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Textile, Seismic (angular)

This is a Textile. It was designed by Seth Tillett and Nicole Rauscher and produced by TAR/Tillett and Rauscher Inc.. It is dated 2010 and we acquired it in 2011. Its medium is acrylic on cotton chintz and its technique is hand-pulled strié. It is a part of the Textiles department.

TAR/Tillett and Rauscher Inc., founded in 2006 by Seth Tillett and Nicole Rauscher, is an experimental textile hand-printing studio in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. Tillett worked extensively in film, dance, and theater as a dramaturge, set, and lighting designer, in addition to creating installations. In 2000, he met Rauscher, a dancer and choreographer, and the two began collaborating on installations and performances involving graphics and textiles.
Tillett comes from a long line of English calico printers and grew up in his parents’ studio on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. His parents, D. D. (Doris) and Leslie Tillett, of Tillett Fabrics Inc., produced custom textiles for Jackie Kennedy’s White House restoration, style icon Babe Paley, and other influential clients. The Tilletts were also artists and experimenters and developed a number of unique printing techniques, such as the drag box—a handmade tool for creating stripes and plaids without the use of a screen. In 2003, Rauscher apprenticed herself to D. D. and ran Tillett Fabrics. Even after co-founding TAR, Rauscher has continued to print Tillett Fabrics designs at the request of the company’s longstanding interior design clients.
Seismic (angular) was designed and produced by TAR in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. It was made using a notched rubber blade to hand pull the narrow stripes of deep blue across the bright blue cotton chintz ground. Working in tandem across the printing table, Tillett and Rauscher manually jerk the blade at regular intervals, creating a fabric with an architectonic feeling, and giving the illusion of three-dimensional vertical columns.
Tillett and Rauscher use a range of techniques so hand-intensive—and produce results so unique—that their practice calls into question the use of the term "printing," which implies fast and cheap repetition. By creating tools and techniques with which the design is created directly on the fabric, the pair actively seeks to create non-repeating, non-repeatable patterns that embrace spontaneity and chance.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Embracing spontaneity and chance.

This object was donated by TAR/Tillett and Rauscher Inc.. It is credited Gift of Tillett and Rauscher, Inc..

Its dimensions are

H x W: 274.3 x 111.8 cm (9 ft. x 44 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Seismic (angular); Designed by Seth Tillett (American, b. 1955), Nicole Rauscher (German, b. 1979); Produced by TAR/Tillett and Rauscher Inc. (United States); USA; acrylic on cotton chintz; H x W: 274.3 x 111.8 cm (9 ft. x 44 in.); Gift of Tillett and Rauscher, Inc.; 2011-33-2

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Seismic (angular) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 May 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>