Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Art | Bodys Isek Kingelez: Extreme Model World

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Africanisch (detail), 1994
Paper, paperboard, plastic,
various other materials
Private collection
Photo Kleinefenn



Bodys Isek Kingelez:
City Dreams
Museum of Modern Art
New York | USA
26 May 2018 > 1 January 2019



Bodys Isek Kingelez
in Kinshasa, 1990
Photo André Magnin,
courtesy André Magnin



The idea of 21st-century visionaries creating buildings and even whole cities from recycled materials doesn’t seem that strange. In remote Kinshasa however, in 1978, when artist Bodys Isek Kingelez started to make his ‘extreme models’ or ‘extreme maquettes,’ of buildings out of found materials, such as bottle caps, commercial packaging and plastic, the Belgians and French who worked at the National Museum, staggering in confusion and disbelief, accused him of having stolen his technique. Soon after the Museum gave him a job as a restorer and ‘banned’ him from making sculpture.

But Kingelez persevered and although in the early 1980s, he had still never seen any city other than Kinshasa, ‘not even in photos’, the intricately-constructed models he was making began to develop into his vision of a world that he believed could be built and lived in, in the present, or in the future, and represented his hopes of renewal in a de-colonised Africa. ‘I wanted my art to serve the community that is being reborn to create a new world,’ he would say later, his Utopia still to materialise, ‘I created these cities so there would be lasting peace, justice and universal freedom. They will function like small secular states with their own political structure, and will not need policemen or an army.’

Ville de Sète 3009, 2000
Collection Musée International
des Arts Modestes, Sète, France
© Pierre Schwartz ADAGP,
courtesy MIAM



Nippon Tower, 2005
Courtesy Aeroplastics
Contemporary, Brussels
Photo Vincent Everarts



Belle Hollandaise, 1991
Collection Groninger Museum
Photo Marten de Leeuw



Plagued by poverty, mistrust in the country’s banks and a deepening economic crisis Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (previously the Belgian Congo, briefly called Zaire), where bumper to bumper traffic clogs the city while the outskirts are without either roads or electricity, has become one of the world’s worst megacities. Perhaps if its authorities and decision-makers had aligned themselves with Kingelez’s way of thinking, things might have turned out somewhat differently. Referring to himself as a designer, an architect, a sculptor, engineer, [and] artist’, he regarded his work as ‘an irrefutable contribution to life and science’, but remained forever conscious that in Africa, art was new and not yet properly understood and that political leaders were wary of it and unable to grasp its importance.

Kinshasa la Belle (detail), 1991
CAAC – The Pigozzi
Collection, Geneva
© Bodys Isek Kingelez
Photo Maurice Aeschimann,
courtesy CAAC



Having been invited to exhibit at Jean Pigozzi’s Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC) in Paris, by 1989, Bodys Isek Kingelez (b Jean Baptiste, 1948) was catapulted to global acclaim. His work has since been featured in numerous international exhibitions and is included in the private collections of both Pigozzi and Agnes B, among others. In 1992 he began assembling entire cities with numerous buildings, avenues, parks, stadiums and monuments and, when his first large-scale imaginary city, Kimbembele Ihunga – named after the village in which he was born and brought up – was shown there in 1995, Kingelez created an homage to Jean Nouvel, architect of the Fondation Cartier building in Paris.

This month over 30 of the 3000 models Kingelez constructed during the course of his career, which ended with his death in 2015, go on show in Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

All works by Bodys Isek Kingelez, made from paper, cardboard, plastic and various other materials. All images courtesy MoMA


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Architecture | Wagner: Grandfather of Post-Modernism

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Wiener Werkstätte,
postcard no. 251
with portrait of Otto
Wagner, Vienna, 1911
© MAK



Post Otto Wagner
From Postal Savings
Bank to Post-Modernism
MAK
Vienna | Austria
30 May > 30 September 2018



Viennese architect, Otto Wagner (1841 > 1918) is lauded by many as the father of modernism but he was also – perhaps unwittingly – the grandfather of post-modernism.

