In the early 1950s, Elenhank, the Chicago-based design team led by husband and wife Henry and Eleanor Kluck (and so-called as a portmanteau of their first names), began creating what they termed “random prints,” block-printed lengths of linen that could be arranged in various pattern configurations. The couple took commissions from their Chicago home, with Eleanor cutting the linoleum.
After much success, including a commission for the ticket counters at O'Hare Airport, Elenhank turned to the more efficient process of screen-printing, allowing them to take their vision of organicism in upholstery and drapery one step further with “mural prints,” horizontally-oriented landscapes which could serve as drapery or wallcovering and gave the effect of a mural.
From the early 1970s, the Klucks opted for increasingly abstract designs while maintaining versatility in interior decorating as well as connections to nature. Gradations uses five screens to create a bold pattern that is at once geometric and geological, suggesting mathematical rigidity, the shifting of tectonic plates, and even the tones of a sunset, moving slowly from goldenrod yellow to deep aubergine.
A length in shades of brown is in the collection of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (1985-84-22).