An Unexpected Success: California Design

Richard Neutra (architect) | Julius Shulman (photographer) | Kaufmann House, Palm Springs 1946, photographed 1947 | Getty Research Institute | © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)

California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way’ introduces Australian audiences to a spectrum of industrial, architectural, commercial fashion and craft design from California for the first time. While previous exhibitions, such as ‘Modern Times: The Untold Story of Modernism in Australia’, organised by Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum in 2008–09, have considered the influence of American culture on Australia, it is perhaps a little surprising that a comprehensive exhibition has not yet been seen in this country, given the substantial influence of the Californian lifestyle on Australian culture since the 1950s. What is more surprising is that this exhibition from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which surveys the extraordinary postwar innovations in housing, domestic furniture and industrial design that emerged on the west coast from the 1930s onwards, was only recently developed.

The exhibition and its accompanying publication tell the fascinating story of how wartime technologies used to create materials such as plywood, fibreglass and synthetic fabric, went on to play a big role in postwar Californian design of cars, caravans, swimwear, surfboards and seat furniture. The 1936 ‘Clipper’, made by the Airstream Trailer Company of Los Angeles (1932–79), was the first commercially produced caravan made with the same riveted aluminium that featured on aircraft fuselage.

The Clipper was the vision of Wallace Byam (1896–1962) based on designs by William Hawley Bowlus (1896–1967), an aircraft designer who had supervised the construction of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St Louis. Byam’s backyard building hobby grew into an enduring business enterprise as Americans began to turn the camping road trip into a national pastime. By 1934, the Airstream Trailer Company was flourishing and in 1936 the aerodynamic Clipper was introduced. Despite its cost and the austerity of the Depression years, the company could barely satisfy demand for what became an American legend.

The Studebaker Avanti was a revolutionary sports car when it appeared in 1962. Also borrowing from aerospace design principles, the Avanti was uniquely styled to evoke flight, lightness and speed. The design team responsible for the car was led by the well-known industrial designer Raymond Loewy, who had worked as a designer for the Studebaker Corporation since the early 1930s. Despite its appeal, and the demand for this innovative car, the Studebaker Corporation experienced problems and production delays in the manufacture of the fibreglass bodies, resulting in failed delivery to dealers and loss of sales. The Studebaker Corporation ceased production of the Avanti in 1963 but it remains one of America’s classic automobiles.

California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way

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Raymond Loewy for Studebaker Corporation | ‘Avanti’ automobile (image from company brochure) designed 1961, manufactured 1963–64 | Courtesy: Studebaker National Museum, South Bend, Indiana

In a recent interview, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) curator Bobbye Tigerman, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, and Wendy Kaplan, Head of the Decorative Arts and Design Department discussed the origins of LACMA’s design collections and the development of the exhibition ‘California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way’ with David Burnett, Curator, International Art, QAGOMA.

David Burnett | I’m interested in how and when LACMA’s design collections were first developed.

Bobbye Tigerman | Design is a relatively new focus for our department and the museum. Up until the 1990s there was little interest in it as a collection area for the museum. Our department includes both industrial design and studio craft. The first major item to enter that collection was a group of ceramic works in 1973, by potters Gertrude and Otto Natzler, who fled Vienna after the Nazi invasion of Austria in 1938. In the 1980s and 90s an effort was made to consolidate a collection of contemporary studio ceramics and there was a substantial gift of studio glass in the 1980s. When I joined the museum in 2006, Wendy Kaplan, who had been here since 2000, discussed the idea of an exhibition that addressed Californian design. We felt that it was an underestimated field — it was appealing, it was affordable, many of the artists and designers were still living and no other institution in California, or the country generally, had a dedicated Californian design section.

David BurnettThat is quite remarkable. I’m very surprised, given the important developments in the field that took place here in California.

Bobbye Tigerman | Yes, the fact that a show hadn’t been done was unbelievable. We kept looking for the book or catalogue that was some kind of precedent but it wasn’t there. So the collecting started in earnest in 2006. We collected around 150 pieces. It’s not that there was nothing before, but this was really the beginning of a more formalised and systematic collecting strategy.

