Interview with Aubrey Beardsley, student #2475739

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"The Peacock Skirt" by Aubrey Beardsley, 1893.

“The Peacock Skirt” by Aubrey Beardsley, 1893.

Interview with Aubrey Beardsley of his 1893 pen and ink illustration titled, “The Peacock Skirt” for Oscar Wilde’s one-act play Salome.

E: Hi, Aubrey! How’re you doing? Please, get comfy. Anything to drink? Water?

(Aubrey smiles) I’m doing well, thank you.

E: Here you go… Well that’s great to hear. It’s so wicked having you here, I’m practically a fan girl. Those patterns are insane!! I mean look at them!

I, ha, yes I’m quite well acquainted with them. Thank you, you’re very kind.

E: Your illustration for Oscar Wilde’s one-act play-

Ah, Salome!

E: Yeah! Salome. “The Peacock Skirt” is probably my favourite of your illustrations and trust, it was no easy choice. Your use of contrast is especially dope because the clash of black and white on the canvas really bring out those sweet embellishments. I love what you did with the placement of the skirt and all of the sick details in the feather crown. The stippled halo against the blank upper half.. SO rad.

So ra… I beg your pardon?

E: True, my bad. What I mean to say, Aubrey, is that you have a keen eye for effectively using negative space and contrast. I notice and really admire how your art conveys both extremes of plain, simple lines and intensely detailed patterns. I absolutely love that you combine stippling and solid line work to complement that impressively meticulous design.

Yes I get that quite a lot, actually. Meticulous. My dear friends so often poke fun at my yellow gloves because I never travel far without them. I’m a suit, hat and tie sort of man, I like a neat appearance. I suppose that isn’t the norm, but that’s to be expected from an eccentric fellow like me isn’t it?

E: So I’ve heard. To be fair I’m lucky if my socks match on any given day. Anyway let’s get right to the good stuff! How’d this project begin? Were you good buddies with Mr. Oscar Wilde?

Well, not initially, no. Mr. Wilde originally wrote Salome in French in 1891, if I do recall, and we were both in Paris around at the time. Did you know the play was prohibited from theatrical display in all of England, on account of the depiction of biblical characters?

E: I did not.

I was inspired by Salome so much in fact that I made an illustration on my own accord. It was printed with eight others of mine in the first 1893 issue of “The Studio”, featured in an article by Joseph Pennell if you’ve heard of him. Lovely man. So I had named the piece “J’ai baise ta bouche, jokanaan”, which in French means “I have kissed you, Jokanaan”, and I suppose Mr. Wilde, upon seeing it, discovered that my style resonated with him. It was utmost flattering that in his letter, he recognized me as a kindred spirit of sorts. Quite flattering indeed. He wrote to me to request a commission to illustrate the first edition of the play, which was published in 1894. “The Peacock Skirt” was one of quite a few.

E: Wow! Pretty cool to have Oscar freaking Wilde say that about you. Considering your fondness for the play and happily granted artistic freedom, would you say this was one of your favourite projects?

Indubitably.

E: So Aubrey, what was it about you or your art that evoked that kind of response from Oscar? Did he say?

Oh it has been some time now, I couldn’t possibly remember all of the details in that letter.

E: Yeah to be fair a hundred and twenty years is a pretty long time.

My art stood out to him for its… eccentricity. Its perverse and grotesque nature. That was truly the greatest compliment one could receive, to be appreciated exactly as I am and as I express my creativity. The general public and critics found my artwork fervently controversial, particularly the erotica, but I have one aim-the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing.

E: Absolutely, and that’s what I love about your work as well. Although the piece we’re talking about today isn’t dark or erotic appearing at all, is it? This one highlights instead your deft skill in line work, story telling, and the highly selective contrast in your aesthetic. I’m a real sucker for costume design. What inspired the patterns depicted here?

Frankly my attire isn’t the only expression of my… meticulousness (Aubrey smirks). I love the complex patterns, the finer details. At the time of Salome’s emergence, a novel style of art was only beginning to flourish across Europe, especially England and France. You may know it as Art Nouveau, though it went by a few other names, and it was characterized by natural and curved lines such as those you would observe in plants, flowers… nature. Lines with character, if you will. I was also enormously inspired by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the Parisian fashion for Japanese prints.

E: That makes total sense. Well hey, it was amazing having you here. I know you’re a busy man, I’ll get out of your hair. Thanks so much for the Q and A!

The Q… N… A?

E: The interview.

Ah.

E: Have yourself a lovely evening, Aubrey!

You as well!

