Object Arrangements à la Cézanne
by Thomas Sweeney
Photographed by Hanna Tveite
When the street and landscape photographer Joel Meyerowitz visited Paul Cézanne's Aix-en-Provence atelier a few years back, he was immediately taken by the deep-gray wall paint that the artist had mixed himself. Upon placing a few of Cézanne's studio objects—pitchers, statuettes, a human skull—in front of the wall, he noticed that they suddenly lacked depth, due to the absence of reflection at their edges. Meyerowitz proceeded to take shots of 65 of the painter's objects against this gray canvas, and ultimately drew a parallel between their one-dimensionality in photographs and the signature flatness of Cézanne's work.
Meyerowitz's still-life catalogue of the painter's curiosities was published last year as a hardcover book titled Cézanne's Objects, now offered by The Line. In homage to the exquisite photos inside—which, due to their minimalist bent, look nothing short of modern—the store has shot a selection of its home objects before a mottled gray backdrop, illustrating how the color can starkly enhance items produced after Cézanne's epoch.
The more recently crafted pieces include an Apparatus incense-and-tealight burner in a sphere-on-cone shape that echoes post-Cézanne Cubism, as well as a Skultuna mirror-polished brass vase inspired by the lines of the Italian still-life painter Giorgio Morandi, whose personal objects have, as it happens, also been photographed by Meyerowitz. A black Ugandan-cattle-horn vessel by Tenfold New York, The Line's exclusive range of contemporary home goods, serves as a muted, unburnished counterpoint, resting shadow-like against the gray paint.
In homage to the photographs in Joel Meyerowitz's book Cézanne's Objects, The Line has shot a selection of its home goods before a mottled gray backdrop, illustrating how the color can starkly enhance items produced after Cézanne's epoch.
These functional objects are juxtaposed with vintage finds from Collected by The Line, a medley of handpicked pieces from around the world. The two featured here are a midcentury rust-toned ceramic vase with an abstract slash design, and an eight-inch-tall chrome clothespin that can be repurposed as a paperclip or an unlikely clothes hanger.
When the photographs of the objects are arranged in grid-like fashion, as they are in Meyerowitz's book, an uninterrupted visual rhythm comes forth, despite the pieces' disparate origins. Perhaps the dark gray of Cézanne's studio wall, his painted in the early 20th century, holds one key to a harmonious modern décor.
When the photographs of the objects are arranged in grid-like fashion, as they are in Meyerowitz's book, an uninterrupted visual rhythm comes forth.
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