Wendy KaplanThe show itself really was a surprise success. It was never intended as a touring exhibition . . . in fact we had to renegotiate loans and storage for nine months before the tour. The exhibition was initially part of ‘Pacific Standard Time’, a broader collaborative project with the Getty Research Institute in 2011, which brought a number of cultural institutions together to present a comprehensive story of the postwar Los Angeles art scene. In terms of the collection, the museum had a decorative arts department and strong holdings of the arts and crafts movement, but the decision to collect modern and contemporary design is a recent development. We have tried to map key moments in Californian and international design, particularly from the Netherlands and Japan.

California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way Queensland Art Gallery

Greta Magnusson Grossman | Ralph O. Smith Manufacturing Company | Lamp c.1949, manufactured c.1949–54 | Iron, aluminium | Collection: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Decorative Arts and Design Council Fund | © Great Magnusson Grossman Estate | Photograph: © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

David Burnett | It’s interesting that the kernel of the collection grew out of collecting individual pieces by designer craftspeople, followed by the realisation that the design parameters in California were much broader. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition plays out this idea that, at a certain time, California offered enormous opportunity and potential for both American and émigré designers.

Bobbye Tigerman | Yes, and then there is also that ‘myth’ of California — that in California, anything is possible, all you have to do is imagine your dream and you can realise it. That played into our planning of the show which made it more appealing because it took the inspiration from the designers themselves. In the beginning there was a lot of debate about the criteria and parameters of the show and in the end we decided that the show would fundamentally address domestic design — design for the home. But at the same time we realised that we couldn’t exclude fashion design and graphics because so many of the designers were connected in many ways — they shared office space or exhibited together, so we made a lot of exceptions to our rule and explored the role that design played in people’s broader lives, outside of the home.

David Burnett | When I arrived at San Francisco airport, I noticed a store selling ceramics, textiles and other goods, called ‘Calstyle’. Is there still a perception that Californian design is somehow separate or a kind of quintessential expression of America generally?

Bobbye Tigerman | I think that when you compare California to the east coast, where there is a tradition and a way to do things — a sort of pecking order — then in California you have the opposite of that: there is that freedom and a drive . . . you can break or bend the rules. There is the quote from author Wallace Stegner that says, ‘California is America, only more so’.

California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way Queensland Art Gallery

Photographer: Yosi A. R-Pozeilov Editor: Yosi A. R-Pozeilov Department: Conservation Photo Studio
Mary Ann DeWeese | Woman’s swimsuit 1961 | Spandex, Lycra | Collection: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Mary Ann DeWeese, DeWeese Designs | © 2011 The Warnaco Group, Inc. All rights reserved. For Authentic Fitness Corp., Cole of California | Photograph: © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

David Burnett | The exciting thing about this exhibition for Australian audiences is the many cross-overs and reflections that can be seen in Australian material culture, from housing and surf culture to the centrality of the car and the notion of an outdoor lifestyle. How did your audiences react after seeing so much of what many would have grown up with, in a museum context?

Bobbye Tigerman | Our installation of the exhibition was quite intense. There was a lot going on, but as we walked through the show every day and kind of ‘eavesdropped’ on comments and conversations, we could sense the familiarity. People were saying, ‘I had that’, ‘my grandmother had those’ or ‘I worked for that designer in the 40s’ — it was amazing and I suspect you will have a similar experience in Australia.

David Burnett | It seems that now, design generally is so much more a part of everybody’s daily life — more so than for those in the 1940s and 50s. Where do you think contemporary Californian design is now?

Bobbye Tigerman | The particular historical ‘moment’ of Californian design, which was characterised by this sense of connectedness and community, I think is over. California’s contribution to design in the second half of the twentieth century has undoubtedly come out of Silicon Valley in the area of computers and software. Beginning with Apple but also now many other companies who have shaped the way we live and interact with each other and the world. I think that when we look back at what California has contributed to the global community, it will be through computers and interface design.

