good news #12
good news #10
2020.05.08 Lifestyle

good news #11

Gruau, Portraits of Men

type / Men’s fashion

chosen extract : “Elegance is fluid, therefore difficult by nature to define, but it is made up of wanting and knowing, of grace, of perfection, of distinction.” p 13

5 good reasons TO BUY YOURSELF this book:

  1. René Gruau is an “aristocrat of fashion and gesture.” The black & white portrait that appears on page 11 is that of an affable man with a sparkle in his eye, relaxed, and full of mischievousness. One of the best known illustrators of the second part of the 20th century, he collaborated with the men’s magazines Sir and Club, and worked with Christian Dior on men’s fashion. Considered a visionary, he was, back in his day, known as an artistic consultant.

  2. Gruau is a recognizable signature, a brand, the stroke of a pencil signed G that resembles the curve of a body, topped off with a star that would be the perfect hat to impeccably finish off a look. p 8.

  3. When he drew, he could only do so with a live model. “I need to feel the person if there is no material, at least the drawing will have personality.” p 10.

  4. More often than not, the books that talk of Gruau’s work focus on women’s fashion. Thanks to this high quality work, we can discover the work he did exclusively of the male figure. The angles and point of view, the art of color, the way of showing movement and life, a sense of humor, a proximity similar to a photograph, sometimes an intimacy; that is the art of Gruau. The advertisements he made for l’Eau Sauvage from the House of Dior are amusing and collusive, and can be seen on pages 156 to 176.

  5. Gruau’s sketchbooks are published at the end of the book, starting on page 197. They regroup the fashion design work he did for magazines and fabric stores. Most have never been published. The magic of his work really stands out in the sweatshirt he designed in 1966, with its recalling of Mondrian.

GRUAU, portraits d’hommes - de Réjane Bargiel et Sylvie Nissen - édition ASSOULINE - 229 pages - illustration - 2012 (GRUAU, Portraits of Men - by Réjane Bargiel and Sylvie Nissen – published by ASSOULINE - 229 pages - illustration – 2012)

The sartorialist
The sartorialist

Type / Photography/ Fine Art

Chosen extract: “ Even when you think you finally understand what you are seeing, it is not until closer inspection that another layer is revealed. With every answer, a new question is created” p 18 Scott Schuman

5 good reasons to IMMERSE YOURSELF in this book:

  1. Street-style photographer Scott Schuman is the contemporary version of Bill Cunningham, except for the fact that Bill limited himself to a few blocks of NYC while Scott Schuman explores the streets of cities around the world, wherever fashion is made. Here, we see him in a work that is more intimate and of great photographic quality, but that’s not all. Here, his playground is India.

  2. A photographer is an eye – What is Scott Schuman’s eye? He makes an art of capturing incontestable elegance, whether it’s seen through a posture, a harmony of colors, a look, a gesture; he grabs the moment. However, he also develops an empathy with his subject that allows him to immediately connect and grab something sincere from the other person. p 8, 25,115.

  3. The black & white photos, which are rarer, are exquisite. They allow him to make from a portrait a sort of material and emotional sculpture of the person. There is a strength, a density, a remarkable depth, that jump out. Do not miss pages 31,47,179.

  4. For the first time, he integrates photos of houses, of landscapes, of tents…that are like portraits. His eye unwaveringly seeks out a structure of pigment, a balanced volume, a geometry – See pages 193, 220, 298.

  5. Scott Schumann is a photographer of gesture, like this woman refreshing her makeup who is holding her lipstick – half woman, half infant, p 239; or the one who seems pensive, sitting at a table with a circumscribed air and a pair of futuristic glasses on the tip of her nose. p 256. The gesture of a hand, the posture of a head, legs crossed; as if seeking a pose that allows the subject to be anchored in time. A rare and splendid book, an addition to any library for a guaranteed shot of happiness.

Scott Schuman - The Sartorialist - INDIA – published by TASCHEN - 294 pages – 2019

Cazaux Biarritz
Cazaux Biarritz – Ceramics in the Soul

type / Ceramic / Fine Art

chosen extract: “Oscillating between naïve and figurative, the drawings carry messages of crystal clear luminosity. If these themes indelibly describe the Cazaux ceramics, the Cazaux green, made of the blend of turquoise blue and celadon green enamel, is equally emblematic. A tonality that is simultaneously hypnotic and serene, which encapsulates the depths of the ocean and the land.” p 14

5 good reasons to DISCOVER this book:

  1. Cazaux ceramics are a more-than-century-old family story about a love of ceramics. A unique craft that has allowed this beautiful firm to create, from generation to generation, pieces that are decorative and of their time. You can discover the famous vert cazaux, or Cazaux green, in multiple photos including, in particular, the wall panel that depicts a woman holding a basket (p 20/21) and a fantastic swimming pool with friezes and decorated steps (p 22/23.)

  2. In the beginning the firm produced utilitarian objects, but then it evolved toward the decorative, allying jugs and bowls with vases and garden urns. It moved into realizing more ambitious projects with an artistic aspect, focusing on façades, pools and interiors … Don’t miss the cobalt blue panel decorated with a virgin and child made in 1925 by Armand Cazaux, p 48.

  3. The Cazaux drawings carry a timelessness and universalism because they conserve a primitive dimension, as can be seen on pages 54 - 56. Don’t overlook the almost tribal drawing that leads to believing in a mystical significance, and even shamanic in some pictures. They are like an assemblage of the power of their creations.

  4. You can see all stages of creation in the realization of these ceramics, enhanced with precise photos of the hand’s gesture for each phase of the work, from pages 132 – 145.

  5. To be a ceramicist is to develop an art of composition, of arrangement; it’s the ability to create abstract or figurative patterns but also the expertise to work on small or large pieces – A talent that you can discover in this composition where different objects realized by the firm are gathered together to yield a splendid harmony. p 96.

CAZAUX BIARRITZ - la céramique dans l’âme (Ceramics in the Soul)- texts by Serge Gleizes, photographed by Philippe Garcia – published by éditions de la Martinière - TASCHEN - 182 pages - 2015

Gainsbourg, 5 bis rue de Verneuil

type/ Photography

Chosen extract: « I remained a kid when I was with the media. I’m not blasé, I love this, I love this impact, because I am a sharpshooter: I shoot my bullet and I like to see when it hits its target. I am ready for anything, I am a high class prostitute, a whore who enjoys it. That is rare and therefore very expensive…» p68

5 good reasons to POSSESS this book:

  1. A visit into the “interior” of the house of a great poet – switching back and forth from portraits to close-ups – making us the most intimate of intimates.

  2. The work of the publisher is a marvel, the art direction is tremendously refined, of rare delicacy – an intimate book for voyeurs.

  3. The quotes, the anecdotes are earthy, never too much text, just a perfect balance.

  4. The encounter with Dali on the subject of a work acquired by Gainsbourg, “The Butterfly Hunt,” p 42 is picturesque.

  5. a precious book for aesthetes, who like to visit a unique universe – a work that allows us to «float ».

Gainsbourg, 5 bis rue de Verneuil – photographs by Tony Frank – captions by Jean-Pierre Prioul - Published by E/P/A – 2017 - 179 pages

Christine Lerche