 

———————

References:

B, N. “Aubrey Beardsley.” Find A Grave, www.findagrave.com/memorial/2971.

Harvard. “Harvard Art Museums / Fogg Museum | Bush-Reisinger Museum | Arthur M. Sackler Museum.” From the Harvard Art Museums’ Collections Emperor Trajan, www.harvardartmuseums.org/art/297895.

Sherwin, Skye. “Aubrey Beardsley’s The Peacock Skirt: a Bold Vision of Female Sexuality.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 Apr. 2017, www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/apr/21/aubrey-beardsley-peacock-skirt-bold-vision-female-sexuality.

Imaginary Interview – Emma Roberts

Divan Japonais, 
				ArtistHenri de Toulouse-Lautrec,Prints, Posters

Q: Today we have the great pleasure of interviewing one of the most influential fine artists and graphic designers to have come out of France in the late 19th century. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is here with us today to tell us a little bit about his life, and discuss his work. How are you today, may I call you Toulouse?

A: You may indeed, thank you very much for having me today I am doing excellently! However I must say I did have some trouble making my way up those stairs outside of the dressing room. (laughter)

Q: I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience, we’ll have to sort that out with building management.

A: It is no problem at all, I always have my trusty cane! (laughter)

Q: You are known for your smart-aleck, self deprecating sense of humour. An essay from the Met Museum has described you as an, “Aristocratic, alcoholic dwarf”. Would you care to comment on that description?

A: I would say that is accurate. (laughter)

Q: Perhaps you could tell us a little bit about your life growing up? How did you get into drawing?

A: I was born in Albi, in southern France in November of 1864. My family were wealthy aristocrats so of course I had a charmed childhood. I was however effected by a genetic condition at a young age that stunted the growth of my legs. Needless to say I was not quite as good at soccer as the other boys so I turned my attention to drawing and painting.

Q: What inspired you when you were young?

A: I loved to draw horses when I was a boy. I was influenced by a family friend who taught me to draw. His name was René Princeteau and he was a deaf-mute who liked to make fashionable paintings, often involving horses.

Q: How did you continue your artistic education?

A: I moved to Paris in 1882 at the age of 18 to learn from the masters, and I found myself swept up in the energy of the Paris nightlife.

Q: Yes you moved to Montmartre correct? The lively entertainment district in Paris.

A: Yes It was such an intense change from southern France to the booming nightlife of Montmartre. I was all of a sudden surrounded by Café Concerts, Cabarets, performers and prostitutes of all kinds. It was there that I became friends with renowned artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Émile Bernard.

Q: You developed a very distinct style with your lithography advertisement posters. The particular poster that I wanted to discuss with you today is the poster you made for the Café Concert, Divan Japonaise. Would you be able to tell me a bit about this piece?

A: Yes the Divan Japonaise was a Café Concert that I frequented. It was after I created a poster for the Moulin Rouge that I became a sought after artist and over the next decade I created many posters advertising venues and performers. The poster is a lithograph, which was a printed medium that I used for my posters, as it was an excellent way to produce and distribute my work.

Q: Could you tell me about the woman in the forefront of the poster?

A: That is Jane Avril, a close friend of mine and a popular performer in Montmartre. She does appear in many of my paintings and posters. I like to paint performers like Jane Avril because of how I admire the complexity of their personalities. I want to capture their humanity and give the viewer a sense of who they are. I exaggerate their features somewhat in order to communicate the essence of who they really are, or the essence of their soul I suppose. I want to capture Jane as she appears in real life. I think this is a testament to the love I have for her and all of my friends in Montmartre.

Q: I find it very interesting the way you paint the performers and people of Montmartre. To look at your work feels almost as if I were stepping right into the Cabarets and seeing the nightlife for myself. It is like looking at real people on stage or behind the scenes.

A: I live in Montmartre and I live among the performers and the spectators. There are many familiar faces that appear in my work. The people that I paint are my friends and my aim is to paint life as it appears around me and make an honest depiction of it.

Q: Thank you so much for speaking with me today Toulouse. It has been the greatest pleasure to hear of your life and the inspiration behind your work. The love you have for the people of Montmartre is truly touching and is what makes your work so personal and genuine. Your work in lithography truly pioneered the medium and brought it to the level of high art. Ladies and Gentlemen, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec! (Applause)

 

Works Cited:

Michael, Cora. “Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901).” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/laut/hd_laut.htm (May 2010)

Ives, Colta. “Lithography in the Nineteenth Century.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/lith/hd_lith.htm (October 2004)

Interview with William Morris

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Interview with William Morris, designer and founder of the Kelmscott Press on his final publication “The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer.”

