- WOMEN IN CREATION -
On the occasion of International Women's Day, Pierre Frey celebrates women creators. Models, muses or subjects of representation, women have long remained on the margins of creation. Their emancipation in the 20th century gave them access to artistic careers, but it wasn't until the end of the century that exhibitions such as Women of Abstract expressionism (1997 in New York) or elles@centrepompidou (2011 in Paris) did justice to women's art and demonstrated that their contribution to the emergence of artistic movements was essential. Inspired by this new look at the art practiced by women, Maison Pierre Frey decided to dive into its archives to bring to light the many creators who have marked out its history, as a tribute. The drawings are not always signed, but the names of the creators have come down to us thanks to the register kept by Mr. Pierre Frey between 1935 and 1969. Through the portrait of ten women artists, it is all the feminine art that Pierre Frey wishes to celebrate. Ten women, ten decades like the first ten trees that hide an immense forest.
Focus on these free, inspiring women, for whom creating is as essential as breathing.
Women in Creation, Episode 1 : Janine Janet in the 40's
Speaking her name immediately refers to Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy or Jean Cocteau. For the first three, she composed enchanting showcases. She collaborated with the last one in the conception of the costumes for the movie Le testament d'Orphée that he directed. However, few people know that in her early days, she designed designs for Maison Pierre Frey.
Circa 1939, she divides her life between Hendaye and Paris, where she teaches drawing. It is at this time that she proposes models to different houses such as Pierre Frey, Arthus-Bertrand or Christofle. Janine Janet is part of an artistic movement born in the 1930s in reaction to the minimalist and functionalist trend of modernism. She defends an ornamental profusion in a baroque spirit, privileging movement, opulence and a taste for theatricality.
Her creations testify to her taste for wonder and mythology. Fauns, nymphs, mermaids, sphinxes or unicorns compose a fabulous bestiary. Pierre Frey bought eight drawings from him between 1939 and 1947. And already, the contours of his universe are already taking shape: an attraction for the strange with the presence of unicorns, a sharp sense of color. From 1947, Janine Janet abandons the creation of textile motifs and devotes herself to other artistic experiments.
From 1934 to 1939, she trained at Toulouse School of Art and then in Paris. At the same time, she followed Robert Wléryck's sculpture classes in Paris while preparing for the drawing teacher's exam which she obtained in 1936. This double training brings her the mastery of materials and form. During her studies, the discovery of the work of Renaissance goldsmiths who mixed precious materials and natural elements influenced her artistic practice. To this, her personal taste for a generous nature resulting from a happy childhood spent in Reunion Island is added.
From 1947, she deploys all her talent as a sculptor and scenographer in the design of exceptional showcases for luxury homes and private commissions for interior design. Influenced by surrealism, she diverts commercial products to compose characters or scenes full of poetry and fantasy: a glove becomes a body, a perfume bottle, a head. In her decorative pieces, she transfigures nature by using disparate elements such as shells, coral, flowers, wood or even nails. She carves them, assembles them, glues them according to the techniques of rocaillage or inlaying without ever modifying their color or appearance. That's Janet's style! A unique blend of nature and wonder at the service of an unbridled imagination tinged with surrealism.
To know more about Janine Janet: Metamorphoses by Claude d'Anthenaise, Norma editions, 2003. Book published on the occasion of an exhibition organized by the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris in 2003.