Art Organique

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Bronze sculpture by Henry Moore. Photo: Rüdiger Wölk
Kunsthaus Graz by architects Peter Cook & Colin Fournier
Design by Towe Norlén
Aqua Tower, Chicago, by Jeanne Gang
Iris van Herpen - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2012
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Art Organique is a contemporary philosophy and style of art, architecture, interior design and decorative art, inspired by the sciences—especially ecology, structural biology and mathematics. The style is characterized by continuity, flow and movement expressed in distinctly three-dimensional forms. According to the philosophy of the style, art should re-approach man and nature.[1] The goal is to understand nature’s underlying ‘spirit’ rather than merely copying natural form.[2]

Naming

As a reference to earlier artistic styles—such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco—this new ‘organic’ style has been named ‘Art Organique’.

Origins

Since ancient times, nature’s language of design has been a frequent source of inspiration within art, architecture, interior design, fashion and jewellery design. The artistic precursor to Art Organique, which philosophically sought an understanding of nature’s essence and its relation to man, may be found from The Renaissance and Leonardo da Vinci [3] to the 1900s’ art of Henry Moore [4] and Jackson Pollock.[5]

Today, all society is permeated by an increasing focus on man’s relationship to nature. Our sense of connectedness with nature, or our ‘organic consciousness’, is a deeply ingrained instinct that now, after centuries of industrialism and its gradual isolation of man from nature, dominate collective thinking.[6] Not least, this is reflected in the arts, where one of the current major themes is human rapprochement and unification with nature.[7]

Contemporary front figures in Art Organique

Art Organique in architecture

Architecture has been a pioneer within Art Organique, whereby as early as the 1880s the American architect Louis Sullivan coined the 'Organic Architecture',[8] which was subsequently developed by his pupil Frank Lloyd Wright.[9] Among the foremost contemporary representatives of Art Organique in architecture are Frank Ghery, Jan Kaplicky, Norman Foster, Peter Cook, Colin Fournier and Jeanne Gang.

Art Organique in interior design

Recent years have witnessed an effort within interior design towards strengthening the physical contact between humans and their environment. Humans’ approach to nature is a central part of this ‘organic’ design philosophy. One of the leading representatives of Art Organique in interior design is Ross Lovegrove.

Art Organique in haute joaillerie

Since the 1700s, a constant oscillation between nature-inspired and more abstract geometric design has been seen within the art of jewellery design.[10] Historically, the Art Nouveau epoch of the 1890s appears to be the style that pushed the naturalistic motifs furthest.[11] Its expressions, however, are mainly seen as highly stylized depictions of nature. Art Nouveau is clearly distinct from the Art Organique of the 2010s. Fundamentally, the latter, rather than depict nature, seeks to recreate nature in terms of its underlying principles. Art Organique as a style is often expressed as repeating undulating shapes and variantions of shapes; a materialization of musical harmonies, rather than direct natural mappings. It is a typical child of this science- and environment-inspired age. One of the foremost contemporary representatives of Art Organique in haute joaillerie is the jeweller Towe Norlén. Other examples are Van Cleef and Arpels, Chopard, Piaget, and Boucheron, all of whom clearly express organic inspiration in their haute joaillerie collections.

Art Organique in haute couture

Within haute couture, a current trend is in force towards redefining the female form in the organic direction. Among the foremost representatives of Art Organique here include George Hobeika, Giambattista Valli, Yiqing Yin, Iris van Herpen, Jean-Paul Gaultier.

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_art
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_art
  3. 1. Kemp, Martin (2004). Leonardo. Oxford University Press
  4. 2. Grohmann, Will (1960) The Art of Henry Moore. H.N. Abrams, New York
  5. 3. Naifeh, Steven; Smith, Gregory White (1989). Jackson Pollock: an American saga. Clarkson N. Potter
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_art
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_art
  8. 4. Morrison, Hugh (1963) Louis Sullivan – Prophet of Modern Architecture, W.W. Norton & Co., Inc, New York City
  9. 5. Huxtable, Ada Louise (2004) Frank Lloyd Wright. Lipper/Viking, New York
  10. 6. Bennet, David; Mascetti, Daniela (2003) Understanding jewellery. Antique Collectors' Club Ltd, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
  11. 7. Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Réunion des Musées nationaux (1991) René Lalique. Paris