Q: Thank you for joining us today William. It’s truly a pleasure to meet you and as a fellow printmaker, I’m quite excited to hear about your latest publication The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. I’ve seen some of the pages and your type and design work along with the illustrations by Sir Edward Burne-Jones are very impressive. How long did you work on this project?

We worked on the project for about four years. We finally got it published in 1896 but it was hard work getting there. I know Edward did 87 illustrations, which were all inked by R. Catterson Smith. I don’t know how many hours we all put into this project but I know by the end of it Edward was getting worried that I wouldn’t be alive to see it finished! (He laughs).

Q: The Kelmscott Chaucer was The Kelmscott Press’s ultimate publication and many consider it your greatest work. Do you feel this is accurate?

I’ve wanted to create something like the Chaucer for a long time. This is not my first attempt in creating illuminated books, but the Kelmscott Press has finally allowed me to create the work I have always wanted to. Illumination has been a hobby of mine for so long and to finally have it finished is very rewarding. I love medieval art and literature, and in fact, I started in design doing paintings based on Le Morte d’Arthur. It’s funny to think that when Edward and I were at Oxford this kind of book was exactly the thing would have made if we could, and here we are, finishing it at the end of our lives.

Q: Are you proud of it?

Oh, definitely.

Q: The Chaucer is very characteristic of your other design work but is significantly more ornamental then the other books published by Kelmscott. Can you tell us a little bit about that? What was your motivation and inspiration for this style?

I am primarily motivated to make beautiful things. I am inspired by the things I see in nature and by the art of the past. Industrial machinery has ruined civilization and this age of mass production has led to design that is bland, poor quality and ugly. I find the art of the medieval period so much more appealing and I always look to that when I’m creating. As I said, nature is another big inspiration and I am always looking at God’s creations when I am doing any kind of decorating. Flowers appear so often in the illumination is the book and in my wallpaper and furniture design because I truly think there are few things as beautiful as the natural world.

Q: The books you have created at the Kelmscott Press are some of the most beautiful books ever published. Why did you choose to start the press?

I have been writing and publishing my writing for a while now and I have found that the quality of printing nowadays is deplorable. With Kelmscott I wanted to reconnect the artist with his art, to create a personal connection between the art that is made and the artist himself. By creating my own press I could control the way that my work was created, which has been integral to my work. I look to traditional methods of printing to restore the quality of the work but also to create something that has married fine art with usage and functionality.

Q: What are some of the ways that you have done this in the Kelmscott Chaucer?

Well, first I designed the type. All of the type used at Kelmscott was designed by me, and I actually created a special typeface specifically for this work. The materials themselves are also important so all of the paper is handmade. There is a paper-mill up in Little Chart where they are able to create paper which resembles the manuscripts of the 15th Century. I wish I could say that I made the ink as well, like I did with all the fabric dyes that I used in some of my other work, but I unfortunately couldn’t create an ink with the quality I wanted. The books we print at Kelmscott are of the highest quality possible, and that is why they are so time consuming and costly.

Q: I’ve heard that the type used in the Kelmscott Chaucer is intentionally hard to read. Is this true?

It’s not difficult to read, it’s ornamental. If it was unreadable then I would have failed in my duty as the printer. But I will say that modern publication doesn’t recognize the beauty that can be found in typography. The point of the book is that it is a whole work of art, that everything is art from the prose and illustration to the type and ornamentation. It is to be read as a whole and so the type and ornamentation have to be able to exist harmoniously.

Q: Do you have any hopes for the future of publication?

I wish that I did, but I don’t think that industrialization will stop being a part of modern civilization just because I dislike it. I suspect that books will continue to be mass produced and printed on poor quality paper with equally poor quality ink. I do have some hope that individuals will continue to print with the intentions of creating beautiful work and that there may be some kind of private publishers like Kelmscott Press who will strive to create this kind of work simply for the pleasure of creating something beautiful

Thank you to William Morris for taking the time to talk to us. You can buy digital and print reproductions of his work online.

Imaginary Interview: Edward Johnston

YITING CHAI
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Imaginary Interview With Edward Johnston

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Edward Johnston

Q. Hello, I’m Yiting Chai. Today we are here with Edward Johnston, the hugely influential graphic designer, calligrapher and typographer, who is called the man designed London. Because he made a strong design to create the uniform look for the fledgling London Underground system. Could you please share some stories behind to us, like how you got this opportunity? What did you do for this opportunity?