Wendy Kaplan | In fact, one of our major patrons for the collection and the exhibition was Max Palevsky, the co-founder of Intel.

California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way’ is at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) until 9 February 2014. An exhibition publication is available for purchase from the QAGOMA Store. When you visit the exhibition, take your picture in our relaxed California Design setting next to the Airstream ‘Clipper’, upload it to Instagram & you could win a Herman Miller Eames® Lounge & Ottoman supplied by Living Edge, Brisbane featured in the ‘California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way’ Resource Lounge.

Buff, Straub & Hensman (1955–1961, later Buff, Hensman and Associates) | Recreation pavilion, Mirman House, Arcadia, 1958 | Photograph: Julius Shulman, 1959 | Getty Research Institute | © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)

A board, a bar of wax and a pair of shorts

Greg Noll (b.1937, active Hermosa Beach, near Los Angeles) | Surfboard (and detail) c.1960 | Polyurethane foam, fibreglass cloth, polyester resin, wood | LACMA, Gift of Matt Jacobson | Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

Within the culture and honour-roll of surfing, Greg Noll is one of its ‘legends’. Born in San Diego, Noll moved with his family to Manhattan Beach, California at the age of 3 years. He began to surf at around eleven, joining surf clubs and later, the Los Angeles County Lifeguards. He was introduced to surfboard shaping by another legend of the surfing world, Dale Velzy – credited with being the first commercial board shaper who opened a professional surf shop in Manhattan Beach in 1950. Noll was part of the United States Lifeguard team who competed in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games which had a considerable impact on the Australian surfing scene.

In 1954, Noll moved to Hawaii, finishing high school and continuing to surf. He gained notoriety in 1957 when he became one of a group of surfers who took on big waves at Waimea Bay, Hawaii. The seasonal wave breaks at Waimea can be anything between nine to fifteen metres and is still recognised as an important destination for big wave surfing. Watch the short film on this famous surf spot.

Greg Noll surfing in Waimea Bay, Hawaii 1957

The board-shaping skills that Noll learned in California evolved into his own very successful  business in the 1950s at Hermosa Beach, California. He also made a series of short surf films in the late 1950s before giving up surfing in 1969 after riding what is reputed to be the largest wave ever ridden at Makaha, Hawaii. Having secured his reputation as the most fearless surfer known, he turned to commercial fishing in Alaska. With resurgence in longboards in the 1990s, he resumed board shaping and organising longboard surf events. He continues to make a limited number of boards and replicas for collectors from his home in Crescent City, California.

The surf board included in ‘California Design: Living in a Modern Way’ is representative of this great ‘classic’ era of surfing when finding and catching waves and breaks was all that mattered to a generation of young men for whom jobs, marriage and mortgages meant little by comparison. As Greg Noll has said, ‘I’m not sorry for being a fun hog for all of my life’.

The longboard was the original form for surfboards when they were first manufactured in the United States in the 1920s. They evolved from the Polynesian and Hawaiian boards made of solid wood used in the ancient practice of Hoe he’e nalu,­ a kind of stand-up paddle boarding. Construction materials for longboards evolved from plywood and balsawood through to fibreglass and polyurethane foam. The longboard or ‘Malibu’, typically 4 to 6 metres in length, dominated the surf scene up to the late 1960s and 1970s when short ‘performance’ boards (made famous by renowned Australian surfer, Nat Young) introduced a revolution in style and board manufacture. Vintage longboards now attract high prices on the collectors market and have assumed iconic status in the history of surf culture.

California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way‘ which opens at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) on 2 November 2013 with talks, tours, and special events will introduce Australian audiences to a broad spectrum of industrial, architectural, commercial, fashion and craft design from California. Organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) the exhibition presents over 250 objects. The publication California Design 1930-1965: Living In A Modern Way is the first comprehensive study of mid-century modern California design which offers new research and ideas about the furniture, ceramics, graphic and industrial design, architecture, metalwork, textiles and fashion produced in the Golden State.


