Sunday, 4 October 2015

Biennale Art Nouveau/ArtDeco Brussels - First Weekend: Vases and Fans

The first weekend of the Biennale Art Nouveau/Art Déco 2015 (an event where private houses opens up for the public) showed the Art Nouveau vases of the Schellhorn/Grupp collection, in relation to fans with related topics, styles and artists of Margaretha Mazura's fan collection.
All started when mm and Grupp discovered that Georges de Feure designed glassware (a jug and a bonbonniere) as well as (publicity) fans. In addition, a piano score designed by de Feure was found:
The jug displays a similar colour scheme (blue-brown) like the dress on the fan in the back. The fan in front has the same pastel tones as the piano score on the left.  
Visitors appreciated the contextualization of fans and vases in view of the concept of a "total work of art" (Gesamtkunstwerk) so dear to the Art Nouveau period. Artists and artisans wanted to make the lived-in environment one piece of art. And they did some considerable effort as can be seen by the table below the Gendrot fan: 
Insects inlaid with mother of pearl and dark wood (ebony) to show a moth, tainted wood to paint a hydrangea, all in an innovative triangular format. Decorative elements like flowers and plants are repeated on fans and vases like the mistle-toe, not only for its intrinsic Art Nouveau features but also for its symbolism of peace and innocence: 
Visitors' feedback was very positive as many did not expect anything from Art Nouveau fans and were surprised by the museum quality of vases in this private collection. The most intriguing feed-back, though, came from the youngest visitor, an immediate "fan-fan" who draw - perfectly - an Art Nouveau balloon format fan: 
(photo published by permission of the artist and her parents)

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