da Silva Bruhns, Ivan

da Silva Bruhns, Ivan (1881-1980) – Four oil portrait paintings on panel by da Silva Bruhns, some inspired by the Congolese Luena masks. Blue woman: Height: 49 cms. Width: 41 cms. Yellow/orange mask: Height: 49 cms. Width: 41 cms. Green/orange portrait: Height: 53 cms. Width: 45 cms. Blue/orange warrior: Height: 49 cms. Width: 41 cms.

Born in Paris out of Brazilian parents, da Silva Bruhns started as a student in medicine and biology but rapidly decided to become a painter. His work was exhibited at the “Salon des indépendants” from 1911 until 1923. Also at the “Salon d’automne” from 1913 until 1936 and at the “salon des Artistes decorateurs” between 1922 and 1939, where his work was regularly exhibited. Strongly influenced by the upcoming cubism, mostly by the work of Picasso, he adopts and combines simple patterns. As from 1919 he orients himself on the decorative arts and specializes in designing carpets. He aims to renew the art of making carpets and develops a strong visual language, in which the ethnographic influences are evident. Next to the designing and making of carpets, ceramics, mosaics and the designing of fabric have his interest. Between 1925 and 1940 he’s befriended with, a.o., Jules Leleu, Jacques Adnet and Jean-Jacques Ruhlmann. His paintings strongly influence his carpet designs. The succes of his carpets is huge, he obtains prestigious assignments for embassy’s, private palaces (Maharajah d’Indore, Prince of Monaco) and the big ‘paquebots’ as ‘Le Normandie’ and the ‘Île-de-France’. As an active member of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs (S.A.D.) het takes part in many exhibitions abroad. His influence is enormous amongst carpet designers both in France and abroad. Many artists of the era bought his carpets, amongst them Sacha Guitry, Mistinguett, Madeleine Renaud, André Gide and Karl Dreyfuss.

After the second World War het stops designing carpets and returns to the origin: painting. He donates all his carpet ‘Cartons’ to the “Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins”. Anew he applies the principles of his carpet designs in his portraits, simplification of forms with intense coloring. The straight and mathematic lines of Cubism in conjunction with the Congolese Luena masks is never far away in his imaginary portraits, which he prolongs making until his death in Antibes in 1980.

Expostions: 1919 – Galerie Moderne – Nice / 1925 – Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et industrielles Modernes (Grand Prix et medaille d’Honneur) – 1930 – Travelling exhibition through 9 American States – 1937 – Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques, Paris. (Grand Prix). 1950 – Private exhibition in the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro. – 1977 – ‘Arts Contemporains’, Paris.

© Rachel Reijers