Art Nouveau, Gustav Klimt, and Brioche Knitting


Anyone who has taken an art history course in school is away of the many changing enthusiasms in the art world. From traditional realism to modernism with a lot of interesting side journeys in between.

One style that really appeals to me personally is the Art Nouveau school of the late 19th century and early 20th century. An ornamental style, it was characterized by its use of long organic lines reminiscent of stems and blossoms of plants. Flowing contours were emphasized over color, which was often muted. Indeed the idea of this art movement was to elevate craft-based decorative arts to the same level as more traditional painting and sculpture.

Knitting techniques are able to mirror much in the art world. I find myself tending to go towards knitting pieces that duplicate the swirls and lines of Art Nouveau. When I saw this one, it immediately appealed to me and I was not surprised to discover it had been directly inspired by one specific Art Nouveau work of Gustav Klimt.

Lady in Gold Shawl: Kits with Bead Option, design by Tiziana Sammuri

Also take a look at just about any design using the Brioche knitting technique as developed by Nancy Marchant. Quite a few of those are very Art Nouveau-ish, again with curving lines and suggestions of plant forms, with its curves and swirls. You can see these very obviously in Ute Nawratil's Fruhlingshauch

Fruhlingshauch: Kits of Silk/Mohair with Beads, design by Ute Nawratil

And here Paola Albergamo takes the idea and turns it a bit on its head. She has made a joke with her sinuous Reptile Skin:

Reptile Skin, design by Paola Albergamo

Let me end off with a quote from Gustav Klimt which just says so much:
"Art is a line around your thoughts."