Archive for alphonse mucha

Alphonse Mucha: Reprinting a lost Art Nouveau masterpiece 

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 30 March, 2016 by Chandra


Le Pater, Alphonse Mucha’s Masterpiece of Symbolism- A love letter to the close of the 19th century and a message of hope to the future.

We launched a Kickstarter campaign on Easter Sunday to fund the printing of this book, and in less than 48 hours our initial goal was met and surpassed! We are thrilled at the passionate response from art lovers worldwide, and with 13 days left of the campaign we hope to get this book into the hands of as many people as possible. Please help us spread the word by supporting the project with a pre-order and giving it a signal boost if you know others with whom this will resonate.

-Chandra

http://kck.st/1MsQUHr
From the Kickstarter page:

By December 20, 1899, Alphonse Mucha had experienced four years as the most recognizable proponent of Art Nouveau graphics and the most celebrated illustrator in Paris. The massive output of the artist in his first four years in the advertising and decorative world earned much for Mucha’s publisher but very little for the artist himself.

As the end of the century grew near, Alphonse Mucha insisted upon the release of a deeply personal work, and printed 510 copies of what he for the remainder of his life considered his works-on-paper masterpiece, Le Pater.

Decidedly non-denominational, Mucha’s exploration features a female deity protecting humankind and a number of sophisticated occult themes across a series of images of mystical illustrations.

Unlike the advertising art that had dominated Mucha’s output since his “discovery” by Sarah Bernhardt in late 1894, Mucha described this series of images to a New York reporter as “the thing I have put my soul into.” (The Sun newspaper, 5 January, 1900)

Mucha’s previous artworks were lithographed on numerous mediums ranging from paper to silk, in multiple formats; Mucha’s publisher Champenois saw that Mucha was the most printed artist in Paris in the late 1890s. Mucha’s concern, understandably, was likely that the imagery of his spiritual work would be capitalized upon. By 1899, he had earned the right to demand that the Le Pater images would be produced in an edition of only 510 copies, and subsequently saw the plates destroyed- ensuring the work would never be reprinted for mass-market purposes.

The images from Le Pater are mentioned in numerous Mucha books as his masterpieces and are universally acknowledged alongside his massive Slav Epic paintings as his finest work. However, as a result of Mucha’s forced limitation of the publication of this masterwork, the rarity of the lithographs means that most books are limited to mentioning the images in the text and leaving the reader to wonder what these “lost masterpieces” might look like.

The original promotional materials for the Le Pater series name these artworks as of “rare interest and considerable importance”. Over 115 years later, the description continues to ring true.

HOW CAN I HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN… and SEE THESE ARTWORKS?

If you’d like to see all these artworks in one book, captured in high resolution from the originals… Please support our project and pre-order the book! You’ll also be receiving special Kickstarter-only rewards and helping create the public exhibition of a selection of the original works on paper happen in Los Angeles from July 22nd through August 20th, 2016 – just in time for Mucha’s July 24 birthdate!

Click here to view our Kickstarter campaign: http://kck.st/1MsQUHr

Coming January 12th, 2013… After the Apocalypse!

Posted in Century Guild Contemporary, Century Guild Events, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 8 January, 2013 by SeanChase

The Mayans were wrong and the world did not end, so we’re celebrating!  Century Guild is proud to present a new show on January 12, 2013, which will feature three very different artists exploring visions of life, death, and the possibilities of what may come after.  The themes and imagery will be rooted in the human psyche and range from the divine to the obscene, from despair to salvation, from paradise to perdition.  We’ll be showcasing very rare artworks by Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha, German Expressionist Bruno Goldschmitt, and contemporary artist Richard Friend.  In other words, this will be one hell of a show!

After the Apocalypse... January 12th, 2013 at Century Guild!

After the Apocalypse… January 12th, 2013 at Century Guild!  Featuring the indelible artwork of Mucha, Friend, and Goldschmitt!

 

Alphonse Mucha‘s name should be more than familiar.  He was the single most important figure of the Art Nouveau movement and certainly the most recognized for his outpouring of creativity and his prolific capacity.  His paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and decorative designs were hugely influential at the turn of the century and are still highly sought after by collectors today.  Aesthetically, the imagery he created with its fine line work, decorative floral elements, and graceful figures of femininity, became the groundwork for Art Nouveau.  Best known for his many commercial works, mainly lithograph posters, postcards, and illustrations, Mucha’s work expanded far beyond that as well.

Frustrated with the fame he achieved almost solely through his commercial endeavors, Mucha declared that it was his aim to produce artwork that was more personal and spiritual.  As a result, Mucha created two series of masterful narrative images, all done in his distinct style, but with greater attention to detail and more thematic intensity.  The latter of these two series was his ambitious and enormous Slovanská epopej (Slavic Epic) inspired by the history and legends of the Slavic people.  This series consisted of twenty large canvases that took him over eighteen years to produce from 1918 to 1928.

