Gallery Collection Design Inspiration
24.08.2012 § 1 Comment
When I was at Kent State University for my graduate studies, I had a modern art history professor who was very serious, did not smile much, but was very knowledgeable and had good taste. He was tall and seemed uncoordinated; he probably wasn’t a very sporty person. I learned a lot from him, though.
In addition to midterms and finals, he demanded a term paper based on 15 thick reference books he had assigned us. It was my first year in the US, and my speed for reading English was no where near the level needed to get through the reference books. I spent a lot of time in the library studying his subject, not just the history part but also looking up vocabulary that was new to me, such as “juxtaposition.” The pages of my textbooks eventually looked like they were covered with ants, which were my little notes about the meaning of different words.
With all that hard work, I still got a C since my English was simply not up to the level of his requirement. I remember asking him for an extra 20 minutes for my final exam so I could check my English grammar while I wrote the essay; he did not look me in the eyes when he declined. Anyway, I still learned a lot from that class and my interest in many of the artists who inspired our Gallery Collection came from his lectures.
Secretly, I am not particularly interested in the arts before Impressionism—except for a few Renaissance artists. For the longest time I loved Cezanne, but in recent years van Gogh has become the one I revere most among Impressionist artists. The Bauhaus and American Abstract Expressionist artists are also among my favorites. I am not that fond of German Expressionists; they are a bit too “strong” for me. American artists like Marin, Hopper, Milton Avery, O’Keeffe are good too; and I like Brancusi, Isamu Noguchi, Edvard Munch, Balthus, Picasso, Wen Zhengming …
The Gallery Collection was inspired by a combination of artists whose work is distinguished by traits that could be easily translated into textile patterns. These patterns were the most fun to design because it was like recreating or reinterpreting motifs that were already known to us. The creation process involved many discussions among our design staff and was definitely a lovely experience.
Some artists, such as Cezanne, gave me a hard time. I like him so much that whatever I came up with was never good enough. I ended up not having a piece for him, but I certainly tried. I still have the work on my drawing board and one day I will have it made.
Not all of the artists that our designers and I love were covered, but it is a good start. There are still many artists’ styles that inspire us, and a Gallery Collection II could very much be possible in the future.