Style Court

Eight Years of Textiles, History, Art, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

11.29.2012

African Style in the States

[Design by Nathan Turner. Photo by Victoria Pearson published in Nathan Turner's American Style, Abrams, 2012.]

Another book I'll be covering in the next few days is designer and shop owner Nathan Turner's debut release. Whether he's pulling together a room or a cozy dinner party, Nathan has a distinct talent for channeling certain vibes -- could be Bloomsbury or California Ranch -- without getting too theme-y. Shown above is an African design appreciation moment. Here he mixed a 19th-century patterned African basket and vintage African textiles (not really visible in this picture) with Amber Arbucci's elephant photograph and a Ralph Lauren zebra fabric.

[Interior of Arensberg apartment, 33 West Sixty-Seventh Street, New York photographed by Charles Sheeler, 1919. Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950.]

Nathan's vignette prompted me to post a quick reminder of The Met's recently opened show, African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde, on view through April 14, 2013. We already know how strongly the pioneering artists of the early-20th century -- Picasso, Matisse -- were influenced by African sculpture and textiles but this exhibition looks at American collectors' responses in the 1910s and 1920s. In the States -- well, specifically in New York -- African art and artifacts could be appreciated anew, as abstract works of art rather than colonial trophies. The Met's show encompasses forty wood sculptures from West and Central Africa juxtaposed with photographs, sculptures, and paintings by Brancusi, Rivera, Picasso, Stieglitz, Sheeler, and Picabia. The Harlem Renaissance and its connection to African art is touched on in the exhibition, too.

4 comments:

betinahluna said...

Loving the theme. Might use this for my apartment.

Emile de Bruijn said...

And I love that mad 17th-century chair/settle/tip-up table thing next to the fireplace in the Arensberg apartment - must have been supremely uncomfortable, perfect for the intellectual Arensbergs :)

Style Court said...

Emile -- hysterical. Almost like sitting inside a cubist painting. I believe the full view of the room is in the show. Might be other angles at the Philadelphia museum too. You've got me curious to check out other austere seating in the apartment :)

Petra Voegtle said...

I absolutely love this ethnic style!