I-FOCUS ON ….
For several months a natural trend has been returning in design and decoration. This analysis is confirmed by the choice of Pantone to determine a yellow-green named greenery as colour of the year. The « Grand-Palais » in Paris, organized a beautiful exhibition about gardens. Therefore, we can speculate about this frenzy.
In our modern and urban society, people need to link up again with nature. Because the city cannot be moved to the countryside, the countryside gets brought into the house. Home becomes a microcosm where harmony with nature is re-established. In this context, objects (decoration, textiles, furniture, etc..) become the symbol of this new trend, which expresses itself in different ways.
Chuun Chair, Christian Vivanco
Favela chair, frères Campana
Fallen tree, Benjamin Graindorge
végétal chair, frères Campana
Firstly, we notice a rebirth of floral and vegetal patterns. Then, this return to nature goes hand in hand with an unconscious quest of authenticity with the use of natural and raw materials. Cotton, linen, hemp were embellished by a resurgence of textures, weaving structures…. Luxury by simplicity. The Natecru collection by Pierre Frey, launched in January 2017, matches this state of mind.
Miroir, Bleu nature
This quest of nature comes back regularly like groundswell in the decorative arts, throughout the centuries. It conveys values of freedom, harmony and balance. Each time, it answers an artistic or societal structured environment.
Go back in time and discover together the most beautiful « natural » pages of our History. From ancient times, nature was a source of inspiration for artists, as we can see on antique paintings and mosaics that depict animals and vegetation. This theme also illustrates the illumination of medieval manuscripts. Poussin, a French painter from the 17th century, places his antique scenes in an idealized landscapes.
The term «naturalism » appeared in the 19th century and was employed in relation to contemporary stylistic developments in French paintings which took nature as its model. Therefore, theses creations were crude and often depicted social reality, like Courbet’s paintings. Whether it be the decor of an action or a figured or abstract subject of a creation, like in Joan Mitchell’s paintings, the presence of nature is nearly always obvious.
Joan Mitchell, La grande vallée, 1983, coll. Part.
Concerning textiles, this recurrence is also significant. Take the time to analyze some of them.
Persian rugs from du 17th century
Several historians share the hypothesis that the rug was invented to imitate the thickness of animal furs. This is the first borrowing from nature. In the Arab- Muslim civilization this art grew following different iconographic orientations. Under the reign of Abbas Ist (1588-1629), in Persia, the decoration of rugs is composed of ogival lattices with fantastic flowers, directly connected to the notion of paradise associated with the garden.
This kind of production took the name of « vase rug » because of the presence of this element. The rug became the symbol of renewed life.
Painted project for rugs and carpet sample, Braquenié, 19th century
Naturalistic silks from the 18th century
In the first half of the 18th Century, a turning towards nature took place in textiles which can be interpreted as a liberation from the stiff pomp of classical fabrics, celebrating the person and the power of Louis XIV : symmetrical composition, over-scale pattern, gold and silver stylized elements. About 1720, naturalistic design appeared and depicted plants of all kinds, especially colourful flowers. The plants represented in these silk textiles, gigantic plants with thin stems, large blooms and leaves, are frequently not identifiable but the naturalistic manor in which they have been represented suggests a direct connection with natural models. Revel, nicknamed « silk Raphaël », was the most important artist of naturalistic silk. He created a lot of new styles on which flowers seem to fly in baroque composition. He also invented a specific weaving stitch, called « point berclé» which permits a subtle gradation and then, an amazing naturalistic relief.
Le Manach Lampas, 19th century and brocaded lampas 18th century, France
Toiles de Jouy
Historically, Toiles de Jouy were produced at Oberkampf’s factory in Jouy-en-Josas. Today, this term has become a generic term to define all monochrome printed fabrics, whatever their origin. They frequently depict bucolic scenes, called pastorals where animals and humans live in complete harmony in a peaceful nature.
Beyond their charming look, they are the pictorial expression of a philosophical movement, led by Rousseau who advocated a return to nature, conjuring up the idea of harmony in earthly existence. These printed fabrics, whose most famous were designed by Jean-Baptiste Huet, exalt the feeling of the original harmony. The so- called Hameau de la Reine, built by Robert Mique for Marie- Antoinette, between 1783 and 1786, in Versailles, is one of the most emblematic evidence of this trend.
