Yves St. Laurent

December 4, 2016 § Leave a comment


Ever since attending his first museum collection in New York, I have always been a big fan of Yves St. Laurent. I have found his work to be incredibly imaginative, skillfully designed and colorful. When my associate, Melissa Bolt, told me that a collection of his work was being shown at the Seattle Art Museum, we decided it was a “must-see” and it was!

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The newsletter published by SAM, as the museum is affectionately called, said that the St. Laurent collection “filled the gallery with elegance.” The collection is called: The Perfection of Style and described as following “the revolutionary concepts of this fashion icon whose designs shifted perceptions of gender and class.”

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On display were his paper dolls modeling his early fashion designs. These morphed into his sketches shown with original fabric samples of the110 garments, featured along with accessories, each of them so contemporary looking (and in such good condition) that they could be worn on the fashion runways today.

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After we saw the collection, I was inspired to look for a book called simply “Yves St. Laurent” that I had purchased at the Met in NY and found it in my collection. Some of the clothing that was in the book was featured in the show, so we had the chance to revisit them.

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Diana Vreeland, the flamboyant lover of red who was the special consultant to the Costume Institute at the Met, wrote an introduction to the book, stating that St. Laurent was “followed across the oceans of the world by women who look young, live young and are young, no matter what their age. That works for me!!

ysl-red

The collection will be at SAM until January 17. 2017.

http://ysl.site.seattleartmuseum.org

 

 

 

 

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Maison & Objet

October 9, 2016 § 2 Comments


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My associate and fellow color enthusiast, Melissa Bolt, and I had the pleasure of attending the fabulous home furnishing show, Maison&Objet, in Paris last month.

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That city with all its design influences hosts a show that is a feast for the eyes.

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There are eight stadium-sized halls, all inter-connected and filled with everything from housewares, textiles, furniture, and tabletop, to lighting, carpeting, giftware, and home accessories.

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dogs-w-scarves

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There is an area we especially look forward to visiting called Atelier that offers the most original and colorful wares, including wearable art and jewelry. Another area that we love is a special section devoted to young artists and artisans, many of whom are just starting in business.  It is more than trés jolie.

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Of course, being in Paris also means eating great food, visiting interesting areas of the city, conversing with the people, and we manage to squeeze in a bit of shopping!

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We decided to share some of the two thousand images that Melissa takes during the show and on the streets of this amazing city that ultimately can influence the forecasts that we develop for Pantone. There are many other factors and trade shows that can influence trend forecasts, however, what we see in Paris is a major and treasured source of information and inspiration

Stettheimer And More: Pt 2

September 25, 2016 § Leave a comment


I had such fun researching (as well as discovering) more of Florine Stettheimer’s work that I wanted to share more of it.  Interestingly, the Portland, Maine Museum of Art just completed a show of her work in tandem with three other female artists of Florine’s same time period who used color in intriguing combinations. The best known artist, who was also a personal friend to Florine, was Georgia O”Keefe, a name familiar to those who are color lovers.

 

O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists in New York examines the art and careers of four pioneering artists and their contributions to American modernism in parallel for the first time. Through this exhibition, the PMA invites visitors to explore works by some of the most significant modernists in American art history: Georgia O’Keeffe, Marguerite Thompson Zorach, Florine Stettheimer, and Helen Torr.

Florine Stettheimer, American artist, in her Bryant Park garden.

Florine Stettheimer, American artist, in her Bryant Park garden.

Source: O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach | Portland Museum of Art

Milan

May 23, 2016 § Leave a comment


Every April, my associate Melissa Bolt, and I have the pleasure of visiting one of our favorite cities—Milan. We attend the Salone del Mobile for the purpose of seeing the latest trends and innovations in the world of furniture, although this enormous gathering of fabulous goods gives us much insight into other areas of design as well. This is Italy, after all, where every facet of home furnishings is explored and relished.

Wood look oven and stovetop Wood block with seat

We stay with our good friend, Grazia Billio, a gifted colorist who also happens to be the VP and one of the founders of Color Coloris,

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an organization that brings together color experts from many industries, and presents a day-long color experience every year in November (http://www.colorcoloris.com/en_index.htm). I met Grazia through another dear friend, colleague, and multi-talented designer, Vittorio Giomo. Vittorio is the very colorful President of Color Coloris.

Grazia’s charming home is in the heart of the Brera district, the design center of Milan. Every year, the Brera bursts with activity and creative output as designers from all over the world who attend the Salone also find their way to the Brera. Grazia guides us through the hordes of people all anxious to see what’s new in design.

COY vases in window Milan

(Of course, along the way are the foods and flavors that Italy is known for.) It always amazes us that so many people have the energy to trudge the fair and then party into the wee hours, but everyone is exhilarated by the intimate connection to both design and color.

We also visited La Triennale di Milano, a design museum in Milan where Melissa could photograph even more images that would enable us to remember all that we see while visiting the area.