A. Hi, I think that was a long story. I have to thank for the strong recommendation of my former pupil Eric Gill and Frank Pick giving me this opportunity, even he said it was a tough choice haha! At early time, we just want London Underground typeface was bold and clear enough to be read from a distance, and distinctive enough to not be confused with other advertisements. Because of Pick’s preference of Roman lettering, I created the font of the London Underground named Johnston Sans, As for the pattern design, I created the red circle and blue line roundel in 1918 that graces every Tube stop sign and tourist tea tower since, and my design also easily copy or print them online for more people.

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The Printed London Underground System design

Q. Oh, that’s been so convenient for more people, I’m curious if such amazing type design idea just came up into your mind sometime? Or actually you did lots of research for that work? And how about the new recreation on your type? I think many fellow designers can learn something from your method of type design process, can you tell us more about that?

A. Yeah, actually i had become interested in sans-serif letters some years before the commission, although I guess I was best known as a calligrapher, i had written and worked on custom lettering as well. When I decided to redesign them, I was always thinking is it quite possible to make a beautiful and characteristic alphabet of equal-stroke letters, on the lines of the so-called ‘block letter’  but properly proportioned and finished? I thought Roman capital would do that, I took the Roman capital and stripped it right back to create something that felt at once timeless and radically modern. After a series of changes and fixing, the final script retains only the jaunty diamond-shaped dot for the “i”s and “j”s, as a nod back to calligraphic tradition. Actually I always keep trying type design on my own at home before those commissions, I believe that we should bear some living mark of the time in which we live, I hope other type designer should also have that attitude to think what they can actually do to the world.6397

The Final Script

Q. That is really helpful, thank you for your sharing. And you mentioned your
old friend Eric Gill, we all know he is also a famous type designer and sculptor. He said you inspired him a lot at school, how did you know each other

A. Oh, I think we inspired each other. He was my student when I was teaching at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London’s Southampton Row, and we’ve become friends since that. I’m so glad to see his achievements associated with the Arts and Crafts movement nowadays, I guess if without his recommendation, I might not meet the opportunity of London Underground project.

Q. You are so modest, I believe that is why you have that success on your career. Your work indeed inspired many fellows and even the whole society. How do you think of the huge influence you brought into twentieth century?

A. To be honest, I think all of that are benefited by The Industrial Revolution which brought advances in technology, modernized new production methods and materials during the development of type, design and the visual arts in a dramatic way. That is also the original reason why people would have the feeling of loss in quality and individuality in the progression of printed materials used at that time. It also prompts a series of the Arts and Crafts Movements to make our work become influential for the public as a graphic designer.
Q. Thank you so much for your time, I think your designs will forever be influential over the world and more fellows will have the determination to try and create new possibilities because of your inspiration.
A. You are very welcome, thank you for having me!

Work Cited
hogd / Edward Johnston Railway Type. (2010). Retrieved from http://hogd.pbworks.com/w/page/18698601/Edward%20Johnston%20Railway%20Type
Wainwright, O. (2018, May 11). London to the letter: meet Edward Johnston, the font of all tube style. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/mar/10/edward-johnston-london-underground-typeface-100-years-ditchling-sussex-eric-gill
Dunn, D. (2016, June 23). Edward Johnston, the man who designed London | CityMetric. Retrieved from https://www.citymetric.com/transport/edward-johnston-man-who-designed-london-2171

Imaginary Interview – Théophile Alexandre Steinlen

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Théophile Steinlen

Born: November 20, 1859, Lausanne, Switzerland
Died: December 13, 1923, Paris, France

 

Q: Welcome back everyone! My name is Mackenzie Coleman and today we will be speaking with notorious artist and graphic designer, Théophile Steinlen. His designs have become recognizable in the advertising industry in Paris, specifically for the work commissioned by a nightclub cabaret in Montmatre. Thank you for joining us today! We have been looking forward to discussing your work.

A: My pleasure, thanks for having me.

Q: I’d like to guide our conversation towards the advertising posters you’ve done for Le Chat Noir. But first, can you speak about your background and your history as a designer?

A: Yes. Well, I am originally from Switzerland. I was born there and studied design at the University of Lausanne for several years before moving here to Montmatre, Paris—where I have spent most of my career. The art scene in Switzerland did not have as many opportunities for success, so it was necessary for me to move in order to improve as a designer. I feel very at home in Paris among other creative thinkers. A group of artists from the district would meet at Le Chat Noir to drink, see the cabaret and critique each other’s work. I learned a lot from those I met there and the discussions we had influenced my promotional work greatly. The stylistic and communicative techniques people taught me made a lasting impression on my designs.

