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Saturn P (2010) by David Zimmerman hanging in the living room of Pierre Yovanovitch’s Chateau in the south of France. Image via House and Garden.

Artists and designers have long been fascinated with the notion of iridescence; the lustrous color changing effect that occurs when light is refracted into a rainbow spectrum. In the early 20th century, Art Deco artists looked to the natural world for inspiration, paying special attention to naturally-occuring iridescence- such as pearlescent seashells, bird feathers, and fish scales. The motifs gleaned from these sources appear frequently in Art Deco glassware and pottery, like those produced by Louis Comfort Tiffany who first patented the production process for iridescent glass.


Examples of Art Deco wares by Lajos Mack and Louis Comfort Tiffany from the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York. 

Contemporary artists continue to be enthralled with the phenomena of light refraction. Like their Art Deco predecessors, many are inspired by the naturally-occuring rainbow hues of oily puddles and soapy lather. Some artists, like Maude Corriveau, play with the notion of light’s wavelengths by projecting refraction onto tactile swaths of folded and pleated fabric. Others, like Karine Frechette and Felipe Pantone, highlight the parallels between the phenomenon of light refraction and the way our screens separate color into individual pixels to create digital images.

If you would like to know more about any of the works below, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Francois Lacasse, Petits Spectres V, 2022, Ink and acrylic on canvas, 36 x 30 inches.
Karine Fréchette, Grande Spirale, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 84 inches.
Maude Corriveau, Damian VI, 2022, Oil on canvas, 36 x 54 inches.
Pamela Rosenkranz, Healer Scrolls (Red Monkey), 2023, Kirigami cut paper, watercolour, perspex frame, 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches.

Left: Yann Pocreau, Diffraction 4, 2018, digital print on Verona 250 paper, 26 x 26 inches. 
Right: Interior view featuring work by Felipe Pantone and Takashi Murakami, with Bearbrick collectibles. 

Ann Veronica Janssens, Magic Mirrors (Pink & Blue), 2013-2023, Diachronic laminated glass consisting of crash glass, float glass, and gelatin filters, 118 x 59 x 3/4 inches each, Ed of 1 + 2AP.
Angel Oloshove, Origin Mame, 2019, ceramic and glaze, 8 x 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches.

Article contributed by Robin Rosenberg Fine Art

More about Robin Rosenberg Fine Art – Robin Rosenberg Fine Art (RRFA) is an international, full-service fine-art firm that specializes in 20th & 21st Century Modern and Contemporary Art by world-renowned artists.

Get inspired by these fun pieces and please contact us if any artists are of interest. Don’t forget to follow us on social media!

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@robinrosenbergfineart (Instagram)

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Robin Rosenberg Fine Art (LinkedIn)


GLW Contributors - Professionals in their field. Contributing to Girls Living Well their knowledge, experience and advice.

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