Leonard Pollikof – New York Times 1977

Excerpt from NY Times Home Beat, July 28 1977



“IF YOU’RE going to give me an expensive gift,” said Leonard Pollikof, the Los Angeles interior designer, “give, me a painting.” He prefers a Johns or a Rauschenberg. It was his interest in contemporary art that led to the creation of “Dropcloth,” his first line of handpainted fabrics. It is being sold to the trade locally through Groundworks, Pat Green’s wallpaper and fabric showroom at 231 East 58th Street.

“Dropcloth” seems so logical‐painterly brush strokes on canvas (actually it’s cotton sateen that looks like canvas because it’s unbleached). Each of the seven patterns is painted freehand, instead of being mechanically repeated.

Mr. Pollikof, who has designed homes for young movie people such as Robert Fryer, Brenda Vaccaro and Michael Douglas, said the fabric was a happy accident. He was designing a home for someone who wanted “a Gauguin look on a budget.” “I always have these $1.95 jobs,” Mr. Pollikof said. So he bought four Gauguin prints from a museum and studied the fabrics in the pictures. Then he bought some canvas and started painting stripes with the same feeling. Before long, he had ordrs from Michael Taylor, the West Ooast designer. As business improved, he moved his paints first to the garage and then to a rented factory. Now he has two employees assisting him, but the fabrics are still painted by, hand (with acrylic paints).

Each pattern in the line repeats one kind of stroke‐short dashes, long dashes, wide strokes back and forth, narrow strokes, and one blob‐withspatter pattern that owes something to Sam Francis or Jackson Pollock. There is no fixed repeat, and the pattern, unlike a machine print or a silkscreen, has variances that attest to its hand‐paintedness. Since it’s all painted to order, colors can be selected by the client. List prices per yard range from $27 to $33.

Mr. Pollikof Is so elated by his success that he plans to give up his decorating practice, open an atelier, and devote himself full time to manufacturing fabric and furniture.