William Morris: l'Art dans Tout
Never presented in France, the work of the visionary William Morris strongly marked his time by theorising a social, political, ecological and artistic utopia and by laying the foundations of what would later be called Arts & Crafts, which defended art in everything and for everyone in reaction to the industrialisation of craft skills.
A textile designer, writer, poet, painter, draughtsman, architect, manufacturer, socialist activist, environmentalist and incredible theorist, William Morris developed a complex body of work and campaigned for a new way of looking at art and craft, as well as artists and craftsmen, in late 19th century Victorian England, which was marked by the emergence of an industrial society. He is famous both for his literary works, his socialist political commitment, his publishing work and his creations in the field of decorative arts.
In reaction to the industrial revolution that marked the Victorian era, William Morris affirmed the importance of all art forms – painting, architecture, graphics, crafts, literature, etc.
He thus worked to restore aesthetic qualities to even the most common objects, producing beauty through manual labour for use by all sections of society and valuing the rarest skills to counter the prosaic nature of the industrial world.
His formal and historical research on Celtic culture and the Middle Ages inspired him and his artist friends, many of whom belonged to the Pre-Raphaelite movement – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, etc. – which was created around him.
The new ethical organisation of art, theorised by Ruskin and implemented by William Morris, adds a social and ecological dimension to his work, which is perfectly relevant today: the experience of collective workshops, a return to the countryside in craftsmen’s colonies, companies whose profits are paid back to the workers, attention to the conditions in which manufactured objects are made and the desire to take into account the dignity of those who make them, the conviction that “beauty” contributes to giving meaning to existence.
With this exhibition, La Piscine invites visitors to dive into the world of William Morris. Tapestries, hangings, furniture, paintings and drawings will be presented in a deliberately immersive scenography designed by Cédric Guerlus.
- Snoeck Publishers
- Language French
- Format27 x 21.8 cm
- ISBN 9789461618467