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BAGH (GARDEN)  /  TEXTILES FROM PUNJAB  /  April 20, 2006 – May 20, 2006  /

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Installation View, 2006

Bagh (Garden) Textiles from Punjab
April 20 – May 20, 2006
The Jack Shainman Gallery is proud to present a unique exhibition entitled Bagh (Garden) Textiles from Punjab.
The exhibition brings together a group of extraordinary samples of early 20th century Pulkhari Chadars, women’s cotton shawls embroidered with floss silk.
The geographical entity in the North-Western region of India and the east side of Pakistan called Punjab, (the land of five rivers), is an integral part of the common pool of Indian culture. Phulkari, meaning flower work, is a remarkable style of embroidery peculiar to Punjab, dating back to the 15th century, and it is an essential part of everyday life. Unlike other types of Indian textiles, the Pulkhari is essentially a domestic textile often made by a non-professional embroiderer for a social occasion in the family.  Almost every ceremony in which women participate involves the use of Phulkari, which are considered auspicious.
The process of the Phulkari weaving is slow and laborious, due to being so intricate and covering large surfaces, and it requires a great deal of experience and ability from the part of the weaver.  Phulkaris, often made with colorful and geometric patterns, are worked entirely from the reverse of the fabric, so that the embroiderer does not see the front while the pattern is being created.  The rigid geometry or Bagh pattern is produced by counting the thin threads on the reverse of the ground fabric.
This type of embroidery, which sometimes has the pattern appearance of a carpet, is usually done so that it is hard to distinguish between the left and right sides or the upward and downward sides. The patterns are not restricted or controlled, but bold, free and highly imaginative. No two Phulkaris are alike.
With the changes brought by the India/Pakistan Partition and the increased industrialization in the Twentieth Century, the art of Phulkari underwent a decline in production, due to the surge in interest in more fashionable, factory-made clothing over these laborious textiles.  The unique Phulkari samples presented in this exhibition belong to a rich period of great variety and quality, and are representative of the richness of this art.
Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. For additional information and photographic material please contact the gallery at
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