Q: You have some truly brilliant conceptual work, so it would be great to get some insight as to the materials you use and your process of creation. Majority of your work is done on woven paper, correct?

A: Yes, or simili japon. I put my colourful designs on this textured, woven paper to add a bit of unevenness to the distribution of ink. My portfolio consists of a large number of desaturated lithographs, but much of my poster design uses a limited colour palette to draw the eye in. This kind of high contrast work is easy to see from a distance and is an important consideration for the readability of the text. Also, my style and technique take inspiration from the flatness of Japanese lithography and the organic lines seen in Art Nouveau—a style used by my French peers, like Henri Toulouse- Lautrec.


Théophile Steinlen, “Frills (Fanfreluches)”, 1859 – 1923


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Q: The texture and graphic lines in your work really do add a great hand-made quality to the piece, and simultaneously exhibit the free-spirited nature of the cabaret night-life. How did you get the commission to do work for Le Chat Noir? Were you given any restrictions as for the design?

A: Well, the fantastic showman Rodolphe Salis was hoping to liven up the club again since the first opening. There were a number of new talents emerging and he hired me to do a revamp of the posters and signs for the cabaret. He told me the story of the black, scraggly cat he saw on site during renovations and how it became the emblem for the edgy night-life. It seemed like the perfect job for me. I was given creative freedom for the posters but tried to find a way to have the illustration and text interact and create a harmonious composition.


Théophile Steinlen, “Cabaret du Chat Noir” poster, 1896


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Q: You have become best known for the work you’ve were commissioned to do for this establishment. Can you explain some of the symbolism in your poster “Cabaret du Chat Noir”?

A: As for subject matter in that piece, the cat not only related to “Le Chat Noir”, but also to the aesthetic of crowd inside. Cats are a large inspiration to my conceptual work because of their symbolic interpretations. One of the first things I noticed about Montmatre was the number of cats that roamed freely around the neighborhood. I was known to feed them from time to time.

*Théophile laughs*

I became fascinated with their character and movement the more I observed them. The way their hips swayed when they walked seemed reminiscent of a beautiful woman and became a tool to draw viewers in. The independent, and somewhat sensual nature of that animal’s actions became the epitome of the provocative performances put on at the club. To me, they represented bohemian lifestyle and became a symbol for Le Chat Noir’s embodiment of artistic Paris.

Q: I believe we’re running out of time, but I’d like to finish off our discussion by asking you what you think is unique about your work in particular?

A: As I said, my art is meant to embody artistic Paris, but from a new perspective. Montmatre is a community of artists and working-class people who spend their leisure time at places like Le Chat Noir. So I try to stand apart from others in Art Nouveau, using elaborate decorations, and boil it down to simple graphics and line work. I think this separates me from other artists in the field and has made me notorious for the posters I do in the advertising industry.

Q: You will be remembered for being the face of Le Chat Noir I’m sure. Thank you so much for joining us and speaking to your work Mr. Steilen.

A: Of course. Thanks for having me.

*Shake hands*

Works Cited

Asimakis, Magdalyn. “ War, Socialism, and Cats: Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen’s Political Artistic Practice.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, 2 Nov. 2017, www.metmuseum.org/blogs/now-at-the-met/2017/theophile-alexandre-steinlen-cats-socialism-world-war-i.

“Frills (Fanfreluches) from the Series Chansons De Femmes – Van Gogh Museum.” Van Gogh Museum, www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/prints/collection/p1263V2000.

Meakin, Anna. “Le Chat Noir: Historic Montmartre Cabaret.” Bonjour Paris: The Insider’s Guide, 20 Nov. 2015, bonjourparis.com/archives/chat-noir-montmartre-cabaret/.

“Poster for the Tour of Le Chat Noir – Van Gogh Museum.” Van Gogh Museum, www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/prints/collection/p2361S2003?v=1.

“Steinlen, Théophile Alexandre.” Van Gogh Museum, www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/prints/person/30162/steinlen-théophile-alexandre.
“Théophile Alexandre Steinlen.” Claudio Bravo Biography – Claudio Bravo on Artnet, Pace Gallery, www.artnet.com/artists/théophile-alexandre-steinlen/.

Imaginary Interview – Habibeh Akbari

Maurice Bias, La Maison Moderne, 1902

Maurice Bias, La Maison Moderne, 1902

Q. Hello, I’m Habibeh. We are joined today by Maurice Bias a veteran graphic designer, he is better known for a lithographic job such as modern style and La Maison moderne in 1902. During his expressive work, the global market has gained major influence in correlation to his designs until to date. Could you kindly give us a review of yourself?

