It was in a foundations course at London’s Ravensbourne College of Art and Design that Chip Dort first heard described what he calls the leit-motif of his career as an artist. “My professors called it dash. They said I had too much ‘dash’ to be a painter,” he recalls. Four art schools later, culminating in a master’s degree from Yale, Dort touched down in New York City, determined to paint. The Massachusetts native supported himself—and his pas- sion for the decorative arts—by working with Amy Perlin and John Rosselli, two of the city’s legendary antiquarians. His were restless hands, and so in the margins, he needlepointed, made drawings and silkscreens, and continued the block printing he has done since childhood. “When I was 10 years old, I carved a coronet into a carrot and used it to stamp all of my books,” he says.
Today, Dort has traded the carrots for linoleum blocks, which he hand-carves to make gutsy, colorful block-printed linens for Drusus Tabor, the company he playfully named in a nod to the British predilection for Roman first names during the Victorian era. A new collection with Schumacher taps into the decorative arts influences archived in his brain. “I invariably realize that my doodles and drawings are abstractions or interpretations influenced by architecture, Chinese art, carvings, frescoes, and embroideries,” he says. The 1960s, when Dort’s aesthetic was formed, shows up in spirit: There’s the Warholian move of multiples and repetition, and the parameters of Sol LeWitt’s grid. “I love the era of the Supremes and Dusty Springfield, Twiggy glamour, big hair, dangling earrings, and Roger Vivier shoes,” he says. In other words, Dort loves a bit of dash.
Shop the Story
Dagger Stripe Fabric in Red on Pink by Drusus Tabor for Schumacher
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Trickledown 16" Pillow in Natural by Drusus Tabor for Schumacher
Venetian Zig Zag Block Print Fabric in Black on Blue by Drusus Tabor for Schumacher
$132 per yard, chairish.com
Theodore Lamp by Stephen Antonson
Price upon request, theinvisiblecollection.com
Paisley Peas Wallpaper in Green by Drusus Tabor for Schumacher
$162 per roll, chairish.com
Hexagonal Tumblers by KRB
$300 for a set of four, krbnyc.com
THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN VOLUME 10 OF FREDERIC MAGAZINE. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE!