“At Livia Henne’s Victorian house I was inspired by the headless boy – (mentioned in an earlier post), her various collector’s objects and her art books.” One book was of the ABECEDA, by Karel Teige (1900-1951), a Czech avant-garde artist of the 1920s. His 1926 photomontage of a Czech dancer forming letters and typography are an enduring masterpieces of Czech modernism. See two of his letters below.
The print designer Livia Henne, was inspired by these letters in the past and has created an even more abstract textile print version of Teige’s typography for her label Komana.“What inspired me for the painting was a mixture of Livia’s house, Victorian objects and Teige’s typography.”brainstorming for the painting
“Another topic that often came to my mind was creativity and where it originates.” In the 19th century physicians tried to measure the skull to localise different areas of the brain and their functions. The German physician, Franz Joseph Gall was the inventor of the discipline of phrenology. Livia has a couple of such Victorian Phrenology statues sitting up on her shelf overlooking the bay window living room.
Left image: 1848 edition of American Phrenological Journal published by Fowlers & Wells, New York City, right image: Webster’s Academic Dictionary, circa 1895
At her house there are many pretty keys, but what do they open, which treasures do they unlock?
Sketch: “key holes and lonely keys”
The headless boy – there’s a story behind him read more about him here.
The final piece is a detached floating of inspiration – the Teige Letter “K” as a reference to the print designer’s label Komana, lonely keys, the french headless boy, the thinker type phrenology statue and edged glass windows common at Victorian houses. It is a bit like a dream, where single objects come and go, but are not really connected but sort of flash into our inner mind. Maybe that is where creativity roots.