Rococo appeared in Paris, during the reign of Louis VX in the18th century. The unique style was characterized by its ornate and decorative quality, curving and complex designs, and fixation on modeling natural elements. Seen in architecture, sculpture, painting, and interiors, rococo was meant to produce awe and impress at first sight. Mediums frequently used were various colored, rare woods, porcelain, and gilded bronze. With a distinct digression from previous styles, Rococo artisans created objects and spaces with the wild elements of nature in mind. Frequently, there were brighter colors, greater detailing, and boastful displays of wealth. Rococo was an expression of the flamboyancy and playfulness that was prominent during Louis XV's reign, and equally the grandeur that was so infamously associated with his decline and the rise of the Enlightenment.
The Morsbroich Castle was built during the height of the period's popularity and is currently home to the Morsbroich Castle Municipal Museum that features international modern and contemporary art including their newest exhibition, The Flexible Plan. This group show examines the survival of Rococo through contemporary art. The title refers to Rococo's break from the consistency of the Baroque, a previous, predominant art style. As the castle itself is a pinnacle example of the Rococo style, it provides a rich backdrop for the selection of works. Through painting and sculpture, these artists have explored the core fundamentals of the movement and have produced work that mirrors the vibrant and decorative elements of the original style.
Rococo remains a staple style for tourist visits throughout Europe, specifically in France at Versailles and the Louvre, however contemporary examples of the ornamental designs are more rarely seen. With a rich, historical context and an outstanding backdrop, The Flexible Plan offers a comprehensive experience that beautifully intertwines the old and the new.
#1: Art Oracles: Creative & Life Inspiration from Great Artists
Great for your family or friend who believes in an artistic intervention! Whether it be struggling with a life decision or a necessary daily mantra, pick a card and find out what Picasso, Pollock, Kahlo and other masterful artists would suggest.
#2: BlockHaus Blocks
For the kid who needs a new flair from their old blocks. These blocks based off the famous German style are the perfect update and addition for any little future architect.
#3: Mondri Vase
For a chic accent to any home decor, this vase based off of Piet Mondrian's famed primary color paintings, can be displayed in a variety of ways with three separate openings.
#4: 100 Secrets of the Art World: Everything You Always Wanted to Know from Artists, Collectors and Curators, but Were Afraid to Ask
What is regarded as the most confidential information professionals throughout the art world don't readily share? This paperback contains stories and advice from renowned artists, museum directors, gallerists, collectors, and more.
#5: Story of Impressionism 1000-Piece Puzzle
Got a puzzler in the family? Try this challenging and informative puzzle perfect for any art fanatic/puzzle aficionado.
#6: Manifesto!: The Art Movements Game
In this riveting game that tests your knowledge of art movements and its artists. Compete to gather all the artists within that movement to win the game!
#7: Paint By Sticker Masterpieces
A new flair in the adult coloring book craze! Use high quality stickers to create 12 iconic masterpieces.
#8: The LEGO Architect
For your aspiring architect, this hardcover book journeys through the history of architecture, all seen through LEGO design. It also includes 12 model directions to snap together your own iconic buildings!
#9: Modern Artists Notebook
The perfect blank notebook for any aspiring artist or writer to fill with ideas and sketches!
#10: Frida Kahlo Ceramic Mug
Give the gift of a warm beverage for your favorite Frida Kahlo fan and enjoy a little art inspiration with this reusable travel mug.
At the age of 97, Los Angeles-based artist Luchita Hurtado has been painting surreal compositions for 80 years, but only recently has she garnered fame, thanks to a recent biennial, Made in LA 2018, at the Hammer Museum. As the only deviation from the contemporary, the 11 paintings included in the show were all painted in the 1960s and 70s. Although these paintings are decades old, the content remains modern in the midst of the #MeToo campaigns.
Hurtado was born in Venezuela and moved to New York City as a child, but has since lived in Mexico City, San Fransisco and now, Santa Monica. Her life has ironically been filled with artistic inspiration. Married to two artists and collectors, Wolfgang Paalen and Lee Mullican, Hurtado has a son, Matt Mullican, who is also an artist. Familiar friends with modern giants such as Man Ray, Rufino Tamayo, Agnes Martin, and Isamu Noguchi, Luchita Hurtado watched as other careers flourished while continuing to paint. Although, Hurtado showed at multiple exhibitions, her professional career did not take off.
Many of Hurtado's works are self portraits that appear foreshortened at the edges of her canvas, looking downwards. In contrast with her nude body, Hurtado utilizes patterned rugs and blue skies as backdrops. This perspective is rarely seen compositionally and even more unique aesthetically. However, Hurtado's perspective and the perception tools she uses provides a more feminist viewpoint. Particularly in tune with women's movements of the 1960s and 70s, Hurtado's representation of her own body is a statement of her personal presence and power. Amidst the ever changing backdrops, her body is the only constant. She also employs symbolism such as fruit; referring to sexuality, and traditional pattern work seen on baskets and blankets, referencing domestic labor and family. Hurtado was also interested in environmental movements during her life, which can be seen in her more surrealist landscapes. Within desert landscapes and mountains, Hurtado merges the human body. Breasts become sand dunes, feet become hill tops, and implied body parts connect with the natural world. Hurtado proposes that the earth is as much a living thing as the human body and we are ingrained as its presence as an organism.
With remarkable content still very relevant to the current sociopolitical environment, Hurtado's unique perspective is finally being rightly launched into a more mainstream eye. In comparison to her peers, Hurtado stands alone, showcasing a surrealist foundation but with a strong central feminist theme.