Hermès & Julio Le Parc Collaborate on Artful Silk Scarves
Art & Design
Argentine artist Julio Le Parc has designed a limited edition series of 60 silk scarves for Hermès, becoming the latest artist to participate in the French fashion house’s Editeur series, in which the worlds of fine art and high fashion converge. Le Parc, a pioneer of the Op Art and Kinetic Art movements, has translated his famous 1974 composition, La Longue Marche (The Long March)—a suite of 10 paintings marked by brilliant ribbony swirls of concentric lines—into works on silk for anyone daring enough to don an $8,000 accessory. On view at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, in time for the city’s Art Basel contemporary art fair, the Julio Le Parc series marks the 4th Hermès Editeur release, following collaborations with Daniel Buren, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and the estate of Josef Albers.
Hermès’ interest in Julio Le Parc was ignited at the artist’s solo exhibition at Palais de Tokyo in 2013, where a series of square colorful gouache compositions, in particular, caught the attention of Hermès Creative Director, Pierre-Alexis Dumas. “Those gouaches, done on squared paper, were incredibly fresh. I immediately thought of the way we experiment with color in our printing workshops in Lyon,” explained Dumas.
The exploration of color—and the viewer’s perception of color—has long founded the basis of Julio Le Parc’s output. Dating back to the late 1950’s, Le Parc began creating dizzying geometric paintings that eschewed free form brush work in favor of rigid, pre-planned systems for both color and black-and-white abstract compositions. Of his experiments with the 14 colors of the chromatic prism, Le Par explains, “I started my experiments with color in 1959…although limited, it seemed to me that these fourteen colors could sum up all the possible variations of chromatic mixes.”
Little wonder, then, that Hermès, no slouch in the color department themselves, were happy to make use of Julio Le Parc’s color theories and explorations, in service of their fashionably artistic Editeur series.