I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how to get somewhere near Jackson, Mississippi, in the next few months. The Mississippi Museum of Art has just opened an exhibition of work by Raoul Dufy, one of my most favorite artists. Dufy, who died in 1953, was a painter and also a textile designer, and the exhibition includes about 100 paintings and 100 silk fabrics and fabric designs. From the museum Web site:
In recent years, Raoul Dufy has been increasingly recognized for his work as a painter, but he was also one of the great innovators of twentieth-century textile design, though this aspect of his work has remained relatively unknown. While working with couturier Paul Poiret, and between 1912 and 1928 with Bianchini-Ferier (the leading French silk manufacturer), Dufy created a wealth of original Art Deco designs in silks, dress fabrics, and wall hangings. Dufy's fabrics were stunning, and Poriet used them extensively in his fashions, creating magnificent coats, capes, and dresses in sumptuous silk brocades block-printed with large designs. Dufy transformed the face of fashion and fabric design, formulated practically all modern fabric design between 1909 and 1930, and his style radically influenced the popular arts and the commercial design of the Western world. Even today, his vision informs the color, design, texture, and imagery of a wide range of products such as book covers, perfumes, posters and stage decor, and textiles for furniture and clothing.
Dufy's style is loose, joyful, saturated with color and exuberant in celebration of the sea, nature, sun-drenched rooms, musical instruments, and charming European cityscapes. His work has a decorative quality and it's very easy to like, but don't dismiss it for that reason, as it sparkles with light and a civilized kind of beauty. Here is an image of a painting from the exhibition, and if you go see it, please report back! (I learned of this exhibition through the StyleCourt blog).
And here is a gouache on paper for a textile design, for sale at Lucien Krief Gallery: