Nathalie du Pasquier

A founding member of the Memphis Group cleverly translates sculpture into painting.

11.20.2020

As multidisciplinary designers, we believe many unexpected things happen at the intersections of artistic media. Nathalie du Pasquier agrees. As a founding member of the Memphis Group, she has never been afraid of the initial shock of exploring those intersections. The Memphis Group’s designs have amassed a cult-like following for their controversial brazenness, pushing hard on the boundaries of what is really pleasing to the eye. Think: jarring color combinations, unexpected material usage, and unusual/asymmetrical shapes. It’s counter to what feels natural, but it somehow just works.(David Bowie’s Memphis furniture collection sold at Sotheby’s for £1,387,000.)

Du Pasquier’s paintings certainly are born from the radical tendencies of the Group, but offer something perhaps more nuanced. In each painting is a keen grasp of color theory and spatial awareness. She begins by arranging her own 3D sculptures as still lives, and moves to translate these sculptures onto a 2D canvas. What results is not a photographic representation of reality but rather a singular iteration, brought to life and exaggerated by her uniquely abstract composition. During this process of ideation, composition and observation of space, there are losses and gains in how visual information is represented. A plane might bend, and a curved object might become flat. But it's in this movement between media that the sweetness of Du Pasquier’s paintings emerges.