A. I was born in France and married to a beautiful lady Jane Avril. I became a draughtsman at an early age, where we used to play with my father and childhood friends. Moreover, I am an illustrator in Jouy-en-Josas (Hickman 34). What many people find attractive from me is the urgency of modification of the surrounding matter into a colourful design.

Q. You have been involved in the illustrator field for a long time; tell us how you have managed it?

A. The demand for graphic design skills has grown drastically, with many youths getting involved in the art. Becoming an illustrator was always passionate about as I grew up, I was used to scrolling my father’s old magazines (Chilvers & Glaves-Smith 66). At that moment I could start redrawing the pictures in a different angle and direction. My parents and peers played a significant role in my illustrator life. They used to encourage me by bringing the current magazines as a way of enhancing the quality of illustrator skills. My illustrator is seen in my work.

Q. It sounds great; can I ask for a specific art?

A. Yes, I have contributed too many periodicals such as books for the youth, postcards, le journal pour toursand musical scores. La Maison Moderneis a shop where the Parisian can come to furnish his home, buy works of art, costume jewelry or fashion accessories. Arthas attracted many people across the globe (Poe 89).

Q. Now that we are talking about the topic of La Maison Moderne poster, can I request you to speak a little bit concerning your work?

A. So, since the effort was for the manuscripts display, I incorporated the inspiration of the manuscript into the poster by incorporating in various features, for instance, the use of the different colours to create art. My thoughts ware so intense concerning the arts at the instance were too stiff and fixed, so I designed a joyful blueprint by adding in numerous visual effects, such as adding in halftone dots to provide richness to the exterior.

Q. Talking about the works of La Maison Moderne, it feels like it is very scientific. Did you employ one method to develop such a piece or you used several practical have come together?

A. I employed numerous alternating practicals to come up with such a creation. The transparent film’s introduction in the year 1910’ helped me to explore with a different design which overlapped them. Regarding, transparent movie, I layered lithographic images and texts. Moreover, the repro camera gave me a way of manipulating different types and joins them with various templates on raster film. Many techniques were available for me to make things simpler since calligraphy became famous in the industry, but I liked hand-craftsmanship more as they let in the happy and unexpected incidences that I favour.

Q. Now that’s without a reservation that is a high-quality opportunity, but why La Maison Moderne? Was it too difficult for the representational and expressionism to the clients?

A. Well definitely, everyone is aware of how it revolves around the art world. The thing is, it does not matter what ones’ opinion is–there are critics everywhere. What I am trying to mean is that it is a huge responsibility of having to exist in duo lives or more for that matter and especially if you live in France. However, I am not losing more of the clientele at a go, I am trying to think of this as expanding into a various niche of the market, and the single adjustment of our customers going to two types of recipients who are inadvertently the same like it was a persona.

Q. That seems more like a lot of practical. Did you go through any trouble developing La Maison Moderne poster?

A. I didn’t face any exact troubles; however, I had various artistic obscurity and experienced various iterations to attain the perfect ending. I sacrificed my two months into this art, from the very starting draft to the printing of the film. Moreover, after I was done with it, I felt that it was right to redraft the image, as the fountain nib-pen seemed too real. Therefore, I had to spend my money in the end so as to get the posters redone.

Q. Your job is splendid! I am wondering if this piece is inspiring any other art?

A. Over a decade I have tried to generate designs with similar complex skill, I wanted them all to share comparable qualities. However, there is one later art that does appear like La Maison Moderne and is a graphic design which I made in the year 1902 for the show at French Posters. The two designs have similar overlapping planes that move between being opaque and transparent. Again, the dots’ halftone for the two posters is huge and visible to the viewers. Both of these works are quite freeform with same graphical elements, such as the lightning bolt. My supposition that their major dissimilarity is that one of the two is coloured while the other is not coloured.

Thank you, I appreciate you for your time. Your works will forever be admirable and influential to the society across the world and while your toughness your way of contravention in the boundaries motivates many upcoming designers who want to pursue their style.

You’re very welcome, thank you for having me.

 

 

Works cited

Chilvers, Ian and John Glaves-Smith. A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Hickman, Richard. Why We Make Art and why it is Taught. Paris: Intellect Books, 2005.

Poe, Edgar Allan. La chute de la mansion Usher (low cost). Éditionlimitée. Chicago: Edgar Allan Poe, 2016.