In 1894, already in his fifties and having led a cosy and respectable life, Wagner was appointed Professor of architecture at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, whereupon he denounced all stylistic imitation as false and inappropriate and became transformed into an outspoken advocate of modern architecture. That same year, however, his bark less than his bite, he designed the first few of Vienna’s elevated and underground railways stations which, although they were an extraordinary feat of logical functionalism and state-of-the-art technology, were executed in conventional neo-renaissance and neo-baroque styles. Possibly under the influence of his former pupils, Josef Hoffmann and Josef Maria Olbrich, both of whom worked for him for several years, Wagner’s approach changed drastically for later stations that featured decorative elements reflecting the secessionist spirit of jugendstil or art nouveau. In 1898 he formally joined the Vienna Secession, remaining a member until 1905.

Grand Banking Hall,
Imperial Royal
Austrian Postal
Savings Bank,
(1904 > 1906),
Vienna, Austria



Warm-air blower,
Imperial Royal
Austrian Postal
Savings Bank,
Vienna, Austria



Linear, smooth and crisp in design, its marble facings on the external walls secured by simple aluminium fastenings, with exposed metal and glass featuring on the inside, Vienna’s Imperial Royal Austrian Postal Savings Bank (1904 > 1906) is regarded as Otto Wagner’s masterpiece. Superficially, it appears as purely functional as the younger, German architect Peter BehrensAEG Turbine Factory building, erected shortly afterwards in Berlin, but Wagner, by now in his 70s, hadn’t felt able to banish decoration and historical reference entirely from his design.

Imperial Royal
Postal Savings Office,
Vienna. From Some
sketches, drafts and
executed projects,
Otto Wagner, 1906



After a long and influential career, Wagner died in 1918. The pure and unadorned modernist aesthetic, devoid of historical reference, which Wagner had flirted with but never quite come to terms with, would come to dominate international architecture after the publication of Le Corbusier’s Vers Une Architecture, in 1923, and thereafter would go unchallenged for almost 30 years. In the 1950s, however, American architect Robert Venturi (b 1925) – later dubbed father of post-modernism – and similarly-minded others began to criticise it as blithely functionalist and symbolically vacuous. Their ideas began to circulate and would develop into a global movement. However, despite the name that came to identify it, and its implicit threat of burying modernism in its shadow, and although it would eventually metamorphose and mutate into the multi-faceted architecture of today, early post-modernism, characterised by a mix of architectural elements extracted from previous centuries of building, with its decorative facades and simplified ornamental forms suggesting symbolic value, marked a return to Otto Wagner’s late 19th-century and early 20th century somewhat muddled, pre-modern approach to design.

Post Otto Wagner: From the Postal Savings Bank to Post-Modernism at MAK marks the 100th anniversary of Otto Wagner’s death and looks at his influence on his students and on later generations of architects and designers.

All images courtesy MAK
Photos © Hagen Stier, 2015


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Art | Domenico Gnoli: Big Time

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Curl, 1969
Acrylic and sand
on canvas



Domenico Gnoli:
Detail of a Detail

Luxembourg & Dayan
New York City | USA
3 May 14 July 2018



Domenico Gnoli
in his studio,
S’Estaca, Majorca,
October 1969



Handsome, stylish and on the verge of recognition as a major painter due to the success of his first New York show, in 1970, Italian artist, Domenico Gnoli, aged 36, died of cancer.

Soon forgotten, his paintings, for the most part, disappeared into obscure collections. Taschen’s Art of the 20th Century, published in 2000, granted Gnoli little more than a passing mention, however, four decades after his death, visionary fashion figure Miuccia Prada, who had discovered and begun buying up his work, showed some items at the 2011 Venice Biennale and, effectively, brought about his resurrection.

Originally from Rome, where he worked as a theatre set designer, Gnoli had relocated to New York, supporting himself with regular illustration commissions from magazines such as Sports Illustrated and Fortune, while he transformed himself into an artist.

Escarpin vu
de dos
, 1967

Acrylic and sand
on canvas



Scarpa di
fronte
, 1967

Acrylic and sand
on canvas



Characterised by their immediacy and by his precise treatment of their subject matter: everyday items of clothing including shoes, suits, shirts, slippers, household objects, as well as personal details, such as the back of a head or a single ringlet of hair (see top) – always in monumental isolation – Gnoli’s works suggest an anonymous or absent person, and were, apparently, symbolic interpretations of his own feelings about the emptiness and depersonalisation of modern life. Ironically, they could now be seen to symbolise his own short life and truncated career, during which he produced around 145 finished paintings, of which only a few dozen survive.