Les occupations de la ferme, vers 1792 et L’escarpolette, vers 1785, toiles de coton imprimées à la plaque de cuivre, Manufacture Oberkampf, Jouy-en-Josas
Fabrics and rugs during the Second Empire (1852-1870)
During this period, the exuberant nature came back as a reaction to geometrical and stylized patterns from the first part of the 19th century. Plus, the crinoline dresses embellished with colorful opulent bouquets compensated for the austerity of masculine black garments. In Paris, Haussmann created avenues and parks in order to decrease insalubrity and improve the quality of air. In private mansions, a new room appeared, the winter garden. Nature gets into houses. Carpets and rugs widely borrow elements from nature.
Textile imprimé et projet de tapis, 2e mi 19e siècle, France
At the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs of 1936, geometric Art Deco was superseded by a more naturalist trend, heralded by architects creating works that integrated the surrounding landscape. Stylists drew their inspiration from the natural world around them. Flowers, a popular feature in Pierre Frey designs, were featured in a variety of different forms: in bud, in bloom, on the stem, cut, natural, or stylized. Such diverse treatments allowed decorators to place these floral motifs in a variety of very different interiors. After the difficult period of the war, artists would like to express peace and cheerfulness by colorful naturalistic patterns.
Painted drawings for fabric, Jean-Denis Malclès and Geneviève Prou,about 1940
All these examples demonstrate the necessity of nature which appears as a stimulated refuge and as a space of freedom. Therefore, its recurrence is not a surprise.
Each period is characterized by a specific treatment of nature. Then, we can easily date a flowered fabric. Textiles are totally connected to the society which created them. Then, a textile immediately delivers information to the historians who don’t have to neglect this source of knowledge. It is the witness of the societal disruptions and becomes a wealth to care for.
I- DIARY OF EXHIBITIONS
Grand Palais, Jardins, jusqu’au 24 juillet
Grille du jardin du Luxembourg, Jardins extraordinaires, jusqu’au 23 juillet Manufacture des Gobelins, Sièges en société, jusqu’au 24 septembre Musée d’art moderne, Medusa, bijoux et taboux, jusqu’au 5 novembre
Musée des arts décoratifs, Christian Dior, le couturier des rêves, à partir du 5 juillet Musée Bourdelle, L’œuvre au noir, jusqu’au 16 juillet
Musée de la vie romantique, Pierre Joseph Redouté, le pouvoir des fleurs, jusqu’au 1er octobre
Musée du quai Branly, Picasso primitif, jusqu’au 23 juillet
Calais, cité de la dentelle, Hubert de Givenchy, 15 juin au 31 décembre 2017
Lyon, musée des tissus de Lyon, le génie de la fabrique, jusqu’au 31 décembre 2017 Metz, Centre Pompidou, Jardin infini, de Giverny à l’Amazonie, jusqu’au 28 août
Mulhouse, MISE, Formes et couleurs dans les tissus imprimés du 18e siècle à nos jours, jusqu’au
1er octobre 2017
Pau, Musée du château de Pau, Trésors princiers, jusqu’au 9 juillet
Rixheim, musée du papier peint, tour d’horizon, paysage en papiers peints, jusqu’au 31 décembre 2017 et papiers peints du futur, jusqu’au 31 décembre 2018
Roubaix, La piscine, éloge de la couleur, jusqu’au 11 juin
Allemagne, Krefeld, Deutsches Textilmuseum, Stick bilder, jusqu’au 17 septembre Angleterre, V & A museum, Balenciaga, Shaping fashion, jusqu’au 18 février 2018
Anvers, MOMU, Margiela, les années Hermès, jusqu’au 28 août
Bruxelles, muséee du costume et de la dentelle, Just married, jusqu’au 3 septembre
Venise, Palazzo Mocenigo, Transformation, Six Swedish artists, jusqu’au 1er Octobre 2017
Prato, musée du textile, Il capriccio e la ragione, Eleganze del settecento europeo, jusqu’au 29 avril 2018
Suisse, Abbegg-stiftung, Material Traces – Conserving and Exploring Textiles, jusqu’au 12 Novembre
New-York, the MET, Rei Kawakubo, comme des garçons, jusqu’au 4 septembre
New-York, Cooper Hewitt museum, The Jazz Age : American style in the 1920s, jusqu’au 20 août Washington, the textile museum, Inspiring Beauty : 50 years of Ebony fashion fair, jusqu’au 24 juillet