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https://www.allposters.com/-sp/La-Maison-Moderne-Posters_i1615185_.htm

Imaginary Interview – Koloman Moser

Imaginary Interview – Koloman Moser regarding the Wiener Werkstätte letterhead (ca. 1904)

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Koloman Moser

  1. Hello. I am Stella. Today we are here with Koloman Moser a famous Austrian artist whose work has influenced twentieth-century graphic as well. A wide array of artworks has been designed by him. Could you please tell more about yourself?
  2. I was born in Vienna and studied at the Wiener Akademie and the Kunstgewerbeschule. In 1899, I also taught in this institution. I always believed that artwork should not be restricted which is one of the reasons I worked on a wide array of artworks including books and graphic works from postage stamps to magazine vignettes; fashion; stained glass windows, porcelains and ceramics, blown glass, tableware, silver, jewelry, and furniture.
  3. Very well said, sir. Your array of artwork is appreciated by many of the people. Obviously, Wiener Werkstätte’s formation is one of the biggest achievements you had in your career. Before the formation of Wiener Werkstätte, you published a portfolio named Die Quelle (“The Source”). I want to know what was the inspiration behind this portfolio and what was the basic thing you followed in this portfolio?
  4. Die Quelle (“The Source”) was a good experience in my career as I worked in a portfolio with the collaboration of Gerlach and Czeschka. This portfolio was published in 1901/1902. This portfolio was filled with elegant graphic designs for such things as tapestries, fabrics, and wallpaper. Die Quelle remains one of the finest examples of the Secession-style graphic design after it was revealed in front of the people. Beside this portfolio, we believed that people need to have more typographic styles which are good for both personal and professional purposes. This is one of the reasons this portfolio had more than 30 plates demonstrating a beautiful synthesis of type-design and ornamentation. For the people loving mono-graphic colours, each colour plate is accompanied by a grayscale pattern depicting the reverse side.
  5. That’s interesting. So which plate among the portfolio is the one that intrigues you the most?
  6. Well, I will say that all these plates have taken a lot of time and effort. However, if I still have to pick one so that would be Max Benirschke- Die Quelle since that plate was based on the ornamentation and the plate was designed by keeping the basis for a surface designer. Besides, this plate has a detailed working on lines which was one of the areas of interests as well.

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Max Benirschke- Die Quelle

  1. Since we have now almost reached the timeline when Wiener Werkstätte’s was founded and after the formation of its letterhead people couldn’t stop talking about it. So, firstly I would like to know what made you build the foundation of Wiener Werkstätte’s?
  2. Well, sometimes it’s the unplanned things that come out really well. Before the formation of Wiener Werkstätte’s, the success of our portfolio was really good. It acted more like an encouragement for us and this is when we laid the foundation for this studio.
  3. Well, that’s pretty much how the universe is working. An appreciation for the work you love makes you do great things. So, tell us more about Wiener Werkstätte’s letterhead?
  4. If I keep in mind the time this letterhead was created, I will say that this was pretty modern keeping in view the letterhead was formed. In comparison to most of the organizations whose letterheads were mostly pictorial in their context, the clean lines with a bold impression presented by Werkstätte represented a precision and straightforwardness a letterhead related to work should have. Terming this letterhead as ‘best’ would not be the right thing however terming it as ‘modern’ is something I would like to say. With the repetitive set of boxes in different sections and sans-serif font, we were hoping to move towards a more professional look. Also, with the WW logo of Werkstätte, we were hoping to continue the trend of right usage of the logo. This letterhead was one of the ways through which we depicted seamlessness of the Werkstätte’s graphic design, on multiple levels.

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Wiener Werkstätte letterhead with flower motif by Koloman Moser (1904).

  1. I myself am a big fan of your work sir. Thank you so much for your time. Your designs have helped people in understanding that we should try out all the artworks and see which dimension works best for us.
  2. You’re very welcome, thank you for having me.

 

 

Work Cited:

The art Story. “The Wiener Werkstätte – Important Art”. The Art Story, 2019, https://www.theartstory.org/movement-wiener-werkstatte-artworks.htm.

“DIE QUELLE -“. Theviennasecession.Com, 2019, https://www.theviennasecession.com/die-quelle/.

 

 

Imaginary Interview with Peter Behrens

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                         Peter Behrens around 1913 in his office in Berlin

An imaginary interview with a German graphic designer, architect, and artist. The father of modern industrial design Peter Behrens (1868-1940), talking the AEG lamp project created in 1910.

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Advertising poster for Allgemeine Elektricitäts Gesellschaft (AEG) 1910

Q: Today, we have a guest joining us who has trekked an endlessjourney of about 90 years forward in time to join us; an extraordinary German designer referred to as the “the father of modern industrial design;” please welcome Peter Behrens!

*Ovation*

Behrens: Thank you, everyone. I’m really happy to be here tonight.