Chair, 1969
Acrylic and sand
on canvas



His talent notwithstanding, Gnoli’s tragic story, handsome looks and great personal style – not to mention his Prada patronage – guaranteed the success of his second, and posthumous, New York show at Luxembourg & Dayan in 2012, as well as his enduring popularity with the international fashion crowd.

In its new show, Domenico Gnoli: Detail of a Detail, Luxembourg & Dayan is presenting rarely seen works by the artist in an installation designed by opera director Robert Carson.

All works by Domenico Gnoli: images courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan, New York and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome.

All works are from private collections.
Photo courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan


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Design | The Art of the Useful

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Johanna Grawunder
Specchio d’Italia, from
the Street Glow series, 2005
Acrylic, mirrored glass,
fluorescent lighting.
Produced for Galerie Italienne
.
Estimate £5,000 > 7,000



Important Design
Phillips
London | UK
Public viewing 19 > 26 April 2018
Sale 26 April 2018



Since the early decades of the 20th century when design, as we currently understand it, was ‘invented’, functionality – at least in theory – has been its defining feature. Ettore Sottsass’s Nefertiti writing desk, below, might appear to be more suited to a gallery space than to one that people inhabit but it was designed to be used. And if at first glance, many of the other items in this ‘Design’ sale can be mistaken for works of art, they are all also, notionally, functional. (In saying that, it’s difficult to imagine what objects such as Shiro Kuramata’s Hammer House hammers, see final image, below, could purposefully be used for).

Sottsass is only one of the many Italians, whose work dominates this sale, which also includes a large number of items by French creators, as well as others from a broad gamut of international names. Like Sottsass, while few of them are artists, per se, many of them, such as American, Johanna Grawunder, whose Specchio d’Italia fluorescent light (above) shines like a beacon celebrating the spirit of the event, have produced work across several disciplines. Based in Milan, Italy and San Francisco, Grawunder’s practice extends from large-scale public installations, across architecture and interiors, to limited edition furniture and the lighting for which she is particularly well-known.

Gio Ponti
Two hand mirrors,
designed 1932, executed 1960s

Mirrored glass, coloured glass.
Produced by Fontana Arte.
Estimate £3,000 > 5,000



Jean Royère
low table c 1955

Indian rosewood-
veneered wood.
Estimate £30,000 > 50,000



László Moholy-Nagy
Prototype desk set, 1946
Pen rest and letter holder,
chromium-plated brass, brass.
Parker 51 pen designed by
Kenneth Parker and Marlin
Baker, 1938.
Estimate £60,000 > 80,000



Bauhaus master and polymath, László Moholy-Nagy, is perhaps best-known for his ground-breaking experiments in art and photography but, vehemently opposed to creative limitations of any kind, in 1946 he designed a prototype for the pen rest and holder shown above.

Throughout his long career, unwilling to be tied to a single discipline, at various times, and often concurrently, Gio Ponti was an architect, ceramicist, interior designer, furniture designer and magazine editor. The two minimal, glass hand mirror designs he created in the 1930s, being sold here as a single lot, above, had not dated by 1963 when they were finally put into production.

Ettore Sottsass Jr
Nefertiti writing desk, 1968 > 1969

Plastic-laminated wood, steel.
Manufactured by Poltronova.

Estimate £40,000 > 60,000



Shiro Kuramata
Pair of Hammer House hammers
designed c 1985

Steel, painted steel, painted wood.
Manufactured by WEST.
Property from the Soseikan House,
Takarazuka, Hyogo, Japan.
Estimate: £2,000 > 3,000



With a total of 171 lots, Important Design at Phillips, also includes items designed by revered creators such as Harry Bertoia, Gabriella Crespi, Pietro Chiesa, Jean-Michel Frank, Shiro Kuramata, François-Xavier Lalanne, George Nakashima, Ico Parisi, Jean Prouvé, Jean Royère, Gino Sarfatti, Carlo Scarpa and Line Vautrin among a host of others.

Images courtesy Phillips


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Design | If You Don’t Like It, Fight It!

