Martin Lawrence Gallery marks 120th anniversary of Erté with retrospective exhibition
NEW YORK, NY.- Martin Lawrence Gallery celebrates the life and work of Romain de Tirtoff (commonly known as Erté, derived from the French pronunciation of his initials R and T) with a retrospective exhibition, sponsored by Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte. One of the most influential artists of the 20th Century, Erté inspired and led an entire art movement, leading him to be known as the Father of Art Deco.
To celebrate his illustrious career and inimitable style, Martin Lawrence Gallery exhibits an unprecedented collection of works from his vast portfolio. The retrospective features two floors of rare original works, limited edition serigraphs and bronze sculptures. Also on display will be The Clasp, a jeweled evening bag inspired by a design from 1926. The entire display, including the famed Numerals suite, will be available for acquisition from the flagship Soho gallery which recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. A gala evening will be held at the gallery on November 10th to mark this historical event.
The retrospective exhibition also marks the release of Erté: A Celebration, compiled and edited by Charlotte Perman, of Martin Lawrence Gallery. Erté: A Celebration is an exquisite catalogue of Erté’s expansive career and offers essays and reflections by Stella McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Twiggy, as well as art critics, close friends, and renowned curators. Many of the works shown in the book will be featured at the exhibit.
The Clasp, produced by celebrity jeweler Stefano Canturi, brings to life an elegant evening bag designed by Erté, and will be revealed for the first time at the celebration. The Clasp pays homage to Erté and his dedication to opulent, original, and impeccable design. It is an example of elite jewel making and technologically advanced engineering, which rivals the objets d’art of the renowned Fabergé workshops in Erté’s home city of St. Petersburg. The Clasp is comprised of a staggering 540 grams of 18k gold and is embellished with precious stones including 3ct Rubies, almost 4000 43ct Diamonds, 200ct Rubellites, 6.5ct Black Sapphires and 3mm Pearls. The piece is available for sale at $780,000.
Erté originally designed the purse for George White’s production, Scandals, in 1926. In 1983, Chalk & Vermilion published the print of his design as a limited edition embossed serigraph with hot foil stamping. The print was sold out on release. Canturi’s The Clasp is a marriage of Erté’s vision for opulence and delicacy and Canturi’s refined skills of craftsmanship.
Born in Russia in 1892, the illustrious career of Erté began in Paris in 1912. In 1915, he forged a partnership with Harper’s Bazaar and designed more than 200 covers for the magazine over a 22-year period. His elaborate couture illustrations defined the era. Erté also created original costumes and lavish fashions, costuming the Folies Bergère in Paris, George White’s Scandals in New York, and productions at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris and the Paris Opera. He outfitted celebrities such as Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova and Norma Shearer.
When Erté was 75, he revived his career by recreating designs from his earlier career in bronze and serigraphy. This brought about the rebirth of “Art Deco,” inspiring designers such as Yves Saint Laurent’s Ballets Russes collection, Oscar de la Renta, and Ralph Lauren. He was known for his use of lush fabrics, rich colors, and his attention to delicate details. He continued to influence the fashion and art worlds until his death at the age of 97 in 1990.