How Swiss Beauty Brand La Prairie Has Become More Involved With Art Conservation
There are several names within the world of art that continue to live on, thanks to the works that they left behind. Among them is Piet Mondrian, one of the most recognisable and influential artists of the 20th century. The Dutch painter’s iconic compositions of black lines framing rectangles of white, blue, red and yellow are unique and extremely influential in the modern art sphere. He paved the way for minimalism, a movement that is unthinkable without him. And there is a parallel purpose between Mondrian’s artistic beliefs and the ethos of a particular luxury beauty brand—La Prairie. Just like how the Swiss beauty brand pursues timelessness in beauty, Mondrian pursued purity in art.
As a testament to its commitment to the preservation of art and beauty, La Prairie is now in its second year of the Piet Mondrian Conservation Project in partnership with the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland. Located in Riehen, near Basel, it is the most visited art museum in Switzerland and houses an outstanding art collection that includes over 400 works of classical modern and contemporary art.
The focus of the Project is now on four of Mondrian’s pieces from the Collection Beyeler, as part of a highly anticipated exhibition of the artist’s works at Fondation Beyeler set to take place in June 2022. It will showcase the biggest Mondrian collection in Switzerland.
Through technology-based methods such as X-radiography and infrared reflectography, the team involved were able to conduct in-depth examination, scientific study, assessment of condition and predict the impact of time and change on the four paintings.
“The more I get involved with Mondrian, the more I am fascinated by this painter,” said Ulf Küster, senior curator at Fondation Beyeler. “He is full of surprises.”
Research and analysis are still ongoing but there are already several compelling discoveries that shed light on how Mondrian painted and what he strived to achieve. For instance, there was a process of experimentation in his work. Rather than start a painting anew, he revised his paintings over and over in order to better capture new ideas and meet his own elevated standards of art.
Mondrian also had an intuition of precision where he worked precisely but also allowed his artistic view to be free at the same time.
“One of the key learnings was the importance of sharing art with a larger public and being able to work with experts in their mission to communicate what is art conservation,” said Celia Bouvy, global brand communications director of La Prairie. “Being able to share this mission with a broader audience is one of the things La Prairie is proudest of, and also getting to be close to such experts and learning in-depth knowledge of Mondrian and inspiring insights of who he was.”
The scientific breakthroughs witnessed during the Piet Mondrian Conservation Project are similar to La Prairie’s own endeavours, as it consistently uses the highest standards of advanced technology combined with new or revised formulations and exquisite packaging to elevate its skincare products.
The La Prairie name is synonymous with innovation and it has been linked to the world of art since its origins. And it is fascinating to realise how the Swiss luxury brand’s audacious spirit truly matches that of Mondrian in their respective quests for perfection.
- ImagesLa Prairie