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Germar Wambach,
Terror – Error, 1992
© Germar Wambach



Protest!
Resistance Posters
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Arial,
Zürich | Switzerland
20 April > 2 September 2018



Atelier Populaire
(anonymous collective),
On vous intoxique!, 1968
© unknown



1968. It was to be expected that a whole series of international visual arts presentations would mark the anniversary of such a momentous year. To date, we’ve blogged about three directly and indirectly-related events: Klaus Staeck: Sand in the GearboxDay by Day: 1968, and Power to the People: Political Art Now. No doubt, in the coming months, we’ll cover others as we hear about them.

Bruce Kaiper,
Love, 1974
© unknown



Luba Lukova,
Sudan, 1999
© Luba Lukova



Niklaus Troxler, 1992
© ProLitteris



We make no apologies for this: the turmoil the world is currently experiencing – Trump’s roller coaster US presidency, Russia’s sinister undermining of democracy, the madness of Britain’s apparently inexorable exit from the EU, the resurgence of right wing politics across Europe, the inhumanity of the Syria crisis, North Korea’s dangerous posturing, the destructive nature of Islamic extremism, the economic imbalance caused by globalisation, our growing awareness of the seriousness of environmental issues, as well the battle raging for women’s rights – render 2018 shows, such as these and this forthcoming one in Switzerland, particularly timely and thought-provoking.

Luis Veiga, 2016
© Luis Veiga



Protest! Resistance Posters at Museum für Gestaltung Zürich will bring together a selection of some 300 posters from a host of international designers, the majority of which were produced during the past 50 years.

All posters from Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Poster Collection, courtesy Museum für Gestaltung Zürich


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Photography | Africa Shines Through

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Zarita Zevallos
Imperium 2, 2017
Archival pigment print



Refraction: New Photography
of Africa and its Diaspora
Steven Kasher Gallery
NYC | USA
19 April 2 June 2018



Keyezua
Fortia (1), 2017
Giclée print on
Hanhemühle paper



Crack it. Smash it. Break it up into little pieces and scatter it. Glass will continue to refract rays of light that pass through it. This show sets out to demonstrate how cultural identity – in this case, African – reacts in a similar way.

Often ripped from their roots and transported many thousands of miles, or forced to flee wars and pogroms, Africans have seen their cultural identity subdued and trampled upon but never entirely transmuted.

Shawn Theodore
All I Ever Wanted Was
A Reason To Be
, 2018

Archival pigment print



Nona Faustine
Over Her Dead Body,
Tweed Courthouse,
Brooklyn, NY
, 2013

Archival pigment print



Stan Squirewell
Afrosaxson, 2017
Mixed media collage



Flying in the face of centuries of adversity, recent decades have seen the emergence of a new generation of photographers of African descent, based in many different locations across the globe, including Africa itself, with a rich diversity of approaches, determined to reclaim and to reassert their cultural heritage.

Eyerusalem Adugna Jirenga
The City of Saints VII, 2017
Digital archival print



Rendered entirely contemporary by its use of modern photography techniques, such as performative self-portraiture, collage, montage and digital manipulation, while their work – captured through fine quality glass camera lenses – makes bold references to traditional African values, rites and rituals, it is nevertheless undoubtedly characterised by the refractive process that African cultural identity has passed through.

Refraction: New Photography of Africa and its Diaspora at Steven Kasher Gallery presents the work of photographers born in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, living in Addis Ababa, Luanda, Paris, New York and beyond.

All images courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York


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Art | Power to the Artists

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Adelita Husni-Bey,
The Sleepers, 2012
Oil on canvas
© The artist, courtesy
Galleria Laveronica,
Modica



Power to the People
Political Art Now
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Frankfurt | Germany
21 March > 27 May 2018



Phyllida Barlow,
Untitled: 100 banners,
2015, 2015
Lumber, plywood, tape,
wadding, fabric, paint,
sand, and plastic
© The artist, courtesy
Hauser & Wirth,
Photo Stefan Altenburger



This show doesn’t shout; it speaks a powerful, sophisticated language appropriate to our age. As we near the second decade of the 21st century, when democracy is facing critical challenges, contemporary artists are reacting by presenting us with an array of less in-your-face, more thoughtful works than those produced in the genre of political art by previous generations.

