MAGAZINE ARCHIVES : NATURAL LIVING

News16/06/2017

 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.

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 Chuun Chair, Christian Vivanco

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Favela chair, frères Campana

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Fallen tree, Benjamin Graindorge

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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.

5Miroir, Bleu nature

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Textile imprimé et projet de tapis, 2e mi 19e siècle, France

 

The 40′s

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.

 

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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

 

In France

Paris

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

 

Province

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

 

Abroad

Allemagne, Krefeld, Deutsches Textilmuseum, Stick bilder, jusqu’au 17 septembre Angleterre, V & A museum, Balenciaga, Shaping fashion, jusqu’au 18 février 2018

Belgique

Anvers, MOMU, Margiela, les années Hermès, jusqu’au 28 août

Bruxelles, muséee du costume et de la dentelle, Just married, jusqu’au 3 septembre

 

Italie

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

 

US

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

 

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVES : NATURAL LIVING



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