LACMA presents exhibition on Central Asian ikats

Central Asian ikats will be on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from Feb. 3 to July 28. Photos provided by LACMA.

Central Asian ikats will be on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from Feb. 3 to July 28. Photos provided by LACMA.

LOS ANGELES — The often overlooked lands of Central Asia will take center stage at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Super Bowl Sunday as the iconic institution on Miracle Mile will present ‘Power of Pattern: Central Asian Ikats from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection.’ The exhibition of more than 60 Central Asian ikat robes and wall hangings will be on display at LACMA beginning Feb. 3 and will remain open to the public through July 28.

            The LACMA exhibition will feature the works of textile designers, dyers and weavers from the Central Asia region, which is west of India and China, north of the Middle East and east of Europe. All exhibits will be organized by motif and show the unique abstractions and improvisations of Central Asia’s textile industry.

            The displayed works belong entirely to the collection of Dr. David and Elizabeth Reisbord; Dr. David Reisbord is a neurologist and physician practicing in the San Fernando Valley.

            “Central Asian ikat textiles are a testament to the power of pattern and are influenced by the various cultures along the historic Silk Road,” LACMA’s publicity team said in a released statement about the exhibition. “Employing creative use of scale, proportion, and orientation, with hues that are compelling in their purposeful contrast, these luxury fabrics functioned as beacons of kaleidoscopic color that reflected the wealth and sophistication of its patrons.

            “During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the region experienced a renaissance in ikat, a technique where silk threads were bound and resist-dyed with a design before weaving into cloth,” the LACMA statement continued. “The results were vivid patterns with blurred, cloud-like juxtapositions of color, known locally as abrbandi (literally ‘cloud binding’). When worn on the body or decorating the home, these textiles resonated against the Central Asian landscape.”

            Central Asia, for those who aren’t familiar, is mostly home to countries of the former Soviet Empire: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

            LACMA described the Central Asia region as a “landlocked Eurasian ecoregion” and home to thousands of years of “active trade and conquest.”

            “Though ikat is an ancient textile tradition, 19th-century artisans from oasis towns experimented with textile patterns that recalled motifs that had become prevalent in daily life and nature and traditionally found in the decorative objects produced in the region,” LACMA staff stated.

            The Central Asia ikat exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and supported by The Jacqueline and Hoyt B. Leisure Costume and Textiles Fund. ‘Power of Pattern” was curated by Clarissa M. Esguerra, associate curator, Costume and Textiles.

            LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Visit for more information on hours and ticket pricing.