Paris: Editions d'Art Charles Moreau, n.d. (1930 or 1931). First Edition. Large 4to (320 x 240 mm). Half-title and title-page printed in black + 40 vivid and colorful Art Deco pochoir plates, numbered 1-40, loose as issued in original publisher's cloth backed illustrated portfolio (scuffed, abrasions on lower corner of front cover affecting imprint), both fabric ties present. Preserved in a light blue protective case. Very good. Item #2907
Essential, superbly created portfolio of 40 rich and vibrantly colored pochoir plates by the master of the Art Deco movement. "Prismes" presents Seguy's pioneering work in interior design; in our copy all the plates are unblemished and are preserved in brilliant color. This portfolio can only be described as a celebration of Art Deco at its apogee: Seguy embraces design elements from all over the world, and syntheses them in his own unique manner of Art Deco expression. Some of the designs appear almost Polynesian, others Oriental, Arabic, or perhaps Native American.
¶ We have found that the "Prismes" portfolio to be a veritable Art Deco "Rorschach Inkblot Test." Whereas Seguy is better known for his "Insects" and "Butterflies" suites, neither of these presents such an wide array of natural history specimens. "Prismes" presents his inimitable, incredibly stylized designs of underwater coral, clouds, flowers, wheat, crystals, palm fronds, sea shells, moths, pine cones, birds, ferns, rainfall, vases filled with plants, mosses (some issuing around bricks and flagstones), fossils, and much more. Some of the images are so dazzling as to defy description, and viewers will find themselves with multiple interpretations. In our own Rorschach test of Seguy's "Prismes" we have seen possible highways, or even circular blades utilized by tractor plows (!).
¶ Concerning Seguy's portfolios, Gordon Rays states that "In comparison with their variety and brilliance, much Art Deco illustration seems pallid and constrained. And of course their large format makes them particularly attractive for exhibition purposes" (The Art Deco Book in France). Seguy's "mastery of decorative design and coloration is evident in the beautiful pochoir portfolios he created. Unusual in his capacity to span the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, Seguy's portfolios remain exquisite examples of ornamentation and composition" (Kiama Art Gallery).
¶ In every way an extraordinary work, which MUST BE SEEN to be fully appreciated.