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New Nouveau: Turn of the Century Wonders


February 28, 2007   ·   2 Comments


Christian Maycheck
Christian Maycheck’s piece, seen at Pulse Art Fair last weekend.

Artist Scott Waterman, one of my flickr buddies, put a one-word comment on my picture of Christian Maycheck‘s blobosaurus–“nouveau.” I totally didn’t get what he meant so I answered something non-sequitor-like back, and Scott, sensing my lack of “getting it” clarified. He was calling Maycheck’s piece something from the Art Nouveau tradition of opulently corpulent renderings of drapery with arabesque curlicues gone wild. Well I think that is pretty interesting–and right on the money. Check out Scott’s discussion of his own Nouveau awakening on this flickr page and follow the links for a discussion of Art Nouveau at Wikipedia.

Poster by Alfons Mucha
Alfons Mucha poster

Scott mentions Aubrey Beardsley‘s Peacock Skirt as a point of comparison. I think that Alfons Mucha‘s poster is good, too.

Hunter Stabler
Hunter Stabler, who hand-cuts paper arabesques and whirligigs into his haunting, dark works.

I’m rethinking my take on Hunter Stabler and think he fits into this New Nouveau category as well.

And, of course, Scott Waterman!

Scott Waterman
Scott Waterman, Mirror. watercolor, charcoal. This is atypical work. Check Scott’s flickr sets to see his generally looser, more surreal and arabesque-ful works.

Any other New Nouveau artists anybody can think of?

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2 responses to “New Nouveau: Turn of the Century Wonders”

  1. John says:

    Stabler’s work is more credibly attributed to Art Nouveau than Maycheck. Of his works that I can find online, there is no apparent Nouveau-ish curvature with the possible exception of the muscleblob. And the curves within it seem to sag more than the self-supporting lines of Mucha or Beardsley.

    But maybe it looks different in person.

  2. roberta says:

    Well, I think both Stabler and Maycheck are not really true Art Nouveau which is why I called them new nouveau. They’re both twists on that genre and I guess while other Maycheck pieces do seem rather Russian constructivist in their leanings, I think this one is truly nouveau-ish in a 21st century way (afraid to be completely beautiful — instead seeking a kind of parody of beauty). It was completely great in person. A real character and captivating from far away.

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