Suffering, penance and martyrdom

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1618–82 Seville | The Immaculate Conception of Aranjuez (La Inmaculada Concepción de Aranjuez) (detail) c.1675–80 | Oil on canvas | Collection: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid | © Photographic Archive, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

The recent, widely reported example of an attempt by an elderly amateur artist to restore a fresco painting in the church of the Santuario de la Misericordia in the Spanish city of Borja, is an example of the continuing significance of local traditions and religious imagery in Spain.

The ocean of imagery in which we are all immersed makes it difficult to appreciate the power that resided (and continues to) in the painted (and sculpted) image during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Catholic Spain. In churches, chapels, convents, monasteries and cathedrals throughout the country, numerous altarpieces, murals, sculptures, and individual paintings depicted — in addition to the Holy Mother and Christ — the lives of the saints and martyrs as told by the Gospels. These images had both a devotional and didactic purpose. For the largely illiterate congregation, images of the saints were often intercessors through which the lessons of the Gospel could be learnt and communion with the divine sought. They also offered solace in what was, for the majority of Spain’s rural population, a life of trials and hardships.

It is also difficult to appreciate these images as powerful devotional icons outside of their original cultural and architectural context. When displayed in a museum, they often seem drained of their particular aura and local significance. In their original context, many images — particularly those portraying the saints and the Virgin — took on the status of holy relics, sometimes with a supernatural dimension. While much of Protestant Europe, and particularly the Netherlands and England, debunked and discouraged what was considered idolatry, the Counter-Reformation spirit seemed to actively promote the miracles of statues and images sweating droplets of blood or crying tears. Such phenomena were regularly reported in many towns and principalities and would attract believers to those centres in the hope of divine cures, or just to share in the witnessing of the mysterious activations. The majority of occurrences were usually revealed as bogus or an active deception on the part of Church authorities, but many superstitions continued to thrive in villages and townships where the constant search for guidance, help and solace in a difficult life nourished a spiritual climate receptive to the miraculous.

In the exhibition ‘Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado’, a number of paintings address the suffering and penance of saints and martyrs, such as Francisco de Zurbarán’s The martyrdom of Saint James c.1640 and Jusepe de Ribera’s Penitent Saint Jerome 1652. Others present images of the miraculous, such as El Greco’s The veil of St Veronica c.1586–95 and Bartolomé Murillo’s representation of the most profound mystery of Spanish Catholic faith, The immaculate conception of Aranjuez c.1675–80.

Perhaps a residue of such belief and attachment to images survives today in our treasuring of photographs of family, friends and loved ones. The domestic context for these images is often similar to a shrine or a small altar where photographs are framed and lovingly arranged in celebration of the living and memorial of those past.

Francisco de Zurbarán, 1598 Fuente de Cantos, Badajoz – 1664 Madrid | The martyrdom of Saint James (Martirio de Santiago) c.1640 | Oil on canvas | Collection: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid | © Photographic Archive, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Jusepe de Ribera, 1591 Játiva, Valencia – 1652 Naples | Penitent Saint Jerome (San Jeronimo penitente) 1652 | Oil on canvas | Collection: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid | © Photographic Archive, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
El Greco, 1541 Crete – 1614 Toledo | The Veil of Saint Veronica (La Santa Faz) c.1586–95 | Oil on canvas | Collection: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid | © Photographic Archive, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1618–82 Seville | The Immaculate Conception of Aranjuez (La Inmaculada Concepción de Aranjuez) c.1675–80 | Oil on canvas | Collection: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid | © Photographic Archive, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado‘ is at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) until 4 November. This extraordinary exhibition is supported by a richly illustrated catalogue and a kids book introducing the Prado’s collection through ten selected art works, information about the artists, fun facts about Spanish history and culture, as well as instructions for at-home activities such as Spanish recipes.

