• roc Social
  • NY

Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia

Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia. This exhibition brings to the United States, for the first time, one of the most important private collections of Afghan war rugs in the world. The artists who wove them, mostly women, abandoned their traditional nonfigurative styles to produce rich pictorial images that recount a more current cultural story. Maps, weapons, army tanks, and portraits of kings, khans, and military leaders are among the new motifs that began appearing in otherwise traditional carpets in the 1970s and proliferated after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and again following the post-September 11 intervention by the United States.The 45 rugs in the show were selected for their exceptional quality, rarity, and content. They can be enjoyed as both avant-garde textiles and as decorative works reflecting the modernization of tradition over 1,000 years old. The wealth of associations these rugs have with history, politics, culture, religion, and the increasing globalization of world trade offer myriad possibilities for interpretation. They represent an encounter of a timeless aesthetic tradition with the violent reality of contemporary central Asia.This exhibition is offered concurrently with War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Renewal by Binh Danh and Robert Schultz.