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Art nouveau revival

directed by Philippe Thiébaut

In the 1920s, no one would have bet on its future: with its exaggerated curves and its links with plants and noodles, Art nouveau was an old fashion idea to be put away, crushed by the impeccable geometry of Art deco. In reality, like a sea serpent, Art nouveau constantly comes back to us. It is the thesis of the exhibition at the musée d’Orsay, which the catalogue elegantly relays, under its starred cover with psychedelic motifs, and in violet typography. Following the great period of Mucha, Guimard, the steps of redemption are illustrated, from the forerunners (Dali celebrating Gaudi in 1933 with his text On terrifying beauty ) up to the models of Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne. On the way, we run into furniture by Carlo Mollino, Verner Panton’s moss-covered alcoves, the drawings by Guido Crepax and Californian rock by the Grateful Dead. The career of Art nouveau has been turning for over a third of a century. We can still expect some new grafts…

Art nouveau revival directed by Philippe Thiébaut, Paris, Musée d’Orsay/Snoeck, 2009, 49 €, ISBN : 978-2-35433-040-8.

Art nouveau revival - directed by Philippe Thiébaut

Review published in the newsletter #152 - from 26 November 2009 to 2 December 2009

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