View from Triannale

White ceiling treatment

Red living room Triannale

Just to give you a flavor of the Salone, the Brera, and the Triannale, we are sharing a few of the 1,800 photos with you. May be this will whet your appetite for your own visit to Milan…

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Closet

Design student necklace

Design student light

Ceiling acoustic treatment

Jeans pile Jeans n tees chair

Fluorescent shelf and mirror Floral arrangement

Wolf chair

Ciao……..

Sharing Bilbao, Spain, and Milan, Italy

May 2, 2016 § Leave a comment


What a fabulous whirlwind of a trip! The first stop was the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao,

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where I spoke on the Shadows collection and 150 Marilyns work done by the pop artist, Andy Warhol. Although it took much time and research to delve into Warhol’s use of color, especially the influences in his life that led to his color choices, we truly enjoyed the process.

Bilbao Guggenheim Shaddows

My associate, Melissa, and I spent three fabulous days there, staying in a hotel that was just across the avenue from the museum. We girded ourselves with ample breakfasts while looking out at that magnificent Gehry-designed building that literally sparkled in the sunlight.

Guggenheim from Hotel Domine

The architecture and design of the Guggenheim has gathered worldwide attention and it is easy to see why people are so fascinated by the structure.

Guggenheim Bilbao

The collections that we saw were very well curated and it was especially meaningful to see “in person” the works that I was speaking about, having only seen photos prior to our visit. The color usage was phenomenal in the Shadows collection, employing deeper tones such as black, along with orange, peach, yellow, electric blue, lavender, warm reds, hot pink, aubergine, deep green, and vibrant chartreuse. The 150 Marilyns used some of the same vibrant tones against black.

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We allowed enough time to explore the nearby beach town of San Sebastian,

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as well as the old town section of Bilbao that was filled with charming, historically significant architecture—quite a contrast to the contemporary Guggenheim.

Church Old Bilbao

Naturally, we left some time for shopping (colorful shoes are magnets to us!)

Shoes window San Sebastian

and sampling the delicious food. Melissa took some wonderful shots of the green rolling hills (complete with sheep!) surrounding this vibrant city.

Bilbao hillside

Next time, we will share on the blog some of our experiences and images taken while in Milan where we attended Salone de Mobile, the annual furniture fair.

Color And Emotion And Andy Warhol

April 5, 2016 § Leave a comment


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COLOR AND EMOTION:

A PERSPECTIVE ON WARHOL

Several months ago, I received an email from one of the curators of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.  They had seen the work I had written for the Agnes Martin* exhibit at the Tate Modern in London and wondered if I could do a presentation in Bilbao. It took me all of a half minute to make up my mind, as I have long wanted to visit the Guggenheim in that location. So I said yes before I even knew the subject!

It turns out that the subject I was asked to address is Andy Warhol, the pop artist icon of the 1950s-1980s, as the Guggenheim is currently showing two of Andy’s most ambitious works: Shadows

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and One Hundred and Fifty Multicolored Marilyns.

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One of the most enjoyable things about doing presentations is collecting the research that is such as important part of the talk. I had done some research on Warhol for one of my books, The 20th Century in Color, and had some preliminary information to start with.  Of course, Warhol is all about color and that made it especially interesting to me.

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I turned to one of my favorite art historians, Sister Wendy Beckett.  In her book: 1,000 Masterpieces, 1999, DK Publishing, New York, there is an overview on Andy Warhol’s work that is titled the Marilyn Diptych — a colorful study of the actress, Marilyn Monroe, who is also the subject of one of the collections mentioned above:  One Hundred and Fifty Multicolored Marilyns.  Sister Wendy said of Warhol:  “He was interested in what might be described as contemporary vulgarities.  He loved glamour and fame…

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…here was a subject for Warhol and he treated her with profundity.”  Sister Wendy suggested that his use of vibrant colors on half of the images signified Marilyn’s life and the removal of color in the other half signified her death.  By using Marilyn’s image repeatedly, he “acknowledged his fascination with a society in which personas could be manufactured, commodified, and consumed like products.”

The color palette used for the grounds of the Shadows includes more than a dozen different hues, certain colors that are characteristic of his larger body of work, including violet, aqua, chartreuse, apricot, hot pink, and black.  To quote from the Guggenheim’s press release on the collections:  “Unlike the surfaces of earlier paintings, in which thin layers of rolled acrylic paint constituted the backgrounds onto which black pixelated images were silkscreened, the backgrounds of the Shadows canvases were painted with a sponge mop.  Seven or eight different screens were used to create Shadows, as evidenced in the slight shifts in scales of dark areas as well as the arbitrary presence of spots of light.”

As always, there is much to learn about observing the use of color in different mediums and Warhol’s work certainly is an example of a most prolific career. Check out the images that are posted on this blog and you will get a glimpse of his versatility and depth.  His work is certainly not just about Campbell’s Soup cans!

We worked out the date for the visit to Bilbao so that it dovetails with our trip to Salone de Mobilier in Milan, a destination for us every year to that fabulous furniture fair. My associate, Melissa Bolt, is going with me and she will be taking lots of images of the museum and the surrounding areas that we will be sharing with you in a future blog posting.

