Exhibitions Publications About Contact
Oct 22 - Dec 22, 1998, Textilia Gallery
Jan 14 - 21, 1999,Beadlestone Gallery - New York

In association with Doris Leslie Blau, New York

An exhibition of 32 art deco carpets made between 1920 and 1940 by a group of artists, architects and decorators inspired by Futurism and Cubism. By modifying the graphic and chromatic language of the time, they revolutionized the aesthetic concept of decoration and made the carpet a work of art.

The New York Times, January 1, 1999 , Wendy Moonan
Modern Rugs That Broke With the Past

Jed Johnson, the interior designer, used to advise clients to “start with a good rug and build the room around it.”
Designers who follow this credo have a treat in store, though it will last only one week. On Jan.14 Doris Leslie Blau, a veteran Manhattan carpet dealer, is opening “Les Années Folles” (“The Crazy Years”), an exhibition of about 30 rare Art Déco rugs, at the Beadleston Gallery at 724 Fifth Avenue, near 56th Street. A homage to the artists who reinvented carpet styling between 1920 and 1940, the show, which runs through Jan.21, was organized in conjunction with the Textilia gallery in Rome, where it has already been on display.
“These artists revolutionized the style of rugs,” Mrs Blau said. “For the first time, there is no oriental influence.”  She added: ”These rugs aren’t copies of anything. They are based on no previous design. They were inspired by music, art and furniture.”
Many artists in the show, like Jules and Paule Leleu, Ivan Da Silva Bruhns and Marion Dorn, are not well known, though they were famous in their own time. “These people did paintings, drawings, furniture and carpets,” Mrs. Blau explained. “I think they did the floorcoverings after they had done the rest of the décor. For them, the mood of a room was set by the art, the textiles and furniture. From these things, they interpreted something to go on the floor.”
The rugs are neither handmade nor one of a kind, but most were created in limited editions.
“Traditionally, designers were an integral part of the making of the rug; they were there from start to finish,” said Mrs. Blau, who opened her rug gallery in 1972. “The Deco designers were different. They were artists who simply decided to do rugs. They did not work at the factories.”
In style, the rugs made after 1925 tend to be abstract and geometric, with overlapping blocks of color. The rug artists were vehemently antihistoricist. As Roberto Danon, an owner of Textilia, wrote in the show’s catalogue, “For the first time, the concept of tradition was seriously put into question.”
He added: “The modern designers adapted to their time. In fact, they learned toward aesthetics inspired by mechanization and speed, linked to different movements such as Futurism and the specific branch of Cubism influence by African art”.
Most of the artists partecipated in the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which was held in Paris in 1925 and gave Art Deco its name. Originally planned for 1907, rescheduled for 1912 and postponed again until after World War I, the show featured fashion, textiles, interior decoration, furniture design and architecture.
The artists in the 1925 exposition were a Who’s Who of French Deco design. There were interiors by Robert Mallet-Stevens, furniture by Pierre Chareau, glass by René Lalique and silver by Jean Puiforcat. None of those big names designed rugs for the fair, Mrs.Blau said, and none are in her show.
Mrs. Blau said her exhibition pointed out the great artistic distance between Art Nouveau and Art Deco. “Art Nouveau was round and curvey,” Mrs. Blau said. “Deco was clean and minimalist.”
Deco artists adapted a new palette for their rugs. Some used quiet colors: taupes with sandy beiges and browns. Others combined bold, vivid colors, like purple with yellow, orange with brown, or pink with aqua.
“The rugs are either earthy or brilliant, “Mrs. Blau said. “I think the theatrical, bold ones have a lot to do with the music that African-Americans introduced to France in the 1920’s. Think of jazz and Josephine Baker.”
Mr. Danon wrote, “The use and choice of color pervade the French environment of the time. “He suggested that the designers adapted the colors in Fauvist paintings and in sets seen in Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.
One rug in the show looks like an abstract painting of a pale blue mountain range set against a brown sky. Thin vertical lines in white and aqua, rain down from the sky, almost like a meteor shower. The rug was designed around 1930 by Marion Dorn, an American who lived in Paris from 1921 to 1925 and who became the best-known carpet designer in Britain in the 1930’s.
Dorn was prolific; she designed textiles in Modernist motifs for Claridges and other hotels and the ocean liner Queen Mary. She also did the white carpet for Syrie Maugham’s famous all-white London living room in 1933.
Dorn was married to the American poster artist and costume and set designer Edward McKnight Kauffer. They lived in London until 1940, then returned to the United States.
What makes Dorn’s rug noteworthy is that it has a top and bottom, like a painting. One yearns to see the interior it was designed for.
Another rug in the show is done in an abstract red and purple diamond pattern. Signed “Leleu”, it may have been designed by Jules-Emile Leleu, a French designer who did interiors for more than 20 ocean liners, including the Ile de France in 1926 and the Normandie in 1935. Or the artist might have been his daughter Paule Leleu, a painter and designer.
Eddy Keshishian, an owner of the Keshishian rug gallery in London and an authority on Deco carpets, pointed out the importance of women designers in this period.
“Perhaps it was the result of the suffragette movement,” he said. “It was the first time women had a chance to promote themselves. They became the home furnishers rather than letting the men dictate to them anymore.
Paule Leleu often collaborated with Ivan Da Silva Bruhns, an artist who is not yet in most design dictionaries but is represented by two circa 1930 rugs in the Blau show. The son of Brazilians, Bruhns, a painter, worked in France in the early 1900’s.
“He was influenced by Cubist painters, Picasso in particular, and in his rugs he adopted bold interlocking shapes relieved by small motifs,” Mr. Keshishian said. “He was most inspired by an exhibition of crafts from the French colonies in Marseilles in 1922. He saw Berber rugs from Morocco for the first time and soon began using their browns and creamy colors.”
Mr. Keshishian is selling a rug that he said Bruhns was commissioned to create for the bedroom of the Maharajah of Indore, who decorated his new modernist palace, Manik Bagh, in the early 1930’s.
“The palace was one of the largest Art Deco projects ever undertaken,” Mr. Keshishian said. “The furniture was supplied by Ruhlmann, Charlotte Alix and Eileen Gray. Sotheby’s auctioned 200 works from the palace in Monaco in 1980.”
Deco rugs were the first made in different shapes, like circles, ovals and triangles, Mr. Keshishian said. They tend to be small but still pricey. Those at the Blau show range from $12,000 to $65,000.

