Designer Desire: Tamara de Lempicka

Mosaic of Tamara de Lempicka artworks | H is for Home

Tamara de Lempicka has been a favourite artist of ours for years. Her work isn’t from our usual era – mid century modern – it’s straight out of the Art Deco and Jazz age.

de Lempicka’s work depicts her glamorous life and that of the time in which she lived. She came from a wealthy Polish family and lived a bohemian life, socialising with aristocrats and Hollywood film stars. She married a baron, had affairs with both men and women and travelled extensively, fleeing the Russian Revolution and then World War II.

Her painting style developed and changed throughout her career however, it’s her work from the 20s & 30s that’s our favourite. Portraits of fashionable flappers, open-topped sports cars, cubist skyscrapers. Her execution of  fabric – the folds, the ruffles, the shadows – is outstanding!

A range of affordable prints and other decorative objects using her artworks  can be found online. There are also lots of books about her paintings and her long and fascinating life.

Tamara de Lempicka painting a portrait of her first husband Tadeusz Lempicki, c.1928credit

Additional image credits:

Pinterest | Wikiart

Designer Desire: Oswaldo Guayasamín

Mosaic of works by Oswaldo Guayasamín | H is for Home

We’ve only recently discovered the incredible work of Ecuadorian artist, Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919-1999).

Guayasamín was a prolific producer of paintings, drawings, sculpture and jewellery. His award-winning works were often very political and sometimes controversial. He highlighted subjects such as poverty, injustice, political oppression, racism and the class divide in Latin America. His paintings can be haunting, unsettling and, at the same time, exquisitely beautiful.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Ecuador, visit the Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man) in the capital, Quito where many of his works can be viewed. It reminds us of Kettle’s Yard, but on a much larger scale.

Portrait of Oswaldo Guayasamíncredit

Image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet | Christies | eBay | Invaluable

Designer Desire: Antonio Frasconi

Mosaic of Antonio Frasconi artworks | H is for Home

Antonio Frasconi (1919 – 2013) was an illustrator best known for his woodcut prints, especially the ones in his award-winning 1950s children’s book, The House That Jack Built, a picture book in two languages. and See and Say, a picture book in four languages. He often produced books in multiple languages; namely English, Italian, French and Spanish. A great way to learn a new language – whatever your age may be!

Frasconi was born in Argentina, grew up in Uruguay and, aged 26, moved to the USA. In addition to his work for children he produced very political works on subjects such as the Vietnam War and ‘Los Desaparecidos’ (The disappeared), the people tortured and killed during the Uruguayan Dictatorship in the 197s and 80s.

As well as his own books, he designed numerous covers and illustrations for the works of other authors and poets including:

  • Dylan Thomas – Reading a Child’s Christmas in Wales | Narrating Under Milk Wood (LP records)
  • Herman Melville – On the Slain Collegians
  • Walt Whitman – Overhead the Sun
  • Jan Wahl – The Little Blind Goat
  • Ruth Krauss – The Cantilever Rainbow
  • Henri Pirenne – Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade
  • André Gide – Strait is the Gate | If It Die
  • Glenway Wescott – 12 Fables of Aesop
  • Titus Burkhardt – Alchemy

Antonio Frasconi at work

Image credits:

Invaluable | Pinterest | Moma | Amazon

Mid century modern golfer

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

Any golfers with a love of mid century modern style out there? We might have just the thing for you.

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

We picked up this small bronze sculpture today and were very taken by the design. Long, sinuous limbs and strong facial features. We thought it had something of the Alberto Giacometti about it.

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

You don’t actually need to be a golfer to appreciate this striking little object. A simple yet bold design – perfect on a bookshelf or desk. It will be available in our web shop soon.

Tibor Reich exhibition

Tibor Reich tapestry | H is for Home

Last week, I made an all too rare visit to Manchester; I was meeting a friend at the Whitworth to view the Tibor Reich exhibition.

Tibor Reich exhibition room at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tibor Reich mural at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tigoware sketch by Tibor Reich displayed at the Whitworth

Tibor Reich Tigo-Ware 'Florence' and 'Espanola' vases | H is for Home

It was wonderful seeing his work ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, rather than in books or on the internet, to appreciate the scale. The ‘Florence’ Tigo-Ware vase on the left of the photo above is over a foot tall.

Examples of Tigo-Ware designed by Tibor Reich and produced by Denby Pottery in the 1950s | H is for Home

Tibor Reich designed ceramic tiles | H is for Home

His black & white sgraffito designs are very eye-catching and distinctive.

Ceramic ashtrays designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Apparently, he designed and produced these keyhole-shaped ashtrays as presents for friends one Christmas. I’ve never seen one on the open market, they’re absolutely beautiful!

Ceramic ashtray designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich pen & ink sketches | H is for Home

A lot of his ceramic work is concerned with the female form and visage – my friend and I wondered whether his wife Freda, who was pictured in many of the photographs in the exhibition, acted as his muse.

Colour sketches of women by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

A displat of tools and other objects used by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich's sitting room which he designed himself | H is for Home

Reich may be best known for his textiles (his designs were on the seats of Concorde and the QE II), however his practice was multifaceted. Ceramics, fine art, photography… he even designed his own home including the ‘flaming onion’ fire in his sitting room, shown above.

 

A photo posted by TIBOR (@tiborreich) on

Tibor Reich: Art of Colour and Texture, shown above, was published earlier this month to accompany the exhibition. It can be purchased here (£35.00). The Tibor Reich exhibition runs until August 2016, so you still have lots of time to check it out – it’s well worth it! If you can’t get to Manchester, the University of Leeds (where he studied) have a huge archive of his textile work which can be viewed online.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

In an adjoining room, there was an exhibition of vintage wallpaper (which runs until the 4th of September 2016). With the room’s huge, tall walls the long rolls were shown off to spectacular effect.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Although I loved most of the designs, it also made me realise how overpowering some of the patterns would be if all four walls in a room were papered. A small feature wall would suffice!

Vintage 'Promenade' wallpaper sample | H is for Home

There were display cabinets of wallpaper samples – here are two of my favourites.

Vintage wallpaper sample with birds pattern | H is for Home

Forthcoming Attractions: September 2015

'Forthcoming Attractions' blog post banner

selection of vintage furniture and homewares in the H is for Home shop - September 2015

Here are some of our vintage furniture and homeware purchases from this past week.

Original vintage oil painting of a shipyard by J. Jennings

We’ll start with the painting – an original 1960s oil on board. It’s entitled ‘Waterfront’ and features a harbour scene with dock buildings, cranes and lights reflected in the still water.

Original vintage oil painting of a shipyard by J. Jennings

The artist is J. Jennings.

Cream-coloured vintage Horstmann anglepoise-type desk lamp

Next, this superb lamp by Hadrill & Horstmann. It has a counterweight mechanism which not only looks great, but works very efficiently too – the perfect design combo. The West German pottery vases & planters always sell well – especially with that distinctive flash of volcanic orange.

Original vintage G-plan footstool with yellow upholstery seat

And more vibrant colour… this G-Plan stool with its original yellow fabric upholstery didn’t take much deciding upon.

Underside of a vintage G-plan footstool showing the original label

It’s a fabulous shape too and went straight into the boot of the car!

Vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976

There are slightly more muted tones in this studio pottery lamp base, but it’s no less attractive.

Detail of a vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976

We’ve got a friend whose studio pottery collection is ever expanding.

Underside of a vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976 showing the signature and date

She gave an, ‘oooooooh that’s nice!’, when she saw it – and has thus managed to squeeze one more piece into her house!