Luxury Design, Past & Present
Olga Fisch ,Carpet from the Caverna’s serie, circa 1950 certainly one of the most impressive carpet art work of Olga Fisch. Size 243 cm x 183 cm. Olga Fisch was born in Hungary and fled the Nazis to settle in Quito, Ecuador, in 1939, where she set up a workshop guiding local artisans to produce some of the most remarkable modernist carpets ever made. In the 1950s, after the dramatic discovery by children playing of the Paleolithic cave paintings at Lascaux in southwestern France, Fisch created the Caverna series of carpets. In them we see a vital combination of ice-age and modernist idioms. The cave paintings were an important and potent point of reference for postwar European writers and artists such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Alberto Giacometti and Jean Dubuffet. These artists, particularly in France, wanted to strip away the past in order to find something universal, consciously imbuing their work with prehistoric resonances and seeking inspiration in indigenous or humble sources as a way to transcend the recent past. Georges Bataille, in a 1955 monograph on the Lascaux paintings, famously wrote, "Resolutely, decisively, man wrenched himself out of the animal's condition and into 'manhood', and that abrupt and most important of transitions left an image of itself blazed upon the rock in this cave. The miracle occurred at Lascaux." Fisch's Caverna series translates this postwar tradition into the textile arts, integrating copies of animal drawings from the cave (including the famous spotted calf) with her own illustrations in lively, modern-looking designs.