Visual & Decorative Arts Blog

Catherine Taylor

Recent Posts

Art of Fine Gifts: Kasimir Malevich: The Early Years

Posted by Catherine Taylor

With the Tate Modern's recent opening of the first ever UK retrospective of Kasimir Malevich, it is only appropriate to admire all of the artwork he has ever created, not just his later, Suprematist work. Even though he did change the entire idea of modern art in his later works, his early art is surprisingly pastoral, bucolic and agrarian. 

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Topics: Tate, Kasimir Malevich

Art of Fine Gifts: Erté

Posted by Catherine Taylor

Although the renowned artist Erté died over 20 years ago, his art is still celebrated worldwide. Part of what makes him so amazing is that he was so widely talented: not only did he design costumes and sets for theatre, opera, and film, but he also created beautiful Art Deco fashion, jewellery and fashion illustrations. Because he had such immense gifts, it is no wonder that his work is still influential today.

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Topics: art deco, Erte

Masterpieces of Art: Van Gogh's Sunflowers

Posted by Catherine Taylor

Vincent Willem van Gogh, is now one of the most respected and well-known artists in the world. He is known for his post-impressionist paintings with bold colours that evoke an honest emotional reaction; self portraits, landscapes, cypresses and sunflowers are some of the most memorable subjects of the 2,100 works he completed in his short lifetime. Many of his most well-known pieces were completed in the last two years of his life, while he was suffering from severe mental illness. But of course, at the time, his work was only known to a small number of people (and appreciated by fewer still). It is an absolute tragedy that he died not knowing what the reaction to his work would eventually be, and how much pleasure he would give people all over the world. There is no doubt that his astounding artistic skill as well as his troubled life have touched millions. Today is the anniversary of his death and so I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at his brilliant Sunflowers, his life in letters and his death. 

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh

The Moomins: Cherished Books to Art Calendars

Posted by Catherine Taylor

A whole world of merchandise and media, from art calendars to coffee cups and T-shirts to an actual theme park ('Moomin World' in Western Finland), has built up around children's favourites The Moomins – our hippopotamus-like friends really are a treasure trove for the art of fine gifts. I remember watching these eclectic characters and their adventures in Moominvalley in a cartoon series back in the 1990s. But of course they go further back than this, back to Tove Jansson's original novels, the first of which was published in 1945 in Swedish by Schildts publishers.

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Topics: Moomins, Tove Jansson, art calendars

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