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More is more is more

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My search for another fragile subject led me to the book “The Crystal Palace Exhibition, illustrated catalogue”. Again I choose by title. Crystal Palace, what a beautiful combination of something stable and something fragile almost a contradiction. The combination crystal palace is somehow a little impossible as if it would only exist in fairytales.

The book is an old paperback, it used to be brown but on the back it’s been bleached by time and sunlight and has turned into a fifties purple. The pages are yellowed and the book is full of beautiful etchings of art nouveau design, furniture, elegantly ornamented pistols, silverware, and luxurious flower-print fabrics.

Last week I wrote about the book Fragiles, a book about contemporary ceramics and I can see a lot of connections between the two books. The art nouveau designs, just like the contemporary works, has a kind of playfulness in it, the flower ornaments seems almost alive as they intertwine around the legs of the tables and when you look closer at the ornaments soon you will find creatures and fairy tale animals hiding in the patterns. Another thing that I connect to some of the contemporary ceramic is the “more is more motto”. Some of the furniture in the art nouveau book is crammed with decorations, ornaments, cherubs and flowers, just like some of the objects in Fragiles are over the top kitschy. But there is something quite beautiful about this unwillingness to stop when it is enough.

cat. no. 772.1 cat 2

keyword: fragile

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