THE VINTAGE FREE FORM COLLECTION, Moroccan Azilal Rugs
The most fascinating aspect of the Azilal style is the rhythm in the patterns, which place on display the extraordinary diversity of design and imagination of a people. Before there was modern expressionism, there was the symbolic tribal language of women able to chronicle their history in yarn on a loom. It is not that the Azilal seems to be a blend of modern and ancient — it is that modern art has been inspired by ancestral tribal expression. Living in the Western world, it might be easy to make that stretch, to imagine the women of the Azilal were inspired by Josef Albers and Paul Klee. But those with an interest in art history know better. The modern art masters were most moved by tribal art that was developed at the whim of the artisan, whose only instruction was the cultural traditions to which she belonged.