A French "Théâtre de Loïe Fuller" lithograph by Manuel Orazi. The poster depicts the dancer Loïe Fuller with flowing red hair and her signature billowing costume, surrounded by stylized flowers. Realistically-drawn flowers descend from the poster title. The artist''s insignia appears on the lower right of the image. When dancer Loie Fuller arrived in France in 1892, in search of true recognition for her unique art, she was dismayed to find one of her copy-cats already ensconced at a premier Parisian theater. The theater''s owner was persuaded to let Fuller perform, with the accompaniment of the single violinist willing to work late. The owner found Fuller''s inimitable genius compelling: she was hired, and her imitator fired, on the spot. An early practitioner of free-form choreography, and a virtuoso of cutting-edge technologies, Fuller danced amid swirling silk wraps on an electrified stage glowing with her patented chemical salts, gels and smoke. To capture Fuller''s incandescent performances, the lithographer Manuel Orazi drew from his own considerable artistic vocabulary as well as innovations of his contemporaries. He evoked the midnight blue swirls of Mvnch''s 1890s madonnas and vampires to portray Fuller arising from blackness to accomplish feats of luminous transformation into blossoms, ocean waves and flames. He looked to Klimt''s gold period to depict Fuller'
's magic lantern projections of stylized stars and flowers upon her hovering silks as they took on evanescent forms in the air, sinking gently before cohering into the next fugitive sculpture. An evocation of the hypnotic performances that conjured trance states in her audiences, Orazi''s portrayal reveals why Fuller''s revolutionary art is acclaimed by contemporary dance critics as "emerging out of darkness, leading the audience into abstraction."A similar poster is pictured in: "Loïe Fuller: Magician of Light," Exhibition at the Virginia Museum, March 12-April 22, 1979, Richmond: The Virginia Museum, 1979, p. 76; and in: "The Kogod Collection," E. Greenwich, RI: Meridian Printing, 2004, p. 242.
A French Art Nouveau ceramic charger,"La Danse", with iridescent glaze by Clement Massier, depicting a dancing woman (Loïe Fuller). Loïe Fuller employed smoke, billowing fabrics and dramatic lighting in her choreography, creating an ethereal, otherworldly effect, the likes of which the world had never seen. Clement Massier drew inspiration from her for this iridescent glazed ceramic charger, where Fuller seems to be floating in a sea of the unknown. The feathered decoration in the work merges with her swirling draperies, further accented by iridescent green and purple highlights against a golden ground. The inspiration for the subject matter of the charger was undoubtedly the American dancer and choreographer, Loïe Fuller, whose dances with swirling silks and experimental lighting made her a legend. A similar charger is pictured in: "Loïe Fuller: Goddess of Light," by Richard Nelson Current and Marcia Ewing Current, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1997 (see center color images).Twenty-first century writers, filmmakers and performers have rediscovered the genius of Loïe Fuller, widely regarded as the mother of modern dance. An early practitioner of free-form choreography, and an inquisitive enthusiast into new technologies, Loïe arrived in Paris in the 1890s, fleeing her numerous imitators in the U.S. and seeking artistic recognition. In her astonishing performances,
Loïe danced amid swirling silk wraps, the electrified stage glowing with her patented chemical salts, gels and smoke. These enigmatic, incandescent performances, in which she herself became intangible, resonated with prominent intellectuals – Toulouse- Lautrec, Marie Curie, Anatole France, and Rodin all counted their friend Loïe as an inspiration.This figural plate, with its iridescent colors, swirling forms and ethereal mood, captures the essence of Fuller, whose fearless spirit and relentless creativity embodied the modern woman celebrated by the Art Nouveau.
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