Di­a­logue of Blues

The work of the late sculp­tor and pi­o­neer­ing fe­male artist Niki de Saint Phalle sparks a con­ver­sa­tion with the young Swiss artist Manon Werten­broek at the Col­lec­tor’s Lounge of Art Bas­sel 2018, writes Aussy Apor­tadera

Philippine Tatler Traveller - - In The Know | Arts & Design -

Amidst the pris­tine clar­ity cre­ated by the crys­tal and glass in place within the room, the bold neck of a snake en­livens the space. Its bright colours and pat­terns stand tall atop its body, tinted in an in­tense cobalt blue. The hue is rich and vi­brant, ex­ud­ing youth and even mis­chief in its tone—not quite calm as in ocean blue; not as pen­sive as is the sky. Cobalt blue is rem­i­nis­cent of some­thing past, tinged with nos­tal­gia, but it is also free; noth­ing holds it back.

One can only imag­ine that such spirit of pi­o­neer­ing vi­sion is what in­spired La Prairie to colour their Skin Caviar pack­ag­ing in this shade more than 30 years ago. The sculp­ture at the cen­tre of fo­cus is the Pouf Ser­pent Bleu by French-Amer­i­can artist Niki de Saint Phalle. On dis­play at the lux­ury skin­care brand’s Col­lec­tors Lounge in Art Basel 2018, it is clear that the fem­i­nist sculp­tor im­pacted a last­ing in­flu­ence on La Prairie.

In time for the launch of the Skin Caviar Luxe Cream, which has been re­mas­tered with Caviar Pre­mier, La Prairie com­mis­sioned the young Swiss artist Manon Werten­broek to col­lab­o­rate with the iconic work of de Saint Phalle. The re­sult was a dy­namic ex­hibit of three ex­clu­sive pieces—each echo­ing in com­men­tary and di­a­logue with the sculp­ture that started it all. Us­ing re­flec­tive sur­faces as her ma­te­ri­als, Werten­broek cre­ated ab­strac­tions to ex­press the her­itage of La Prairie as her theme.

In Mir­rors, she dis­plays sci­ence in an ex­change of knowl­edge and ideas through the in­fi­nite re­la­tion­ship be­tween two re­flec­tive sur­faces. In Blue Por­trait, an empty, un­drawn face re­flects the au­di­ence’s own im­age, putting em­pha­sis on aes­thet­ics as it pulls the viewer deeper into lay­ers of re­flec­tion—lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively. In Win­dow Glimpse, Werten­broek mim­ics the im­pulse of passers-by to in­dulge in catch­ing their re­flec­tion on a shop win­dow in deeply traced lines that re­call par­al­lel frames.

“We are thrilled to be col­lab­o­rat­ing with Manon on such an in­spir­ing project. Her work is at once com­pletely con­tem­po­rary and for­ever time­less,” said La Prairie Pres­i­dent and CEO Pa­trick Rasquinet of the artist. “Through­out the three works she has cre­ated for us, her use of cobalt blue is strik­ing, and re­minds us of the legacy of de Saint Phalle, a fem­i­nist, cos­mopoli­tan an artist who set­tled in Switzer­land to ded­i­cate di­cate icate her­self to her work. The T en­ergy, which vi­brates e es through­out the pieces s by Manon, a 21st-cen­tury Swiss fe­male artist carv­ingng a place for her­self in n the world of con­tem­po­rary art, iiss truly in­spir­ing for us.”

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT Mir­rors, an in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship be­tween two re­flec­tive sur­faces; Swiss artist, Manon Werten­broek; Pouf Ser­pent Bleu by Niki de Saint Phalle; the mak­ing of Win­dow Glimpse and Blue Por­trait

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