jean lurçat (1892-1966)
maison myrbor, paris
475 x 371 cm (15’7” x 12’2”)
|| symmetrically knotted wool pile on a cotton foundation
|| Marie Cuttoli (1879-1973) founded the Maison Myrbor in 1926. It was here that she promoted the modernist rugs designed by the young avant-garde artists active in Paris at the time.
The first artist to work with her was Jean Lurçat, a painter and tapestry designer whose signature style was based on an abstract depiction of real and imaginary creatures, inspired by Greek mythology and ancient Chinese bronzes. Although he designed carpets for a number of French firms, his name is more often associated with the rebirth of the Aubusson tapestry weaving tradition, for which he drew a series of cartoons.
This carpet, originally in the New York apartment of Helena Rubinstein, is decorated on one end by a frieze of mythical and realistic horses on an open-field yellow background. It is one of the earliest patterns commissioned by Cuttoli to Lurçat, as it attempted to break completely free from the Algerian design tradition yet at the same time give space to one of France's most promising avant-garde artist.
|| S. Day, Art Deco and Modernist Carpets, London, 2002.
|| The Estate of Mala Rubinstein Silson, New York.