Halil Altındere,
Ballerinas and Police, 2017
Full HD Video
© The artist, courtesy
the artist and
Pilot Galeri, Istanbul



Edgar Leciejewski,
A Circle Full of Ecstasy
(detail), 2016
77 colour photographs.
Courtesy the artist



Julius von Bismarck,
Figuration #5 (May Day
Riot Police), 2009
Inkjet print
© The artist, courtesy
Alexander Levy, Berlin;
Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf



Just as supporters of democracy are having to change tack in order to deal effectively with the existential threat they are facing, artists have taken on board the rise of populist leaders, of fake news, of totalitarian propaganda, and of neoliberalism, and have adapted their approach.

Mark Flood,
5000 Likes, 2015 / 16
Spray paint on canvas,
(4,344 parts)
© The artist, courtesy
Peres Projects, Berlin,
Photo Matthias Kolb



Osman Bozkurt,
Marks of Democracy /
Portraits of the Voters, 2002
10 C-prints
Deutsche Bank Collection
© The artist



Ricarda Roggan,
Triptychon (Chair, Table
and Partition), 2001
C-Print (detail)
© The artist, courtesy
Galerie Eigen +
Art Leipzig / Berlin



Neither a single group nor an organised movement, the clutch of international artists whose work is included in Power to the People: Political Art Now at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt nevertheless gel into a single, purposeful force to be reckoned with.

Images courtesy Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt


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Gardens | Burle Marx: Landscape Architect Speaks Out

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Banco Safra, roof garden,
São Paulo, 1983



Roberto Burle Marx Lectures
Landscape as Art and Urbanism
Edited by Gareth Doherty
Lars Müller Publishers
15 x 20 cm, 288 pages
Paperback with English text
Available now



Parque Burle Marx (formerly Pignatari residence), São Paulo, 1956



Roberto Burle Marx (1909 > 1994), was a visionary Brazilian gardener, artist and botanist, who harboured an ambition to bring radical change to cities and society, rather than just to gardens. Hailing from a well-to-do German / Brazilian family background, however, his insistence on calling himself a landscape architect may have stemmed from his awareness that architects are invited to enter houses by the front door while gardeners are sent around to the back.

Copacabana Beachfront (Avenida Atlântica), Rio de Janeiro, 1970



At heart, Burle Marx was an artist: ‘I am the first to agree that there are no aesthetic differences between the object of painting and the object of constructed landscapes. Only the means of expression differ.’ Until it was pointed out to him by a business partner that the company must respect their client’s wishes, he had never considered compromise.

Carefully-researched and presented by editor Gareth Doherty of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he is director of the Master in Landscape Architecture programme, this new book brings together the texts of a dozen of Burle Marx’s lectures, but the insight Doherty provides into the landscape architect’s character, his fascinating life and the development of his work and practice is also enthralling. The glimpses into Burle Marx’s on /off professional relationship with Oscar Niemeyer, principal architect of Brasilia, are particularly revealing.

Centro de Processamento de Dados do Banco do Brasil, São Paulo, 1970



Fazenda Vargem Grande Areis, São Paulo, 1979 > 1991



Although Burle Marx was commissioned to design his first garden in 1932, at the age of 23, and was involved in many major landscaping schemes in the interim, the undulating curves and patterns of the Copacabana beachfront, which he designed in stages between 1970 and 1991 are his best-known creations. He practised almost exclusively in Brazil but earned a global reputation for the breadth of his knowledge of plants and for the ingenuity of his work. Burle Marx is revered by many as the most important landscape architect in the history of the field. He was regularly invited on international speaking tours in the course of which he spoke passionately on topics including Concepts in Landscape Composition, The Garden as a Form of Art and Finding a Garden Style to suit Contemporary Needs.

Petrobas, Rio de Janeiro, 1969



Leonardo Finotti’s beautiful photographs of Burle Marx’s projects are an essential element of this accessible and boldly packaged, compact book. Arranging them into two equal, unbroken blocks, placed, respectively, right at the front and right at the back, sandwiching the text pages between, would have been a good idea had this been a hardback. Despite assurances from the publisher that dispensing with the glue that would usually attach the spine to the book’s cover, thereby exposing the folded edges of the inside sections and the raw threads that hold them together, is a considered design feature, it would seem more likely that during the production process someone realised that in a paperback the picture spreads would never open flat enough to be easily viewed. Unfortunately, the result is a front cover that doesn’t close properly.

