Tuesday- Friday: 10:30 to 6:00, Saturday: 10:30 to 5:30, Sunday: 10:30 to 5:00 (Central Time) 630-357-0660

HOME     SHOP DESIGNERS     APPRAISALS     ABOUT US     CONTACT US

SPECIAL EVENTS     IMAGES OF THE STORE     IN THE NEWS     SPECIALS OF THE MONTH

 

Nouveau 1910

 

When in 1910 Josep Arquer opened his doors to Barcelona for the first time, his heart and soul were already captive to that cultural movement which had spread throughout Europe since the turn of the XIX century, namely  Modernism (also known elsewhere as Art Nouveau, Modern Style, Style Liberty, Style 1900 and Jugendstil).  The   origins of Modernism  can be found in England where influences of the Arts and Crafts movement and the Gothic revival had already laid the foundations of the Aesthetic Movement between 1870 and 1880. This was the prelude to Art Nouveau.  The first modernist works do not appear until the second half of the 1880’s and it was not until the following decade that the style found its expression in the buildings of architects like the Belgians, Horta and Van de Velde, the Frenchman, Guimard; the German, Endell; the Austrians, Wagner, Hoffmann and Olbrich; and the American, Sullivan.  Modernism can also be seen in the work of craftsmen such as E. Gallé in France and Tiffany in America.  Lalique, one of the best known exponents of this movement in France, delighted Paris with his jewelry and was the indisputable star of the Universal Exhibition in 1900.This style was basically derived from the pre-Rafaelites and symbolism, and was characterized by the predominance of the curve over the straight line, a richness in detail, the frequent use of vegetable motifs, a propensity for asymmetry, refined aesthetics, dynamic shapes. The ornament has its own brilliance. It is further seen in furniture and all kinds of objects. Its volume yields to the sensual vibration of its lines, thus bringing out the outlines which turn and flow infinitely, the leit-motiv of Modernism. The vegetable theme is hinted at by color inference.  Modernism cannot be conceived without the vital role of color. In architecture it can be found in multicolored façades with bright ceramic ornaments and stained glass windows. However it is seen in all artistic genres in which color is rediscovered, since it does not have a purely descriptive function; it is an independent form of expression and thus becomes a stylistic tool.


Catalan Modernism has drawn from the experiences of our artists in Paris. Like the French it is both exuberant and leafy.  Vegetables are also its source of inspiration, together with asymmetrical and three-dimensional shapes.  Barcelona, a cosmopolitan city and open to all the latest fashion trends, welcomed this movement wholeheartedly and went on to embrace it as  its own.  Its streets filled with buildings like "La casa Batlló", "La Pedrera" or "el Palau de la Música Catalana"; and in the heart of the city Gaudí, our universally known architect designed the cathedral of Modernism: "La Sagrada Família".


Today, as we stand at the gates of the 21st century that expressive artistic movement still survives in the Mediterranean capital.  Three generations later, the designer, Pere Arquer –through Nouveau 1910– introduces his collection.  His jewels are like paintings, with a statement of figurative and descriptive function always combining "the poetic" with an exquisite beauty.  His stained glass "plique à jour", also internationally known as Barcelona stained glass, and his enamels impregnate  medium colors that radiate a mysterious energy. Soft foliaceous shapes climb up the body of a nymph holding a precious stone in her hands with an indescribable lightness and grace.  He shares with the artists of Art Nouveau unconventional motifs; lifelike plants and flowers, hermafrodites inspired by mythology, girls’ bodies and faces with serene beauty, mermaids, and fabulous dragons...Let these timeless works of art lift our imaginations to the spiritual, eternal world and, deliver us to the realm which is Nouveau 1910.

 

HOME     SHOP DESIGNERS     APPRAISALS     ABOUT US     CONTACT US

SPECIAL EVENTS     IMAGES OF THE STORE     IN THE NEWS     SPECIALS OF THE MONTH