The Memphis lady quietly moved from design to painting
On Tuesday, March 20, 2018 membres of the Press had the chance to meet artist Nathalie du Pasquier in the flesh at the Villa Paloma, Nouveau Musee National de Monaco (NMNM), for an exclusive and interesting encounter entitled “A collection of constructions.” The genuine and personable artist, with gentle blue eyes, talked openly and vividly about her self-taught artistic development, while projecting a video showing her transition from design to painting.
Milan based Nathalie Du Pasquier was born in Bordeaux, France in 1957. Her journey has crossed over the dividing line between art and design. Until the mid-80’s she worked as a designer, creating several decorated surfaces such as textiles, carpets, plastic laminates, and some furniture and other objects. She came to fame as one of the founding members of Memphis, an Italian design and architecture group in Milan. Nathalie is an autodidact who has been guided by her travels, reading, and observing the world around her as well as different objects, such as Sumerian sculptures, Middle-Eastern objects, grand masters of Italian Renaissance, byzantine and Provençal paintings, and more.
According to editor and curator Lula Lo Pinto, for the last 30 years, Nathalie Du Pasquier, has been concentration on painting, creating bold, abstract and still life compositions. She wonders about the rapport objects have with the space where they are installed. This observation relates to paintings, sculptures, objects, motifs, constructions, rugs, books and ceramics alternating constantly between representation and non-representation, reality or illusion, bi-dimensional or tridimensional. Working between the two formats, the artist is rapidly growing painter who plays with arrangements of complex forms and opens herself to experimentation.
Nathalie Du Pasquier was quoted in Pin-UP, the biannual architectural magazine, about her transition from designer to painter: “When I became a textile designer, I thought, “Great! Here I am!” It was going very well and then all of a sudden, when I turned 30, I thought, “Is that all? !” I felt trapped in a personage: the “Memphis girl.” I thought that was boring — I have a bit of contradiction in me. So I decided to paint. For a while I had the design studio with George [Sowden], but since I don’t like to be surrounded by people, and prefer to work on my own, I took a room across the street, where I could work alone on things for our studio. But after a week of having the place, I put a big piece of paper on the wall and did a painting, a big thing that had absolutely nothing to do with the design studio. I very much like Le Corbusier’s work as a painter. And Ozenfant’s too. I liked his paintings so much, I even went to Ronchamp. I’d always thought I wouldn’t like Le Corbusier because I associated him with a type of architecture I hate — those plans for huge cities of cars and towers, an urban vision I find very inhuman. But Rochamp was a big shock — it was brilliant!
The prestigious art revue Initiales dedicated their 8th edition in 2016 to NDP Nathalie Du Pasquier, an edition that included a portfolio of the artist entitled “A collection of Constructions”. The same year the NMNM published a first catalogue devoted to their acquisitions under the title “Construire une Collection” (Building a collection). A happy coincidence or simple corroboration, artworks by Nathalie du Pasquier have joined the collection of the Museum, where two of them are visible until May 20, 2018, at Villa La Paloma as part of the exhibition “Collection NMNM, a selection of works acquired thanks to UBS (Monaco) S.A.”
“I’m interested in the form of things – I’m not interested in telling a story.” Nathalie Du Pasquier