Last week I met Nathalie du Pasquier
Last week I taught at écal in Lausanne. It was a workshop organized for art directors and fashion designers in the master’s program. For quite some time écal has probably been the most interesting school for art directors and after my week-long experience as a teacher I am just stunned about this school. The opportunities the students are offered there are quite unique. In the in the first year of the master’s program students can look forward to countless workshop’s with the best creative minds of our time. Last week, the team of Gentlewomen was there, the Bouroullec brothers go there on and off and the little book about a workshop held by Ines van Lamsweerde and M&Mis quite legendary.
During my week at the school I had the great pleasure to meet Nathalie du Pasquier, a textile designer and artist, who also held her first workshop in product design. Nathalie du Pasquier was born in 1957 in Bordeaux and since 1979 she lives in Milan. She never studied at a university, which she mentioned several times during our evening meetings in the hotel restaurant
Instead, she went traveling straight from school and discovered the world and started drawing. Her at that time lover and now husband and architect George Sowden introduced her to Ettore Sotsass and she would join the Memphis Group in 1981. She was the youngest founding member of the group and created countless patterns mainly for furniture and carpets…The Memphis group was a reaction to the strict modernist rules of the time, and brought the joy of postmodernism, colour and playfulness into a design world once so concerned with strict aesthetic ideals. Nathalie Du Pasquier’s own pattern designs – an explosion of strong graphics and organic colour, along with her untraditional furniture, carpets and objects, became the perfect backdrop for the new generation of postmodernism… (part taken from apartamentostorageit.com).
She raves about the Esprit flagship stores they designed together with Ettore Sotsass and the great collaborations with the brand Fiourucci back in the 80s . “Of course we have not been the only ones who worked like that during that time”, she says “By being consequent we established our name, build a brand and are now representatives of this movement. And Ettore knew how to market us well.” Her modesty, curiosity and optimism leaves the 57-year-old still act like an excited young girl.
In 1986, the group split up. They had become bored and did not want to repeat over and over again. Today, they are not in contact with former members anymore. Nathalie did not only leave the Memphis Group she also quit with the textile design and made her way into art. For a long time she was focusing on the forms of everyday things. Shapes and shadows. First, she was arranging these everyday objects into complex compositions and to then paint them, until she came up with the idea to leave the world of figuratives to finally reduce her paintings to core of abstractive shapes and perspectives. It took her 25 years to end up working abstract, she mentions with a laugh. “The abstraction is quite stressful”, she tells us in a lecture. Painting still life only required concentration by composing the objects, the process of painting them afterwards was a very relaxed and meditative work. Creating an abstract painting you need to be concentrated all the time. That’s why she probably might leave the abstract world again. In addition to paintings and drawings, installations are part of her repertoire. All her paintings have a size of 1×1 meters, as it is the only way they would fit in her car. years?”„Actually no. I think i am a very lucky person”, she replies smiling.
If you are looking for a fancy christmas present check them Memphis objects here.