FAYE TOOGOOD’S INSPIRATION
Henri Matisse and his experiments with form have long provided inspiration for the work of acclaimed designer Faye Toogood, and with the new Esquisses collection, she pays homage in particular to the originality and liberation expressed in the artist’s line drawings. Celebrated for her witty, playful explorations of shape and geometry in creations, Toogood here turns to the purity of Henri Matisse, Dessins: Themes and Variations, a book of ink drawings by the artist which inform her first-ever collaboration with Maison Matisse.
In the book, Henri Matisse repeatedly elaborates his themes until the drawings reach a perfect naturalness and equilibrium, forgoing his brilliant- coloured palette to work with the pure black of Chinese ink and concentrate on form. Toogood chose the monochrome drawings as her starting point in seeking a fresh way to interact with the artist’s body of work for Maison Matisse, studying the drawings and filling sheets of concertina paper with her own experiments in ink “to create my own library of shapes,” she says — not a literal translation of the artist’s lines, but gestures of expression driven by the same momentum and improvisation.
Toogood had previously dedicated her studio’s Assemblage 5 collection (2017) to Henri Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence, a church where the artist created every detail from the stained glass to the tiles and priest’s vestments. “The totality of the chapel informed a real spiritual connection in me, and I continue to have a longterm connection to Matisse’s legacy,” says the designer. With Maison Matisse, Toogood delves further into the artist’s influence, and using her own form- based vocabulary, she transforms freehand drawings into both flat patterns that decorate the blanket and rugs, and into volumes that become chairs and tables, expanding the linear images she created to new proportions and new forms. “I’m always fascinated by the play between two-dimensional and three-dimensional creation,” she says.