The chessboard motif in Moroccan carpets of the 20th + 21st century.
As if it had always been there, like an everlasting basic building block, the checkerboard pattern is found since prehistory in almost all cultures + continents. Very early for example in the Upper Paleolithic rock paintings in Lascaux (in the area of the back legs of the ‘big black cow’).
But it is not only present in the oldest preserved pictorial relics, but also appears again and again, for example in children’s drawings, so it is reinvented almost daily + interpreted in different forms.
Also in textile artifacts it is known from all parts of the world and the most different epochs of history, be it from ancient Egypt, South American early cultures, medieval China, Tibet or nomadic cultures in North America, the Orient, northern + sub-Saharan Africa.
The actually simple graphic basis, the crossing of two lines at right angles, creates an endless universe of possibilities + variations.
In a particularly diverse way, the chessboard motif can be found in Berber carpets, but also in Arabic areas in Morocco. The exhibition shows over 200m2 of examples from a period of more than 100 years, from 1900 to the beginning of the 21st century, from strict geometric arrangement and simple two-color, to playful variations and complete deconstruction in an exuberant frenzy of color.