Print, Pattern and Popular Art
House of Illustration, London
– 23 September 2018
The exhibition entitled “Enid Marx. Print, Pattern and Popular Art” is a major retrospective of the output and lifework of Enid Marx who lived from 1902 to 1998.
Alongside great names such as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, Enid Marx was one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Her designs are abstract and geometric and were in their time much in demand for various products and by different types of customer – ranging from the British armed services to the actress Gertrude Lawrence. “Enid was a brilliant pattern-maker with an eye for crisp design, a natural feel for and understanding of the importance of scale and a tremendous knowledge of many different printing techniques, ” according to the London-based painter and gallery owner, Alan Powers.
Enid Marx studied at London’s Royal College of Art in the 1920s, where she refused to replicate that “washed-out William Morris stuff”, and instead worked under her own signature style. Her rebellion caused her to be rejected to enroll in drawing courses and finally she was denied to graduate, a situation which guided her to textile design and thus led to her success.
On the twentieth anniversary of her death, over 150 works are being exhibited, drawn from public and private collections. Over a period of seventy years, Marx created various patterns for textiles, stationery, and other printed media including logos, packaging, and posters. She was one of the first women to be named “Royal Designer for Industry”, in recognition of her designs, and particularly the coverings on London Tube seats, which are still used today.