Roberto Burle Marx Lectures: Landscape as Art and Urbanism is published by Lars Müller Publishers

All photographs © Leonardo Finotti. Pages supplied by the publisher


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Photography | Polaroid: a Unique Project

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Buttock, 1983
Şahin Kaygun
Hand coloured,
manipulated Polaroid
Type 600 High Speed
© Şahin Kaygun



The Polaroid Project
Museum für Kunst
und Gewerbe Hamburg
Hamburg | Germany
16 March > 17 June 2018



Charles Jourdan 1978, 1978
Guy Bourdin
C-Print, © The Guy
Bourdin
Estate 2017,
courtesy Louise
Alexander Gallery



Each one is unique and can’t be duplicated. They almost always have an unfinished quality. They look more at home pinned or taped on a wall than framed up, behind glass. Polaroid prints are often cited as the precursors of apps such as Instagram but viewing them on phone and computer screens doesn’t do them any favours.

Pulls (CMY), 1997
Ellen Carey
Polaroid Polacolor-Montage
© Ellen Carey, Jayne
H Baum Gallery, NYC, NY
and M+B Gallery, LA, CA



To its credit, The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology published last year by Thames & Hudson provided well-researched documentation of the medium’s history and showed an array of diverse examples of Polaroid photography. The designers of the more compact Polaroid: The Magic Material (Frances Lincoln, 2016) attempted to format the book to emulate one classic version of the Polaroid print format (8.8 x 10.7 cm) but failed to express the physicality of the prints themselves. While a wide range of photographic prints can be reproduced fairly accurately via high-quality lithography, or better still by using the gravure technique, Polaroids are ideally best seen in the flesh.

August 13, 1979, 1979
André Kertész
Polaroid SX-70
© The Estate
of
André Kertész,
courtesy Stephen
Bulger Gallery



Esther and Bee Jay, 1991
Shelby Lee Adams
Polaroid Polapan Type 52
© Shelby Lee Adams



The Polaroid Project, a travelling exhibition originally shown in summer 2017 at Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth Texas, USA, and then at WestLicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, Austria – it won’t be shown in the UK – provides another opportunity for visitors to do just that at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg. Some 220 photos by over 100 artists are included in the exhibition, as well as 90 camera models and prototypes.

All images courtesy Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg


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Auction | Lights, Camera, Fashion!

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Jean Cocteau and Jean
Marais on the set of
Jean-Pierre Melville’s film,
Les Enfants Terrible, 1950

Vintage silver print
Estimate €200 > 400



Photographs Mode Cinema
Drouot-Richelieu
Paris | France
Exhibition 28 February /
1 + 2 March 2018.
Sale 2 March 2018



Fashion’s influence on film – and vice versa – is as enduring as the simple black sheath Gabrielle Chanel created in 1926, which Hubert de Givenchy paid homage to with the little black dress he designed for Audrey Hepburn to wear in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) that became thereafter an essential item in every modern woman’s wardrobe.

It shouldn’t be ignored, however, that fashion-conscious men such as the distinguished French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker, Chanel’s friend Jean Cocteau whom she first met and for whose ballet she designed costumes in 1917, exerted a significant, if somewhat more subtle impact on the development of 20th-century, and even 21st-century male style.

Jean Marais in Jean
Cocteau’s film Orphée, 1950

Vintage silver print
Estimate €200 > 450



Jean Cocteau on the
set of his film, Le
Testament d’Orphée
, 1956

Vintage silver print
Estimate €300 > 500



The self-portraits Cocteau produced throughout his life tend to concentrate on his head. Lacking conventionally handsome looks, clothes hung well on his slim, angular frame and, from the start, the painters and afterwards the photographers, who chose to immortalise him pulled back to show what he was wearing. As concerned about his own look as about that of his lover Jean Marais, in 1937, Cocteau asked Chanel to dress Marais for his film Oedipus Rex.


Jean Cocteau and
Charlie Chaplin,
Saint-Jean-Cap-
Ferrat, c 1950

Vintage silver print
Estimate €300 > 500



The dozen, or so, photographs of Jean Cocteau to be found among the diverse collection of 386 lots in the forthcoming auction Photographs Mode Cinema at Drouot in Paris, curated by photography expert Viviane Esders, reveal that by always dressing well and looking as good in front of the camera as he did while directing the actors who appeared in his films, he set an impeccably stylish example for others to follow.


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