‘Croquis’ are sketches, intended to show design ideas. These particular pieces, with their intricate Art Deco and Art Nouveau patterns, would have been processed through jacquard weaving machines, reduced in size and repeated many times to create the patterns for smart neckties. The small and intricate gouache on paper paintings date from the 1920s and 1930s. Originally from Germany, they were sourced from the office of a retired tie manufacturer in New York City.
The colourful and psychedelic abstract motifs bring to mind exotic flora, marine organisms, or microscopic cellular structures. Transformed and remodelled through a number of mechanical processes, the lively and uninhibited sketches are a rare opportunity to see the early stages of everyday designs and patterns that are easily overlooked or taken for granted in their final forms.