However, of equal import both in terms of his artistic development and the shift in his aesthetic to more complex thematic content, and lesser known due to its limited printing of only 510 copies, are his symbolically rich drawings for Le Pater (The Lord’s Prayer) published on December 20, 1899.  Originally printed by F. Champenois and published by Henry Piazza, Le Pater was an elaborately illustrated and illuminated work in which Mucha took each verse of The Lord’s Prayer and created a corresponding illustration to it.  Filled with enigmatic figures and occult motifs, it was described by Mucha in the January 5, 1900 issue of The Sun as “the thing which I have put my soul into”.

"Hallowed Be Thy Name" by Alphonse Mucha (1899, lithograph).

“Hallowed Be Thy Name” by Alphonse Mucha (1899, lithograph).

"Give Us This Our Daily Bread" by Alphonse Mucha (1899, lithograph).

“Give Us This Our Daily Bread” by Alphonse Mucha (1899, lithograph).

"Lead Us Not Into Temptation But Deliver Us From Evil" by Alphonse Mucha (1899, lithograph).

“Lead Us Not Into Temptation But Deliver Us From Evil” by Alphonse Mucha (1899, lithograph).

 

Bruno Goldschmitt was a German Expressionist, who although somewhat obscure today, is probably best known for his printmaking using woodcuts, although he also made tapestries, paintings, and worked in various other mediums.  A friend and associate of Nobel winning German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter Herman Hesse, Goldschmitt was very much of the contemporary school of art stylistically and he incorporated a great number of influences into his aesthetic.  His work is imbued with much of the iconography of Symbolism and the emotional potency of Expressionism, as well as the bold line work and sharp, exaggerated angles of the latter.  But in terms of the themes he expressed, most can be traced back to Germany’s ancient history and medieval European art in general.  Allegorical woodcuts and drawings of classical figures of European myth and legend abound in his work, as do idyllic and somewhat pantheistic scenes of rural countryside activities and seasonal changes, but most fascinating are his dynamic images inspired by the Old Testament.

"The Prophet" by Bruno Goldschmitt (circa 1920, woodcut print).

“The Prophet” by Bruno Goldschmitt (circa 1920, woodcut print).

 

One of the things that I love about Century Guild is how various artists from different eras and movements are all brought together to form a lush collective representing different styles and genres of art.  Not only do we have classic works from the key movements of the 19th and 20th Centuries, but we also get to introduce people to some of the most original, innovative, and moving pieces of contemporary art.  With that in mind, we’re proud to be displaying the work of Richard Friend

"Black Drawing VII: Falling" by Richard Friend (2010, ink on paper).

“Black Drawing VII: Falling” by Richard Friend (2010, ink on paper).

Brimming with imposing shadows, tormented souls, and atmospheric locales, the compositions almost seem caught between recollection and nightmare, and simultaneously function as commentary on societal woes and project the dilemmas of the subconscious, making Richard Friend‘s Black Drawings unforgettable.  The high contrast of the black and white, the intricacies of the line work, and the pervasive images of decaying buildings, crumbling statues, and of human lives lost in torment help to evoke a haunting mood quite unlike anything else.  Spending most of his life as a musician, Richard’s work is understandably endowed with a dark, compelling lyricism that enriches the themes he so adeptly explores.

"A Feast of Saints" by Richard Friend (2010, ink on paper).

“A Feast of Saints” by Richard Friend (2010, ink on paper).

Explaining the inspiration for the above image, “A Feast of Saints” to me,  he said, “The idea is that we as humans are vulnerable, victims to larger things: our own fears; religion; power.  So, the figure is god-like [and represents these things] and then you have man below cowering.  There’s also a maternal element to the piece.”

Striving to create art that would be both deeply personal and original, Friend’s drawings are gripping works that not only express his own ideas and feelings, but are also sure to elicit strong emotional reactions from viewers.   Among Richard’s diverse inspirations and influences are Rembrandt, Goya, Dalí, Saudek, and Giger, so it’s no wonder that his vivid imaginings are so captivating to look at and so difficult to categorize.  He has more than achieved his goal of creating contemporary art that is both personal  and original, he has created something that is transcendent.  Richard described the reactions to his art, saying, “It can almost act like a Rorschach for people.  It’s very interesting to see which pieces appeal to what people.  It surprises me.”

 
Information on the After the Apocalypse opening and exhibition:

AFTER THE APOCALYPSE opens January 12, 2013 with a reception from 6-9pm at Century Guild.
Exhibition continues January 17, 18 & 19 from noon-8pm.

For further information or press photos contact the gallery at 1-800-610-CENTURY or gallery@centuryguild.net.

Century Guild
6150 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

So, is the end nigh?  Far from it, we’re just getting started.

– Sean