Bell’Italia, December 1, 1998

Galleria Textilia, fino al 31 dicembre, Les Années Folles. Tappeti déco e delle avanguardie artistiche europee 1920-1940. Un’altra mostra di rarità tessili per la raffinata galleria romana di Enzo e Roberto Danon. Vengono esposti trentadue tappeti che nei disegni riecheggiano le mode e i movimenti dell’epoca, dal Futurismo al Cubismo, dall’amore per l’Africa alla suggestione dell’Oriente, dalle magiche coreografie dei balletti russi all’aerodinamica delle linee industriali.

Gente Money, November 1, 1998
I consigli dell’antiquario

Negli anni ’20 e ’30 nacquero anche i tappeti Art Déco. Un genere ancora inedito sul mercato italiano e oggetto di scambi, dai primi anni Novanta, sulla piazza di New York. Ora la galleria Textilia di Roma ne presenta una trentina in una bella mostra fino alla fine di dicembre. I prezzi vanno da venti a cinquanta milioni di lire, ma possono toccare anche i cento milioni se si tratta di esemplari unici firmati dai maestri del Futurismo e del Cubismo, attivi nelle avanguardie artistiche tra il 1920 e il 1940. I loro nomi, più noti ai collezionisti francesi, sono Jules e Paule Leleu, Ivan Da Silva Bruhns, Louis Sue, Marion Dorn, Paul Follot, André Arbus e altri che presentarono i loro tappeti all’Expo des Arts Decoratifs di Parigi nel 1925. Da comprare, sono tutti al rialzo.