Q: So, Mr. Behrens, kindly tell us a glimpse of your early life; when and where were you born?

Behrens: Alright, I was born in Hamburg in 1886. In 1890, I moved to Munich where I began my profession as a painter and designer before continuing again in 1903 to lecture at the Schoolof Applied Arts in Dusseldorf. Then in 1909, I was employed as an artistic consultant at the AEG Company.

Q: How pleasing, you started taking concern in the design specialization at an early age. When did you get your first major architect work that opened your career path?

I was given offered an opportunity to by the Grand-duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse to build a house in the freshly advanced Darmstadt Artists’ Colony. I, therefore, moved away from the decorative ornamentation of Art Nouveau in courtesy of a sober and simple aesthetic. By the end of 1906, other designers and I had founded the Deutscher Werkbund which incorporated the principles of the English Arts and Crafts movements.

Q: I would like to talk to you about your connection with AEG. As in how did you start working for the company and the journey to the creation of the AEG lamp design in 1910?

Behrens: In 1903, I gave up the organic abstract style in favourof simplicity and geometric forms. Then three years later I was hired by the founder of AEG, a General Electricity Company. My job was to design everything such as lettering, adverts, brochures, appliances, electric kettles, lamps, all the way to the company’s building with all the products having to show that the company is following one style.

Q: Wow, that’s is a big step forward in your career! Now, what was your artistic process? What methods did you use to design your lamps, and was it different from other artists and designers of AEG?

I believe the engineers’ achievement is not art as they are far from allowing the products to be formed in accordance with the dictates of purpose, material, and technique. Therefore, in redesigning the lamp, I saw my problem as the formulation of an aesthetic which accepted the blunt, prosaic power of machine, engineering, and industry. My lamp designs did not tamper with the mechanics of the lamp, but it was the housing that I reformed. Without any apparent coercion, the silhouette of the lamp became harmonious and straightforward. I replaced the jointed and mouldedmidsection of the earlier lamp with a strong central shaft. I intended to allow the cap unit of the new lamp to be easily distinguished. I drew my design from the Egyptian sculptures in both its lines and weightiness. I wanted to offer a more compelling image of technical efficiency.

Q: That sounds like you spent a lot of time in creating the design. What are some of the challenges you encountered in designing the lamp?

Behrens: The concept of choosing the basis for the design was my biggest challenge. I had various ideas about the design because the purpose of designing this lamp was fundamental to an elegant, attractive lamp. There was a need to create forms that accord with the character of the lamp and that show new technologies to advantage.

Q. Given that our designs impressed the sales department for AEG. What was the impact of this design in your future career as an architect and designer?

Because of the weighty lamp success, I continued to design other pieces for AEG which included clocks, kettles, watches, coffee machines, and ventilators as well as typefaces, and advertisements. My design ethos contextualized modernism within the rapidly changing age of industrialization. The new arc lamps were so usefulthat AEG quickly invited me to design the AEG trademark and even the turbine factory building.

 

Q: Given that you had made great successes during your days. What are some other prominent architects and designers did you groom or were raised under your directions?

Behrens: From 1907 to 1902, my studio was a magnet for several significant modernist architects and designers of the 20thcentury. Remarkably, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, and Le Corbusier all trained and worked under me at the start of their professions. I taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1922 to 1927 and held the departmental head position of Architecture at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin.

Q: That is very extraordinary. Thank you a lot for your timeMr. Behrens, and thank you also for your influences on the art and design spheres. Your designs will endlessly be significant in the world, and your way of breaking the margins stimulates so many other designers to pursue their style.

Behrens: I appreciate it, thank you for having me

 

Citation

BOZTEPE, Uygar. AEG & PETER BEHRENS: SYMBOLISM IN THE FIRST CORPORATE IDENTITY DESIGN. İzmir Institute Of Technology, 2012, pp. 1-107.

http://library.iyte.edu.tr/tezler/master/mimarlik/T001049.pdf

Merrill. Elizabeth M. “Peter Behrens,Turbine Factory.” Khan Academy. 

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-1010/architecture-20c/a/peter-behrens-turbine-factory. Accessed 9 Feb. 2019.

Images:

Behrens, Peter. Advertising poster for Allgemeine Elektricitäts Gesellschaft (AEG). 1910. https://www.flickr.com/photos/69184488@N06/10333475265. Accessed 9 Feb. 2019.

Titzenthaler, Waldemar.  Peter Behrens. photograph. 1913.

http://wikimedia.org/wiki/File:  Accessed 9 Feb. 2019.