Lillian Delevoryas

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Lillian Delevoryas
Born3 January 1932
Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, US
Died6 March 2018
Bristol, UK
OccupationArtist and designer
NationalityAmerican
EducationPratt Institute, Cooper Union, New York, US
Years active1956-2017
SpouseRobin Amis
ChildrenNicholas
Website
lilliandelevoryas.com

Lillian Grace Delevoryas (January 3, 1932 - March 6, 2018) was an American artist whose career spanned six decades. Trained in Fine Art, Calligraphy and Woodblock printing she initially achieved recognition during the 1970s for her pioneering work in appliqué and tapestry for the fashion and interior design industries. In the 1980s this recognition led to commissions for commercial applications over a range of consumer products, most notably pottery, textile and paper. Since the 1990s, Delevoryas returned to painting and continued to exhibit and promote her work. She lived in the UK since the early 1970s and was married to the writer and poet Robin Amis.

Early life, education and early career[edit]

Delevoryas was born in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts on January 3, 1932 to Greek immigrant parents. She studied at the Pratt Institute and the Cooper Union in New York, where she gained her B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art. After graduation she spent some time in Japan, where she studied calligraphy and wood block printing with Toshi Yoshida and Tomi Tokuriki (Tomikichirō Tokuriki). She also studied in France before settling in New York. Here, she created her earliest major works – the New York Studio Series – an exploration of structure and of light, both real and reflected. These early works explored naturistic and intimist art combining various influences including Matisse and Picasso, revealing a love of colour and the strong graphic sense which informed her work ever since.[1]

Fabric applique and tapestry[edit]

In the late 1960s, she turned from painting to textile art, and, at the suggestion of Kaffe Fassett and Judy Brittain of Vogue, she came to London, where she was commissioned to design tapestries for private homes and costumes for celebrities and pop stars.[2][3] Her work in fabric appliqué was featured widely, including in Vogue.[4]

In 1972, she married writer Robin Amis. The wedding dress she created was featured in Vogue magazine and latterly exhibited in the 2014 "Here Comes the Brides" Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.[5] It is now in the Museum's permanent collection as an example of the spirit of the times.

She and her husband moved to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, where they founded the Weatherall Workshops, creating tapestry and needlepoint pieces.[6] The work produced from their designs and stitched into tapestries won many awards and were exhibited widely, including the V & A Queens Jubilee exhibition, the Royal College of Art and ‘Threads of History’ at The Courtauld Institute of Art.[7][8]

Watercolour and design[edit]

Her time at Weatherall marked the beginning of her love affair with the English garden, whose profusion of colour reinforced her already strong love of pattern. The floral watercolours produced during this period quickly translated into designs.[9] This design work which covered a variety of applications were featured by Divertimenti, Burleigh Pottery and Habitat; she also created fabric designs for Designers Guild[10] and stationery products for Elgin Court.

Later years[edit]

In the 90s, she returned to her native Massachusetts, and during that period produced a series of landscapes inspired by the marshlands and tidal estuaries of the coastline.

From the mid-90s onwards she was increasingly influenced by the landscape and religious art of Greece as a result of her husband's frequent visits to Mount Athos. She was particularly interested in icons of the Eastern Church and subsequently devoted herself to learning the techniques of iconography.[11] This work eventually led to many paintings inspired by iconography and eventually the publication of her first book, Visual Contemplations,[12] the artist's visual meditation on the text The Life Of Moses[13] by St Gregory of Nyssa.

Delevoryas continued working into her eighties, and received attention in 2011 for her iPad paintings.[14] Her exhibition,[15] ‘Three Decades of Art’, was held at the Walton & Bovill Gallery, Suffolk, England, in the summer of 2016.

Death[edit]

Delevoryas died at her home in Bristol, U.K. on March 6, 2018.[16]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

USA[edit]

  • New York SIX Gallery, 1964-1966
  • Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York, 1965-1968
  • Royal Athena Gallery, New York, 1967
  • Churchill Gallery, Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1990
  • Maliotis Cultural Center, Hellenic College, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1991

UK[edit]

  • Liberty's of London, 1975
  • Gloucester Museum and Art Gallery 1976
  • Copernican Connection, E. Yorkshire, 1982
  • Gallery 10, London, 1985
  • Hellenic Centre, London, 2000
  • College of St. Mark and St. John, Plymouth, 2000
  • University of Exeter, 2001
  • Art Spaces, Totnes, 2009
  • Rostra & Rooksmore Gallery, Bath, 2011
  • Walton & Bovill Fine Art, 2016

Europe[edit]

  • Designers Guild, Paris, France, 1982
  • Amerika-Haus, Munich, Germany, 1985
  • Kinsthandlung, Hanfstaengl, Munich, Germany, 1985

Group exhibitions[edit]

USA[edit]

  • San Francisco Museum of Art, 1957
  • deYoung Museum, San Francisco, 1958
  • Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, 2000

UK[edit]

  • Revival of Art in Needlework, London, 1975
  • V & A Museum, Queen's Jubilee Exhibition, 1977
  • Royal College of Art, London, 1977
  • British Genius, London, 1977
  • Royal Academy Summer Show, 1978
  • Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, 2000
  • Print 86, The Barbican, London, 1986
  • Delamore Gallery, Cornwood, Devon, 2007-2008
  • V & A Museum ‘Here Come the Brides’ exhibition, 2014

Awards[edit]

  • Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in painting, New York, 1965
  • New York Art Directors Association Gold Award, 1977
  • Copley Society of Art – awarded Artist Member 1990

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arts Magazine September 1964 and February 1965
  2. ^ Chicago Times, July 26, 1971 http://www.chipublib.org/chicago-newspapers-on-microfilm/
  3. ^ London Fashion News, Autumn/Winter 1971/2
  4. ^ UK Vogue, Jan 1971 http://sighswhispers.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/journey-to-us.html
  5. ^ http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/07/here-comes-the-bride-in-flaming-red-two-centuries-of-colorful-wedding-dresses.html
  6. ^ http://www.vanillabeer.co.uk/2014/08/19/der-volksstuhl/
  7. ^ Illustrated London News Feb 1975
  8. ^ Needlepoint News March 1977
  9. ^ New York Times, October 13, 1994 ‘A Decorator’s Vision of the Handmade’
  10. ^ http://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/house-home/designers-guilds-new-collection-encompasses-the-complete-interior
  11. ^ Icon in the World. Resurgence, Issue 185 1997
  12. ^ ISBN 978-1-908326-84-3, published by Sansom & Co, 2015
  13. ^ ISBN 978-0060754648, published by HarperCollins, 2008
  14. ^ "iPad Artist", Bristol Evening Post, June 29, 2011 http://swns.com/news/artist-79-swaps-sketchbook-for-ipad-20281/
  15. ^ http://www.waltonandbovillfineart.co.uk/exhibitions/previous
  16. ^ http://lilliandelevoryas.com/obituary.html

External links[edit]