Il Giornale dell’Arte, November 1, 1998

Alla galleria Textilia, sono esposti, fino al 31 dicembre, 32 tappeti eseguiti tra gli anni Venti e Quaranta da artisti quali Jules e Paule Leleu, Ivan Da Silva Bruhns, Louis Sue, André Arbus che negli “années folles” si dedicarono ai tappeti, oggetti d’arte di per sé, che rievocano i viaggi in Africa e le coreografie dei balletti russi. A gennaio la mostra si sposterà a New York alla galleria Leslie Blau.

Elle Decor, November 1, 1998

Novecento. Alla galleria Textilia di Roma, Les Années Folles, mostra di tappeti Déco e delle Avanguardie artistiche europee dal 1920 al 1940.

Il Messaggero, October 22, 1998

Les Années Folles. L’eco dei viaggi in Africa, la suggestione dell’Oriente, le magiche coreografie dei balletti russi, l’aerodinamica delle linee industriali. Sono queste le fonti di ispirazione dei 32 magnifici tappeti degli anni ‘20-’40 in mostra, quegli années folles, che videro un gruppo di artisti dar vita ad una produzione di oggetti, mobili, lampade e tappeti destinati a rivoluzionare l’estetica dominante.

il manifesto, October 22, 1998

Si inaugura oggi la mostra Les Années Folles, tappeti Déco e delle avanguardie artistiche europee 1920-1940. L’eco dei viaggi in Africa, la suggestione dell’Oriente. Sono queste le fonti di ispirazioni dei 32 tappeti degli anni ‘20-’40 in mostra alla Galleria Textilia di Roma.

la Repubblica, October 21, 1998 , Linda De Sanctis
Quei piccoli racconti sulla lana dei tappeti

Sono piccoli racconti in cui si legge l’eco dei viaggi in Africa, la suggestione dell’Oriente, le magiche coreografie dei balletti russi. Scritti sulla lana dei tappeti, questi racconti visivi sono firmati Jules e Paul Leleu, Ivan Da Silva Bruhns, Marion Dorn, Eileen Gray, tutti artisti che all’inizio del secolo, tra il ’20 e il ’40, con coraggio culturale e intellettuale e grazie anche alla volontà innovatrice di un’elite benestante, rivoluzionarono il concetto estetico della decorazione nell’arredamento, a cominciare dal tappeto.
Da oggi, 32 di quei tappeti nati sulla scia della rivoluzione futurista, che voleva l’arte nella vita di tutti i giorni, e in opposizione allo stile imperante, il sontuoso Luigi Filippo, ma in linea con l’Art Déco e con i dettami dell’Esposizione delle Arti Decorative di Parigi del 1925, sono esposti alla Galleria Textilia per ricordare “Les Années Folles” in cui nacquero, ovvero il clima felice delle avanguardie storiche.

Il Tempo, October 22, 1998
A Textilia i tappeti firmati dai futuristi

E’l’Art Déco in una delle sue più inusuali applicazioni l’oggetto della curiosa mostra allestita alla galleria Textilia, via Margutta 8, a partire da oggi sino al 31 dicembre. Trentadue magnifici tappeti degli anni ‘20-’40 disegnati da alcuni dei protagonisti di questa vivace stagione dell’arte europea. Anni che videro un gruppo di artisti, architetti e decoratori, fedeli al manifesto del Futurismo di Marinetti, dar vita nell’Europa del dopoguerra a una produzione di oggetti, mobili, lampade e tappeti destinati a rivoluzionare l’estetica dominante.

Corriere della Sera, October 20, 1998

ART DECO. Giovedì prossimo alla Galleria Textilia si inaugura la mostra di tappeti realizzati negli anni Venti e Quaranta e disegnati dai protagonisti delle avanguardie artistiche europee e di quella vivace stagione.