Pierre Frey x Alexandre Benjamin Navet
"Materials at Work" exhibition
The event aims to promote materials as sources of artistic crafts in specific territories, and also as objects of work of artistic craftsmen engaged in ecological, responsible and innovative approaches.
On this occasion, Pierre Frey has given Alexandre Benjamin Navet, a multi-talented artist, carte blanche to create a new model of Toile de Tours, a jacquard weave based on a unique know-how developed in the 1920s by George Le Manach.
Alexandre Benjamin Navet, a multi-talented artist
To renew the genre of the Toile de Tours, we go back to the basics, to appropriate this particularly elaborate technique was the challenge of Alexandre Benjamin Navet.
With an atypical background as an industrial designer at the ENSCI, and a keen sense of drawing and color, this artist is constantly seeking new fields of expression for his art. He has brilliantly translated the strokes of his brushes into a subtle play of warp and weft.
A creative reinterpretation of the House's archives
When he starts a collaboration with a brand, he likes to understand its history. Alexandre Benjamin Navet began his reflection by visiting the archives of the Pierre Frey company.
Among the more than 30,000 documents that make up Pierre Frey's historical heritage, the artist was inspired by the motifs of a Bizarre silk from the early 18th century, a woodblock print from the Jouy factory around 1780, as well as a vase motif observed on a Braquenié canvas, printed in the 1935s.
From each drawing he extracts objects that he likes, including vases and pots that he collects. In a very theatrical way, he stages them in a drawing inspired by his studio and thus establishes a dialogue between the archives, Pierre Frey's design studio and his own universe.
He starts by making a pencil sketch and works on the structure by integrating volume and flat colors. He uses multiple layers, plays with shapes and cuts out small objects. He places them on his drawing, repositioning them and adapting his creation to the manufacturing process.
A playful transcription of a figurative drawing
Le Manach's Toile de Tours collections feature mainly geometric and African designs. With the creation of Alexandre Benjamin Navet, the figurative makes its return to the collection of Toile de Tours.
It is a scene of life captured in the moment by a young talented painter that the Pierre Frey workshops have transposed into weaving and then upholstered onto a small armchair. The work of art becomes accessible and integrates the universe of everyday life.
This exercise in style is a perfect illustration of "a permanent dialogue between conception and creation, innovation and transmission, the exercise of thought and mastery of gestures" that the European Artistic Crafts Days proclaim.