Milan from an Artist’s Perspective: an Interview with Nathalie Du Pasquier

by Mara Sartore
March 27, 2018
Mara Sartore
du Pasquier Nathalie

On the occasion of miart art week, we asked Milan based artist Nathalie Du Pasquier to tell us about her art and practice and to share with our readers her perspective on the city art scene.

Nathalie Du Pasquier (Bordeaux, 1957) is represented by Apalazzo gallery, Brescia where she is currently working on her upcoming solo show.

Mara Sartore: You career as a painter, after having worked as a designer with the Memphis Group in early 1980s, started in the late 1980s with your interest in still life and surrealist landscapes. Then your work has gradually moved towards more abstract compositions. How did you get to this shift in your practice?

Nathalie Du Pasquier: Life is full of possibilities…I don’t know how it happened, we cannot explain everything, most of what we do has a mysterious origin. Anyway at one point I took a studio on my own, and being left alone with myself, naturally turned to painting. Then from the paintings of everyday objects I started to build “abstract objects”. A few years later I lost the need to have a model in front of me and now I paint my compositions directly on the canvas, I think I can say I paint abstract compositions. I don’t know what might happen in a few month or even tomorrow…

MS: Which or who are the main things that inspire and influence your work?

NDP: My work is inspired by my life: by what I see, by the people I meet, by what I read. Pompei paintings, Casorati, late Roman mosaics, Persian miniatures, Ingres, Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Indian temples, Sanchez Cotan, Sottass, El Lissitzky,  Morandi, Giorgio de Chirico and Savinio, French Medieval miniatures, Le Corbusier, the shape of flowers, the colours of exotic fishes, the beauty of animal life, Japanese prints, the albums of Tintin et Milou. Plus many more things.

MS: Which are the projects you are working on and the upcoming ones we could look forward to see?

NDP: At the moment I am preparing an exhibition together with George Sowden, it will be called “Materialism” and will present new furniture, carpets and ceramics in the Memphis/ postdesign showroom in Largo Treves during the salone. I am also preparing an exhibition for Apalazzo in Brescia that will be called “Uscita d’Insicurezza”: it is very interesting to show my work in such a beautiful place for the second time. This time I will show, apart from paintings, 3 big dimensional things, I am very curious to see how they will be perceived in that space. Every exhibition brings a new experience, something that will inspire the next show.

MS: You first arrived in Milan in 1979. How was Milan over that time? Was it a stimulating place for an artist to live?

NDP: I was not an artist when I arrived in Milan, not even a designer, just a young girl, but Milan gave me for the first time in my life a desire to participate in the modernity of my time. I immediately liked Milan for its architecture, because it was not too beautiful and because I met people I admired.

MS: How do you perceive the city in its cultural attitude today comparing it with the first times you came here? In terms of artists engagement, do you think that artists groups or art movement still exist and influence the society?

NDP: I don’t know, I never think about these things. But if a butterfly movement of wings has an influence on how the world goes, so maybe also artists…

MS: A personal note: are there some places in Milan where you like to go and that you would want to recommend?

NDP: Take a walk in the city without any specific destination is always the best. If you don’t have a lot of time but want to see some beautiful place go to Sant Ambrogio for the atmosphere, Sant Eustorgio is also beautiful for the paintings inside.I warmly recommend to people visiting Milan in this period to go and see the exhibition at Fondazione Prada which is absolutely fantastic! Take 4 hours and go there!

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