Matisse in 3D

November 2020

Design / Creativity

Launched as a way to celebrate the audacity and genius of painter Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Maison Matisse, revived by his heirs, showcases pieces meant to convey all of the artist’s poetry. Inspired by the canvas Intérieur aux Aubergines (Still Life with Eggplants), the second collection from designer Cristina Celestino brings Matisse back to life with a 3D version designed for the home.

 

Photographers : Alice Cuvelier, Fabrice Gousset et Chiara Cadeddu

One work, one story

With each collection based on a different painting by Henri Matisse, Maison Matisse uses art as its inspiration. Along with The Pink Studio, The Painter’s Family and The Red Studio, Intérieur aux Aubergines (Still Life with Eggplants) is part of a series of “symphonic interiors” all painted in the summer of 1911 by Henri Matisse in his studio on the rue de la Gare in Collioure.

 

The painter’s most decorative work features a still life, namely the eggplants in the center, arranged with a decor covered with arabesque motifs on a tablecloth, and five-petalled flowers spread over the entire canvas with illusory superimposition that shakes up the volume of the objects. The painting includes a window and a mirror that doesn’t appear to reflect the reality of the objects.

Inside Cristina Celestino’s mind

With a decorative universe, a subtle and sophisticated approach to color and shapes, and in-depth research on textures and materials, designer and interior designer Cristina Celestino was the natural choice to direct the second Maison Matisse collection.

 

Born in Pordenone in 1980, Cristina Celestino began collaborating with several prestigious agencies in 2005 and dedicated her projects to interior design and creation. Based in Milan, where she founded her brand Attico Design, she designs projects for private clients as well as for Houses such as Fendi/Fendi Casa, Fornace Brioni and CC-Tapis, and provides creative direction for the interiors and fittings for Sergio Rossi. She has received numerous international awards, including the Special Jury Prize “Salone del Mobile Milano Award” in 2016.

Immersed in Matisse’s work for several months, the designer was inspired by all-over textures, a mix of organic geometries and forms, abstract floral signs and patterns. The question of the window also introduces the theme of the interior-exterior relationship: the scene evokes an interior, but allows the air of the represented landscape to breathe. Finally, the sketch of a decoration introduces an idea of femininity and intimacy that manifests itself through compositions of fruit, vegetables and pottery, or a dressing table with rounded edges, a screen that juxtaposes its motif with a wall-to-floor all-over.

 

From this work, a full collection of objects and furniture was born: a sofa, an armchair, a folding screen, two coffee tables, a carpet, wallpaper and decorative objects. Like a living painting, these archetypal pieces interpret the striking elements of the work in 3 dimensions.

The "Intérieur aux aubergines" collection

Echoing the gestures of the artist, the entirely hand-made collection features the best of artisanal savoir-faire.

 

Rattan: From sofas to coffee table models, each structure is made of rattan by specialists in the field based in Italy near Brianza since 1889 and now among the last in Europe. Each piece is made from a type of rattan called Manao, which can be up to 300 meters long and is harvested in the wild in Indonesia. Cut and dried vertically, the vines are then heated before being dampened to fix the curve, assembled and sanded by hand to obtain a softness to the touch. Two coats of varnish followed by a matte finish complete the work.

 

Textiles: The fabrics of the seats and the screen were made of natural threads by a Venetian factory dating back to the 18th century. Weaving looms of the highest technology were used to create four custom color components.

 

Ceramics: On the rattan structure of the coffee tables, there is a ceramic top cast and unmolded by hand by an Italian factory in Tuscany. The pieces are fired a first time then painted with engobes and fired a second time to set the color.

The audacity of happiness

Led by the fourth generation of Henri Matisse’s heirs, Maison Matisse aims to keep the painter’s work alive by calling on personalities and creators to participate in this unique project. “Maison Matisse represents this desire to perpetuate and promote the work of our ancestor Henri Matisse by supporting the expression of a 3-Dimensional interpretation of his work. It also marks our desire to prolong his singularity, his joyful and soothing universe with all the required exigency and creativity,” the artist’s great-grandson Jean-Matthieu Matisse explained, adding:

 

“Our mission is to universally share the very special emotion attached to sensitive objects that transmit the invigorating, poetic and singular gaze of our great-grandfather. Like a fresh interpretation of the paintings captured by these objects so that new generations around the world may discover this eternal joy and enjoy it in their daily lives”.

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