Profile | Nathalie du Pasquier

Nathalie du Pasquier is a French born and self-taught artist that has been giving our world amazing art for over the past three decades.  As one of the original members of the Memphis Group, a pioneering and rule-breaking collective of Italian designers and architects founded in 1981 under the leadership of Ettore Sottsass, her designs carry a strong individuality reminiscent of the optimistic and colorful New Wave era.  There is a curiosity and exploration in her work that keeps people coming back for more, continuing to inspire through her masterful geometric graphics and colorful compositions. Nathalie collaborated with iconic 80’s brand Fiorucci, designing textiles for their clothing and accessories. More recently, she has worked with Third Drawer Down, Apartamento x, and MSGM.

From top to bottom: Fiorucci molded plastic brooch (year unknown), paintings for MSGM headquarters (2013), and a Printed Corkboard Placemat from the Third Drawer Down collab (2011).

Nathalie was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

LC: How did your part in Memphis come to fruition?

NDP: With many drawings and some good luck.

Bed sketch (1982) 

LC: What were your sources of inspiration for your early work?  What influences you most today?

NDP: In the 80’s: A mixture of punk music, African-printed textiles, and meeting George Sowden. (Nathalie’s husband) Now: Now I am older and have established for myself a kind of vocabulary I have understood that it is only through drawing that ideas emerge.  It does not mean I don’t look at other things, of course.

Names left to right top to bottom are: Zaire, Zaire, Zambia, Zambia, Zambia, Gabon, Mali, Cerchio, Gabon and Burundi. All ’81-’83.  According to the 1985 Memphis price list these fabrics sold for $120yd. 

LC: What has driven you to continually make art over the past 30 years?

NDP: The pleasure of doing it, the sense of adventure.

Karl Lagerfeld’s apartment, Montecarlo, 1981. From Memphis: Research, Experiences, Results, Failures and Successes of a New Design.

LC: What is the atmosphere in your studio like?  Do you have any sort of rhythm or process when starting a new project?

NDP: I work alone.  The studio is full of light and silence.  I work fast and it’s always different.

George J. Sowden armchairs, Memphis 1981. Fabric design by Nathalie du Pasquier. 

LC: What is your most valuable item in your collection of Earthly possessions?

NDP: We have Earthly possessions because they are useful.  None of them are indispensable.  I like all the things I have, but I think I could do without.  What interests me is doing things.

LC: What does the rest of 2013 hold for you?  Can we expect any upcoming projects or exhibitions?

NDP: Every day is a surprise.  For now, there is nothing special planned.

Nathalie’s studio, 2011.  Via Vogue Living.


x Lauren Demith Chung