*See archives Eiseman Color Blog Aug. 15, 2015

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Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the internationally famous Pantone Color Institute, will offer a different look at Andy Warhol’s work, particularly his works Shadows and One Hundred and Fifty Multicolored Marilyns, and his peculiar way of using colors. An expert in color psychology, Eiseman will talk about the emotional perception of color from the perspective of culture and association.

Venue: Museum Auditorium

Date and time: Monday, April 11, 6:30 pm

Free tickets available at the admission desk and on the website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Festive Fall Foliage

November 12, 2015 § 6 Comments


What color-lover doesn’t love Fall with all its shades of gold and orange, browns and rusty-reds? But how often do we think of some of the other fall colors as, well, fall colors?

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There is, for those of us in the northwestern corner of the United States and similar climates, a wistfulness at the sight of our lush green trees of summer turning the corner towards fall with their leaves accepting a coral tinge. But what a fresh spring palette this appears to be!

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Soon enough, an entire page of Pantone® corals…..

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… is lighting up the view from our office…

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…and we settle in and appreciate the wonder of Mother Nature’s color combinations.

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Kartell à la Mode

September 24, 2015 § Leave a comment


September 24, 2015

Kartell is an Italian company that makes and sells plastic contemporary furniture. Headquartered in Milan, they began manufacturing automobile accessories in 1949 and expanded into contract and home furnishings in 1963. 

 

They have now forged an interesting partnership with one of the most imaginative fashion designers with a long-standing reputation in the use of unique color and pattern combinations. Christian LaCroix became the darling of the fashion runways in the 80s, but the 90s and early 2000s saw a decline in both business and attention. However, in recent years, we have seen his name on the ascendancy again, this time combining with “Kartell à la Mode,” as it is being called, in creating and producing a new handbag line.

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Available in two sizes, a tote and a clutch bag, the fabrication is injection-molded plastic, a material that Kartell is referring to as “rich and sensual,” certainly not the usual connotation and impression of plastic. The shapes are geometric in design and both styles will be available in five colors, although those five colors have not been named yet.

 

Kartell has a recent history of producing some other intriguing, industrial–inspired molded plastic in inventive fashion forward looks and, very recently, they partnered with No.21, a Milanese shoe manufacturer. Called “The Knot,” the provocative and intricate styling on the sandal is quite unique, one that takes special skills to make. It is available in five colors: black, powder pink, mustard yellow, khaki green, and burgundy.

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The look of the shoes fits very well into the influences we saw recently in Paris. Stilettos have given way to much lower heels, with sneakers being the “shoe du jour” in every imaginable color, pattern and, most often, with sparkle.

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Question: What do you think of the color range of the Knot? Would you wear this kind of shoe?

From Paris With Love

September 15, 2015 § 3 Comments


September 15, 2015

 

If you didn’t know already, I travel…a LOT!  My most recent trip was to Maison & Objet, a lifestyle uber tradeshow featuring all things “design.”  It takes place at an exhibition center outside of Paris and covers 246,000 square meters or about 61 acres.

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My traveling companion, assistant, and color/design associate, Melissa Bolt, walked every inch of the show with me, photographing our foray into the stadium-size halls.

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We became immediately aware of the presence of design trends we have noted in recent seasons:

Eyeglasses as wall art and part of home décor accessories,…

Glasses Audrey art Sunglasses painting

…Owls peering from their perches,…

Owls yellow Normann Owls

…Butterflies still flying high,…

Butterfly pure silk Butterfly trays blue Butterfly chair

…Shoes as wearable art,…

Jewelled oxfords

… crowns that are not exclusively for royalty,

Crown plates

…and concentric circles, as seen in these South African wire bowls

Concentric baskets

to name just a few.

 

My Thoughts On Agnes Martin

August 31, 2015 § Leave a comment


August 31, 2015
Agnes Martin is a fascinating artist who had an interesting perspective and attitude about color, proportion and shape.  Martin worked only in black, white, and variations of brown in the 50s, but after leaving New York in the 60s and moving to New Mexico her work started to embrace a wider palette.  During her time in Taos, she introduced light pastel washes to her grids, colors that were said to “shimmer in the changing light.”  This characterized much of her work until the end of her life in 2004.
 
I was asked by the commissioning editor at the Tate Modern Museum in London to contribute an article to their website to coincide with a showing of Agnes Martin’s work, especially her use of pale pastel hues and the psychology behind the choices. 
Although I might normally hesitate to “think” for the artist, especially if I never had the chance to meet with them, fortunately there was some excellent information written about her by some of the people who knew her very well and, most notably, some videotapes where the artist herself was interviewed.
 
The following of her works are among my favorites.
Gratitude 2001

Gratitude 2001

Untitled #13 1980

Untitled #13 1980

The Wave 1963

The Wave 1963

Untitled 1967

Untitled 1967

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