Visitors to ‘Portrait of Spain’ are also invited to experience the vibrancy of Spanish history and contemporary design, food and culture in La Sala del Prado — our large-scale lounge environment complementing the exhibition. La Sala del Prado features an integrated cafe and interactive spaces that reflect cutting edge contemporary Spanish design and includes fun multimedia interactives and drawing activities, as well as programs and events for all ages.

The Spanish are coming

Alonso Sánchez Coello and workshop | The infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia and Magdalena Ruiz (La infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia y Magdalena Ruiz), c.1585-88 | Benifairó de les Valls, Valencia c.1531 – 1588, Madrid | Oil on canvas | Collection: Museo Nacional del Prado | © Photographic Archive, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Kings, gods, saints and sinners, dogs and very small people will feature among the cast of characters to be seen in a Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado.

The exhibition, an Australian first and exclusive to Brisbane, presents a portrait of Spain that starts with the perspectives of royal monarchs, their children, courtiers and jesters. The dark years of war are seen through the terrifying lens of Francisco Goya while exquisitely laid tables of fruit, flowers and lace will have you believing you can almost smell the quinces, pears and freshly baked bread.

This not-to-be-missed exhibition will take you on a journey into the heart of Spain and an empire that was unrivalled for 200 years. Masterworks by Velazquez, Goya, Melendez, El Greco and Ribera will be seen with the works of Flemish and Italian artists such as Rubens, Titian and Giordano, whose paintings the Spanish monarchs collected to form one of the great collections of European painting now in the Museo Nacional del Prado (the Prado), Madrid. This is a rare and unique opportunity to see the story of Spain through over 100 of its outstanding works.

This spectacular frock belongs to Princess Isabella Clara Eugenia, eldest daughter of Philip II of Spain. Philip II was monarch and ruler of one the most extensive empires on the planet in the sixteenth-century and this full-length portrait of his daughter by Alonso Sánchez Coello was commissioned to immortalise one of the most important women in the Habsburg dynasty.

Isabella Clara Eugenia was born in 1566 to Philip and his third wife, Elizabeth of Valois. She was one of two surviving daughters from the five children of Philip and Elizabeth, who died following a miscarriage in 1568. Isabella Clara Eugenia grew up with her younger sister, Catherine Michelle and her stepmother, Anna of Austria. In 1599 she married Archduke of Austria, Albert VII with whom she administered the Spanish Netherlands from 1601-21 during a period of prosperity and stability following the upheaval of the wars of Reformation. Their court at Brussels became a centre for artistic excellence in Europe and patronised the Flemish painters, Peter Paul Rubens and Pieter Breughel the Younger.

In this portrait the magnificent and richly adorned dress of silk and gilt embroidery with lace and a feather head-dress actually draws our attention to the cameo portrait of her father, Philip II that she holds at the very centre of the painting — it is all about the king after all. Isabella is accompanied by a family servant, Magdalena Ruiz, who kneels beside the ‘infanta’ — the Spanish term used to designate a child of the King who is not heir to the throne. The representation of Magdalena alongside the infanta, is part of a long tradition of portraits in which servants, pages, jesters and dwarfs appear with members of the royal family. The most complex and important painting within this tradition is Velázquez’s great masterpiece in the Museo Nacional del Prado collection, Las meninas c.1656.

Magdelena also holds two small monkeys in her hands which came from Portuguese territories in the Amazon, which then belonged to Philip following the union of Spain and Portugal in 1580. In 1581, Magdalena travelled with Philip and his daughter to Portugal, where he went to claim the Portuguese throne. It has been suggested that she received both the exotic animals and the necklace that she is wearing on that occasion as gifts for loyal service. An additional reference to Portugal may be observed in the white and gold of the infanta’s beautiful dress, a characteristically Portuguese style in ceremonial costume.

So, we see that royal portraits were not just any old portrait. They were coded with symbolism and relations of power and territorial conquest at a time when an absolutist belief in the rule and perpetuation of the monarchy was paramount.

Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado is at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) from 21 July to 4 November. This extraordinary and never-before-seen-in Australia exhibition will fascinate, surprise and reward those who make the effort to see it. The exhibition will be supported by a  richly illustrated 304 page catalogue of the same name and a kids hardcover book introducing the Prado’s collection through ten selected art works, information about the artists, fun facts about Spanish history and culture, as well as instructions for at-home activities such as Spanish recipes.

When Inspirations Hits

Imagine an exhibition that allows you to immerse yourself in an artist’s daily practice. An exhibition that encourages you to express yourself after being inspired by the art works you’ve just encountered. That’s what The Drawing Room installation at GOMA is all about – part of the ‘Matisse: Drawing Life’ exhibition.

Over the course of the ‘Matisse Drawing Life’ exhibition, The Drawing Room has been a space for observation, contemplation and interpretation. The three thematic displays of The Drawing Room have been informed by particular periods and places in Henri Matisse’s career and by his ‘palette of objects’ such as ceramic and glass vessels, textiles, Moroccan screens, tables and armchairs that regularly feature in his work.

Giacomo Ginotti | Italy 1837-1897 | Lucretia 19th century | Marble | Gift of Mr Justice Adrian Clark and Mrs Fitzmaurice Stacke 1933 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

The Academy section takes its cue from Matisse’s early classical training in drawing and painting, which he undertook in Paris in the 1890s and early 1900s. He perfected his technique in the studios of established painters such as Adolphe William Bouguereau and Gustave Moreau; attended life-drawing classes at the École des Beaux-Arts to master the depiction of the human figure; and studied the arts of antiquity during visits to the Musée du Louvre, where he copied paintings, plaster casts and marble sculptures.

The Studio is inspired by Matisse’s working environments in the South of France, where he occupied several studios in Nice and the surrounding areas. Photographs of Matisse at work during this period show windows shuttered or screened against the bright Mediterranean light, drawings pinned all over the walls, multiple surfaces covered with vases of flowers, cages filled with doves and songbirds, and a variety of still-life arrangements based on a familiar cast of objects – the striped armchair, the pewter jug, the ‘Tabac Royal’ jar, and the Moorish table.

Oceania is based on what was perhaps the greatest influence on Matisse’s art – his curiosity about different conditions of light. This curiosity drove him southwards, moving away from the muted grey light of northern France to the silvery Mediterranean light of Nice, travelling from there to Morocco and, eventually, to the United States and Tahiti.

Every day Matisse drew from life, and what he drew from his art was life itself.

The book as art

Henri Matisse | France 1869 — 1954 | Fée au chapeau de clarté. Souvenir du Mallarmé 1933 | Drypoint on Velin Arches paper | Collection: Bibliothèque nationale de France | Réf Duthuit : 234 | © Succession H Matisse/Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney, 2011

In an age when an increasing number of people are consuming books and texts electronically via screens, the book as object has come to occupy a unique role.

The particularly twentieth—century phenomenon of high—end book production by publishers such as Ambroise Vollard, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Albert Skira and Tériade (Stratis Eleftheriades) is broadly known as the livre d’artiste (Artist’s book). Picasso, Matisse, André Derain, Max Ernst, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali and other major artists of the first half of the twentieth century produced exquisitely illustrated books on fine papers in limited editions. Today they are considered as important components of their life’s work and often as much sought after by collectors as their paintings, prints and sculpture. Such artists not only produced illustrations to existing poetic or literary works but often introduced an additional level of interpretation and appreciation of familiar texts.

Matisse was 60 years old when Albert Skira commissioned him to illustrate the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé. It was Matisse’s first publishing project and he prepared by familiarising himself completely with Mallarmés poetry. The publication is featured as one of 10 illustrated books in the ‘Matisse: Drawing Life‘ exhibition, and stands as a testament to how sensitively Matisse responded to the spare, evocative poetry of Mallarmé. The purity of Matisse’s line drawing in the 29 etchings comprising the book are in perfect harmony and balance with the font, the white space of the japanese paper and the layout of words on the pages.