniet department store) textile studio run by Agnes Sampe. At first I had thought it might have been woven, and I wondered by whom, but then I found confirmation (at Cora Ginsberg, NYC textile gallery) that it was printed.

As well as a painter, Mörner was also a prominent mid-century set designer who designed sets—often in a surrealist vein—for Swedish productions from 1946 for about 20 years. The Halmstad theater seems to be currently looking for a new good place to display this handsome original curtain, which was originally put up in 1954, but taken down in 2008 as not being adequately fire-safe.

Sources:

Eronn, Gisela,  Tidlösa Monster – Textilkonst från 1950-talet, Norstedts, Stockholm, 2009.

Cora Ginsberg, 2013 online catalog

Halmstads Auktionskammare via Auctionet, Stellen Mörner colored lithograph sold 2-21-16.

http://www.halmstadsteater.se/

Please reference as follows:

Whidden, Anne, “textile by Stellen Mörner, Swedish surrealist” theswedishrugblog (February 23, 2016);http:// theswedishrugblog.wordpress.com; accessed (month/day/year)

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