Jan Kath

February 2017
For this newest collection, Heiter Bis Wolkig, Jan Kath was inspired by the works of the Baroque painters of the 16th and 17th centuries, bringing the sky to the living room floor. As Kath says, “Artists captured a piece of idealised sky in the domes of magnificent churches. The Dutch masters and their archaic sea battles in oil influenced this collection. Always in motion, clouds are impressive snapshots in time.” In Heiter Bis Wolkig, the featured weather conditions are as dramatically opulent as they are powerful; in the carpets, they have calming effect on eyes.
Yarns of wool, silk, and stinging nettles form a range of over 1,200 colours in Jan Kath’s carpet collections. The modern designs first take shape on computers in the creative centre in Bochum, in the Ruhr District of Germany. They are then sent electronically to Nepal, Thailand, India, or Morocco, to be made. Nevertheless, Kath relies on long-established production methods for the realisation of his ideas. Whether in the Himalayas, Agra, the ancient Mogul capital of India, or the Atlas mountains of Morocco, the carpets are handwoven in line with centuries-old traditions and at manufacturing sites that are often still run as small family businesses.
Jan Kath is an autodidact. The matrix for his innovative designs is formed by a deeply-rooted relationship to carpets, being from the third generation of a family of carpet dealers who have branches in the Ruhr District and Berlin. In order to find his own way, Kath travelled through Asia and the Middle East when he was 20 years old. With his interpretation of the contemporary carpet, Kath has developed an unmistakable signature that defines style. He is one of the most important carpet designers on the international stage today. His concepts have earned numerous accolades, including the Red Dot award and the Carpet Design Award. More and more of his work is also now appearing in museums and at events that showcase art and design, such as the Frankfurt Museum of Applied Art, the Beijing International Design Triennial, Art Museum Riga Bourse, and the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich.