Famously becoming a member of Ettore Sottsass’ design group Memphis in 1980, aged just 24 – following a period at Olivetti – Milan-based French designer Nathalie du Pasquier was embraced by a whole new generation of people a few years ago when Sebastian Wrong and Danish brand Hay used her prints on a selection of cushions and tote bags. In her Memphis years she had created all sorts of products, textiles, furniture and objects for the home and was described as critic and journalist Barbara Radice as “a kind of decorative genius,” whose work was “as striking as neon in a tropical night.”
In a more recently published book of drawings that she had made between 1981-87, entitled Don’t Take These Drawings Seriously, Du Pasquier said of the furniture making process – “Designing furniture was exciting. It was really building something, and when it was done it was a construction that was much more impressive than a vase. It stood in a space and changed the energy of the room.” However, by 1987 Du Pasquier had dedicated herself to painting and, this month transforms the spaces of London’s Pace Gallery, where her paintings are being exhibited under the title From time to time.
Du Pasquier’s first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom in almost 25 years, the exhibition has been designed around a site-specific red room and features paintings that stand out for their use of colour and composition. Shapes of domestic appliances, cups and bottles appear between strong linear forms and grids in still-life works that were made between 2008 and 2014. The artist has said of these pieces, “through the representation, I learned about looking and transforming what I saw into a painting. The abstract work is a different kind of position. I become a builder, an inventor.”
Du Pasquier has described herself as a “painter who makes her own models,” and the show also features some of the wooden compositions that inspire her 2D works. She has also painted directly onto the walls of the gallery, an installation serving to unite the whole show of cleverly composed works.
Nathalie Du Pasquier, From time to time is at Pace London until 29 July, 2017.